Thursday, September 12, 2013

Well, that escalated quickly.

First off, it's been a WHILE since I wrote anything here, and for that I apologize. It's been a crazy past month or so, and it's been such a mixture of crazy that I just haven't really felt like writing anything. That includes my third novella, although I made some sort of progress over the last few days.

Anyway, I need to explain a few things. The last year of my life has kind of been an experiment. I don't consider it a failure, since I've learned so many things about myself, which I'll get to in a second, but it is a little disheartening. When I left DHS back in August 2012, I was totally focused on my writing career, even if I didn't get anything "published" for almost four months. I actually got further than I expected - two novellas and an almost published short story (the jury is still out on that experience since it's been over two months and I have yet to hear anything), submitted my watercolor paintings to an art show at a local convention, started working on a future webseries and another novella/novel series, etc. I'm actually kind of impressed with myself, in the least arrogant way possible.

But through this experiment, I realized something. Being a dependent spouse is difficult, to say the least, particularly when you are as Independent Woman as I am (thanks, Bey), but I guess I couldn't have predicted how much it would affect me. I mean, I think if everything took off like I'd hoped it would*, and I was at least somewhat contributing to our household expenses, I wouldn't have been nearly as stir-crazy as I turned out. However, I was constantly reminded that, because of my decision, we were back to how things were before we filed for bankruptcy. Well, we were able to pay our bills, but yeah, that's about it. We were living hand to mouth. Our meager savings disappeared, and Three was trying to find ways to make sure that we could occasionally, you know, buy food that wasn't ramen noodles or canned chicken. It was nearly killing him, truthfully, and all I felt was guilt, despite the fact that I was putting out more creatively than I had in years.

This constant bug in my ear - "Look at you, you lazy slob; your husband is exhausted and it's all because of YOU" - was enough to drive me nuts, but it wasn't just that. Being a Sagittarius means that, despite my sometimes introverted nature, I am most definitely an extrovert. I need to be around people, at least some of the time. Living in a more rural area than I was used to wasn't really that big of a deal in the beginning; I'd been living in the city for so long that a break from all the humans was a nice reprieve. But then throw in the fact that we didn't have a second car (thanks, old landlord bitch!) meant that I was even more tied to the same four walls with nothing but three cats and a dog for company**. And I was most definitely not staying sane. Three noticed it right off the bat, but I was not necessarily willing to admit that I wasn't completely happy. I convinced myself that I was just going through a phase and that, once things picked up, I'd be okay again. When Three's job started acting dickish***, I started worrying. There was no way that I could support us on what nothing I make from my writing, so I went on the hunt for some type of job.

And really, it could have been anything. I was even searching for part-time work, mainly in the same area where Three works so it would be easy to carpool. Plus, it would have been fairly easy to find a job there, since it's mainly retail and I figured, "Hey, I wouldn't have to emotionally invest in this because, ha, retail****, and then I could still focus on writing! Win/win!" Somehow, though, I found myself looking at armed forces jobs. Because why the fuck not? I was just researching and no harm could come from that. Except that, as I went further into it, I felt drawn.

Now, I grew up in a military family. Both of my parents were officers in the Air Force, and both attribute a lot of their current success to serving in it. And honestly, I kind of miss that life. I know that the military doesn't always have it easy, and there are a lot of issues within the community that have yet to be resolved (hi, sexual harassment!), but for the most part, the good greatly outweighs the bad.

Anyway, I requested further information from all branches, with the Air Force being my first choice, but the National Guard was the first who called. When I got into contact with the Navy, the officer recruiter made a big deal about my age (the ancient number 29), even though I have a good three years before I'd be ineligible because of it. The Air Force never called me back, despite the multiple times I called AND requested to be contacted via the interwebs. And I was a little wary of the Army, since I'd have to go to officer candidate school on or before my thirtieth birthday*****. The Guard was a lot more flexible, and I'd still be able to become an officer, since their age requirements aren't as strict.

I went ahead and took the ASVAB, which I later found out was a test for high school students, so if I didn't score highly, I would have felt like a complete dumbass. Luckily, I did really well, which opened up a lot of opportunities as far as job options go (I'm wanting intel because who the fuck wouldn't?), and now I'm just waiting to go back to MEPS to get my physical done. And all of this happened ... in the past month? Two weeks? Who knows? I sure as hell don't. I mean, I'm still looking at the Army, since the benefits are better with active duty officers, but I'm pretty sure I'm going Guard. Plus, there's always the option to go active, although that's determined by need.

To be honest, everything really is up in the air right now, but I know that I'm going in the right direction. For now, I'm just going to breathe and bust my ass physically so I will at least be somewhat prepared for the fun that is morning PT. Ugh. Wish me luck.

* Although, to be fair, I am HORRIBLE at marketing. I hate constantly scrolling through some of my self-employed friends' posts on Facebook, reminding me of their awesome sales (granted, most of them are working for, like, Scentsy and Avon and shit, but still), so I assume the same of them. It's why I created my own author account so if they wanted to get updates, they could. Maybe this makes me an awful person, I don't know.
** They are fabulously fun, and I wouldn't change our arrangement for anything. There's something about watching their personalities interact that just makes me giggle.
*** His company was run by morons. Seriously. I could write a whole series on the clusterfuck that is that company, but quite frankly, that's a lot more effort than they put into operating their business, so whatever.
**** I'm not saying that people with retail jobs don't love what they do. But for me? Not really. I look at retail as a way to pay the bills.
***** Which is fast approaching and I can honestly say I'm super excited about it, although that's probably because I'm planning a dinosaur themed party in honor of myself.
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