Military life isn’t easy on families. While there’s travel, adventure, and inspirational acts of bravery and sacrifice, there are also long separations, danger, and the fear of injury and loss. Separation has been the hardest one for me so far.
Now, lets rewind one minute. My entire life I have done a damn good job at submerging my inner thoughts and appearing to seem alright. Though I never realized how bad it could be until I moved out of my parent’s house and started being alone- I realized how it literally pains me to be alone. But you know what else it made me realize, it made me realize I don’t like to be alone because when i am alone, I have no one else to blame for “things” except for myself.. I know this sounds all crazy but I am trying to express this in a way that can maybe help someone else that suffers from similiar personality gliches as I do. Also, when I have too much me time I spend it over obsessing over my self-image issues rather than using it as a time to better myself. I seem so put together most of the time, which I am honestly, but I definitely have a lot of “behind the scenes” moments. Besides not having my husband around to comfort me and help me see past some of my issues, I struggle still, not as much, with bieng a perfectionist. Especially with the profession I am in now; it is seriously terrible to be a pefectionist. Why? Because perfectionists are one-minded. They like to perfect the tasks in front of them and DO NOT accept anything less. What I have had to learn the very hard way is that military leaders have to know how to do a whole lot of everything and later perfect those skills. It’s been hard for me to grasp this as a Platoon Leader.
Okay, that was a little more than a rewind and a bit off tract from my initial intent of this blog. Separation/ long distance relationships, are not a new thing or just pinpointed strictly with military families. However, it is more ot the “norm” and what people quote on quote tell you that you signed up for when you married someone in the military/are in the military.
To put this all in perspective, this year alone from 1 JAN-middle of April of this year, we will have only spent 37 days with each other. That is being generous since most days we spend at work from 0600-1800ish. After mid April we will both return to Hawaii and spend two more weeks together and then I leave for the whole month of May. Then, if you have been keeping up with my blogs, Daniel will be leaving in September for 9 months. Daniel always tells me before he leaves “don’t worry love, it will fly by!” Though the time as a whole flies by, the days drag on. Let me throw something out there THANK GOODNESS FOR MY FURRY BESTIES- Sambuca and Bailey. I am the crazy dog lady and I am perfectly okay with that.
With the issues I have mentioned above, the separation has had some blessings in disguise. It has forced me out of my comfort zone and has made me realize my “issues” without someone having to point them out to me and then me denying it all. I have fallen more and more in love with Daniel and honestly I think he has with me as well. Want to know why? I stopped treating him as my “punching bag.” I’ve taken control of my feelings and emotions and have learned to better deal with everything. I have used kinder words and body language when I’m feelng overwhelmed and in return Daniel has willingly wanted to do more for us/our home/our family with his own initiative. We both live very busy work lives and are both learning SO SO SO much with our jobs everyday and the Army in general. Now that we have a better grasp on work and all the obstacles associated with it, we have made more efforts toward our marriage.
It was kind of refreshing and funny but Daniel and I were at lunch last week before he left after we got pedis together 😉 and we were talking about when I flew out here after graduation and got married and as he chuckled he said, “yeah they were not lying about the first year being the hardest…. I was scared we weren’t gonna make it.” Now that we can both laugh and joke about this, it really was a scary time for us that first year!
LDR- long distance relationships is so well expressed by this blog I ran across this morning https://survivinglongdistance.wordpress.com/
She discusses struggles that I can forsure relate to. The biggest being the Honeymoon period. With LDRs the Honeymoon period is such an odd odd phase.
A quick overview so I can conclude this already long blog posting: While dating we were long distance for half of it. Then, Daniel and I got engaged on New Years 2013 and when he asked my Dad for permission to marry me, my Dad’s stipulation was that we would be engaged for at least a year…..
Well May 2013 (4 months later) I was on a plane on my way to Oahu to marry my dream man, Mr. Dan the man Sperry. At first only a few people knew about this because it was sooo sudden. I recevied my orders for my first duty station and I was supposed to go to Fort Drum, NY and Daniel was already in Hawaii. I called my branch manager and he basically said he needed a marriage certificate to change me to Hawaii too. I mean we were already engaged so we did the typical Army thing and got married on “paper” with a ceremony later that year.
May 16, 2013 with no family or friends here, I bought a $20 white dress, Daniel got a nice shirt and shorts and we found a lady certified to marry us and was also conveniently a photographer. As I got ready for my wedding day in an airport hotel room frantically texting my mom because my hair wouldn’t do shit that day because of the humidity lol, I was determined I was going to become Mrs. Sperry. Daniel was SO sweet too. He could see how upset I was getting with my hair so as he kept reassuring me how beautiful I looked, he even ran to the store to find me hairspray. He came back with “Big and Sexy” one of the more expensive kinds and barettes (HAHA) and beautiful red roses. The hatefulness in me made sure I told him that nobody wears barettes anymore but it was still sooo soo cute.
As we left the hotel room to travel to Waialae Beach where we would exchange our vowels, it started to rain and we were stuck in the worst traffic ever. So bad that I had to call our minister and tell her we were going to be late to our own wedding :D. You know what though, it was comic relief and foreshadowing to our next year or so. After it rained and we were stuck in traffic, a BEAUTIFUL rainbow that filled the entire sky appeared and once we got to the beach, it was beautiful out.
So this being the first time we EVER met the lady that was about to marry us, we had no idea what each other looked like and there were about 8 other couples getting married there too ;). It was the romantic spot I suppose. So Daniel and I had our own photo shoot on the beach before we could find her. Once we linked up, she explained the process. So it started (she videotaped it) and she prayed for our marriage and it was in Hawaiian so that meant we had no idea what she actually said and we followed with a big ol AMEN after she finished. She explained what a wife and husband are and the struggles of marriage and then let us exchange our vowels we wrote for each other. But first, in the middle of her marriage advice, our vowels blew out of her book and she chased them down the beach. I am not making this up, it actually happened haha. So as we both chuckled watching her chase them we were just ready to say “I do.” Daniel’s vowels were perfect and hilarious as mine were more serious and mushy. We exchanged our vowels, rings, and said “I do” and confirmed it all with a big ol kiss. Now came time for the pictures. This poor lady was trying to get us to pose in some awkward ass/old time poses and we were not about that. Daniel told me to be nice but these were going to be my wedding pictures. So I nicely told her this wasn’t our style and asked her to let us do our thang and she just snap the shots! I’ll post some of the pics so you guys can see them 🙂
So for better or for worse. We hadn’t eaten ALL day and if you know me, I get super HANGRY (hungry/angry). We chose to try to find a place in Waikiki to celebrate our big day! Everywhere was packed with an 1 1/2-2 hour wait. I admit now, I was being super dramatic and mean and taking out being hungry on my new husband and he just smiled and let me be a hungry biotch. So finally we settled on PF Changs and it was so yummy!
So a few days later we found a house on post, started purchasing furniture, and then it was time for me to leave. About a week and a half total of being married with no set day we would see each other again until I fnished BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course) at Fort Leonard Wood in November.
I left and it wasn’t too bad for the time I was still in Ohio because I could stay up late to talk to him after work (6 hour time difference). When I got to Missouri for school is when it got super hard. With the time difference we would go days without talking and we both didn’t know how to handle LDRs like this. We were married but it didn’t feel like it. We would bicker when we did talk because we (basically I) was super frustrated and didn’t think he cared when really he was working really late nights at work and trying to get in the groove of the Army. So while at FLW, I was trying to plan our actual wedding ceremony as well as ensure our 2 fur babies were ready to fly to Hawaii. I was stressed to but it nicely. Not gonna lie, there were threats that we wouldn’t even have a ceremony and that we would try to work out our problems when I got to Hawaii. When our only true problems were communication and my problem with not feeling needed/wanted /loved.
Months went by and I did not see Daniel until October when he flew to Missouri for 3 days where we even drove to Ohio for one night to see our families and our fur babies. I’m telling you, we NEEDED that weekend. We were both reminded of the things and reasons why we loved each other. So he went back to Hawaii and I did not see him again until or ceremony weekend.
Our ceremony was perfect, I wish I would have videotaped it so I can rewatch it when I needed a reminder. The day after our ceremony Daniel flew back to Hawaii and my parents drove me and the pups to Missouri where we would fly out on separate flights the next day. The days following were quite a blur because I was so exhausted and just ready to be in Hawaii with Daniel, Sambuca, and Bailey in one place.
So I got to Hawaii December 1, 2013 and the dogs arrived the next day. The next month was hard work as I was waiting to get my house hold goods, figure out where I was going to work, and putting the house together. It was our first Christmas away from our family too and it was hard. Daniel’s grandparents came out for a few weeks too which was so fun but also hard since our house was not together yet, After they left, Daniel immediately left for a pre-Ranger course here on island for three weeks (leaving on Valentine’s Day) and then soon after for Sapper School (on my birthday).
So as you can see we haven’t had a steady Honeymoon Period haha. However, it’s pretty neat because when we spend time a part I feel like we are dating again with all the cute “good morning,”I miss you,” and “we should do this when I get back” texts. Ok, I think that’s all I have for this blog today especially since I wrote the whole thing with my sunglasses on! Until next time.
Thanks for reading <3