I spend a lot of time not being really sure what I’m doing here.
I mean that in a lot of different ways, I suppose. First, the obvious one: really, I’m making this up as I go, mostly. I have almost no experience in about everything I’m doing, outside of the speaking a foreign language bit. Most days I relish that; I like a challenge, even the little ones, and I love that every day here comes with some utterly unexpected puzzle that needs figuring out. It’s exhausting and frustrating some days, but there’s still the enjoyment of setting my mind to a thing, attempting a fix, and hoping I didn’t muck it up too badly afterwards.
Second, the somewhat less obvious but expected: what am I doing so far from my life, taking this almost- hiatus? My daughter started high school this week, her freshman year, and here I am: in the dust and the dirt. Sure, I’m making money, and working towards freeing us from our current sources of income, and that’s good. The whole family benefits from this; that’s good. Also, the house- that monster of a project, getting done so much more quickly than we’d expected, and with an awful lot of room for mistakes and surprises. (In any house over 50 years, there are always surprises, right?) That’s all solid, and yet it still feels like I am out of my life, 7000+ miles from home.
And third, of course: I tell myself that I am working towards better things out here, but the reality of the thing is that I am a contractor for the Army, and the Army does an awful lot that I disapprove of. Not in some maiden- aunt- looking- down- her- nose sort of way, either: I’m talking about deep, ethical, morally confounding disapproval. I don’t believe this is being done right, and good intentions only go so far. In the few months I’ve been here, I know for certain that there are an awful lot of things happening out here that I think are wrong. No: I know they’re wrong. And as many times as I tell myself that it is better that I am here than another bloodthirsty bullying asshole, or some hero- wannabe type, that only gives so much comfort: in working for the US Army, in whatever capacity, I am complicit in all of it.
I could have lived without yesterday, all of it, to be honest, but that’s not for this, nor is it really here nor there. The more time I spend here, the more I know that I need to get myself out of this gov’t work racket. I’m not leaving this early, but I need a plan to get out of this business when I get home. Hell, what do you do, after a decade of government service? Where do you take that?
I am still, hypocritically, in love with being here, with this place and time.
On a happier note, Jason should be here in a day or two; a slice of home, for certain, and none too soon.
Ach, I’m miserable tonight, my apologies. Time to indulge in my favorite comfort behavior- writing another list.
Things That Are Awfully Nice Right Now
-Tori Amos, Pretty Good Year, in my headphones (“Lucy was pretty,” made me smile, Teresa)
-Postcard from Teresa in the mail today
-Sleeping in a little this morning
-Figuring out the new laptop
-Gorgeous fluffy yarn spun up last night
-Hooray for Jason getting in soon!
-Chai tea from Billy
-green apples suck out of the chow hall
-sneaking anything out of the chow hall!
-making the best ever swap for yarn this afternoon
-my pillow, which smells like Sam
-knitting sweaters, and knowing I’ll need them soon