Overdue Update

Hey, ya’ll!

It’s been SEVEN months since my last blog post. I would be lying if I told you that nothing has happened and that’s why I haven’t written. My last post for ya’ll was talking about my experience at basic training. I guess life has been pretty crazy, and I honestly haven’t had the motivation (or the computer) to keep up with my blog. Well, now I am settled in my new duty station and just recently purchased a MacBook Air, so I’m ready to rock.

Since my last post, I went through 16 weeks of training to become a combat medic in the United States Army. It was pretty intense, and I learned so much. I gained confidence in myself and my skills to save the lives of my brothers and sisters in combat and in garrison. Along with that, I met some pretty amazing people. I grew close with such a wonderful group of people, and I wholeheartedly believe that I would NOT have made it through those 16 weeks without them. As much as I was ready to leave the training environment and go out into the real army, I was so sad to be separating from the people I become so fond of. We still keep contact in a mass group message, but it still gets pretty lonely here without them and I miss them like crazy.

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After four months of not being able to see my husband, I was able to spend a short weekend with him after I graduated and before I headed off to my next station. I also got to see my Meeko for the first time since leaving for basic training. It was such a short short weekend, but I was so grateful for the time I did have with my little family.

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I got station here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. I was pretty excited about this assignment because I have always wanted to visit the beautiful state. This made me realize that it’s pretty cool that I get paid to travel. I have only been here for a couple months, but so far I’ve gotten to visit Seattle (which has become one of my FAVORITE cities EVER), I’ve gone on a few hikes in some pretty quiet and remote areas, and I got attached to an infantry unit. This means means that I get to go out on field missions with the infantrymen, which usually lasts for weeks.

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As exciting as all of this was, something just wasn’t setting right for me mentally. It could have been the complete change in environment and lifestyle. It could have been the fact that I was no longer surrounded by my friends. It could have been that I was no longer a training soldier and now I was expected to really preform my duties. My depression and anxiety had escalated very quickly. I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t even handle being around people. I couldn’t handle responsibility. I couldn’t handle being alone. One Monday night, I had thoughts of taking my own life. I had the pills sitting out on my desk, and I started doing some research what an overdose was like. Honestly, it sounded absolutely miserable, and it could take three to four DAYS. I don’t want DAYS, I thought to myself, I want instant. That’s when it really hit me that I needed help. I immediately got up and drove myself to the ER. I spent a week in the mental health ward. Once I was out, I made the decision to separate from the army and to go home back to Ohio and start a new life, and I was very dead set on that decision.

However, something STILL didn’t set right with me. I started my weekly sessions with my therapist, but one appointment wasn’t like the others. She asked me to explain what would happen if I stayed in the army. She said from listening to me talk, I have very low self-confidence, and no esteem. She said she has talked to my command, and they all talked highly of me and my performance as a medic. We ended up talking about how I never really finish anything I start. I always quit whenever I get a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t know really what happened, but all of a sudden I was thinking about how I wanted to stay in. I didn’t want to quit this time. I want to feel self-satisfaction when I actually finish my contract. I want to gain that self-confidence. I want to change the way I view myself.

And its amazing.. Ever since I made the decision to stay in the army, I’ve been so at peace with myself. And it feels like good things keep happening. I keep having good days, I’m finally making friends, and my whole role as a medic is about to change. It’s like this is God’s way of showing me that I’m on the path He wants me to be on.

I finally found a little church to go to. It’s pretty small, but the energy inside is so alive. David will be moving up here in less than 12 months. I have a list of people who are making plans to come see me. And I’m planning a trip home for Christmas.

My life has been such a roller coaster the last two months, but I really believe that everything is turning around for the better, and I am keeping a positive outlook. I have hope for the future.

♥♥ Keera ♥♥

 

To My Husband Before I Go..

Hello, my love.

           I know we didn’t expect this day to come up so fast. We’ve been talking about it for months. Those months turned into weeks. Now we’re down to just a couple of days. I know we automatically put our smiles on and tell everyone that we will be okay, and we even just tell each other we will be okay. Which, we will be. I have no doubt about that. However, we don’t have to act like it won’t be hard. You are my other half, and being apart from you is going to suck so bad. You are that thing that can always make me feel at ease when my anxiety gets the best of me. You are my sunshine when my depression kicks in. You are my best friend. I can come to you about everything. You are the only person who I feel 100% comfortable with. I can’t even begin to tell you how awful it’s going to be when I can’t even talk to you. When I can’t listen to your voice to calm myself down. When I won’t be able to feel your skin to feel like I’m home.

And it won’t even end after basic. For two or more years, we’re only going to see each other a handful of times. We’re going to have to compare schedules and try to fit in times to talk. Communication is going to be more important now than ever. It’s going to be hard to keep each other included in every detail of our lives.We have to remember to not leave each other out. It’s going to be extremely hard. At first, at least. It’ll take a little bit for us to get into the swing of things.

But you know what, we got this. When I think about everything we’ve already been through, this is nothing. A cake walk. Sometimes I wonder why I even worry. The main reason why I feel like we can do this is because of you. You reassure me whenever I need it. You never make me doubt that you love me. You show me that you are going to do whatever it takes to make this work. I know I am not in this alone. I won’t be going through this marriage by myself. And that is such an AMAZING feeling. There are people who live with their husband/wife and all of the work is one-sided. We’re going to be living in different states and we both are going to be putting 100% in. I am the luckiest woman in the world. God has blessed me with you.

I can’t wait to see where we go from here. We have so much ahead of us. So much love, success, adventure, growing. I love you.

Love, your wife

How Does One Really “Prepare” For This?

Are you going to stay married?

What’s going to happen with you and your husband?

I don’t understand why you’re doing this when he’s already in.”

These are all questions/statements I have gotten from various people this past month or so. Some people know my husband and I, some don’t (but still wanted to make comments). There are some people very close to us who I feel like don’t have faith in our marriage, so they try to get me to go reserves or not enlist at all. I have even gotten the, “Does your husband approve of this?

David is 100% supportive of my decision to enlist. He’s heard me talk about it for years. Of course he doesn’t WANT me to leave. But he understands. He’s even been the main person pushing me to follow my dream, since my anxiety was holding me back. So if anyone would like a copy of the permission slip he signed, hit me up.

Even though this post is going to be about me preaching that David and I will be just fine doing long distance no matter what anyone says, I just want to start out by saying that it doesn’t necessarily mean we haven’t had doubts.It’s human nature. Worrying about the other person getting lonely, or getting really close with a coworker, etc. IT IS NOT A TRUST ISSUE. We know that one person wouldn’t do anything unfaithful to the other. But humans also can’t help their feelings. With us both being active duty, there’s going to be loads of schedule inflictions. Field ops, deployments, time zones, training, etc. It’s not going to stop for the next four or more years. There are going to be times where we won’t talk for long periods, or we will each be so busy that we don’t have the time to show the other the attention we would like. David plans on getting a second job after I leave because he can’t stand sitting at home by himself, doing nothing.  And stress like this can take a huge toll on a relationship. I’m sure we’re going to argue. We’re going to get butthurt when the other one is too busy to talk. We’re going to feel a little jealous that something else is taking up all of the attention of the other. It’s going to be extremely ugly at some points.

And that’s okay.

I don’t know why people think that a couple arguing or going through a rough patch is such a terrible thing. If you’re going to be with someone for the rest of your life, then you can expect to not get along sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing long distance or you’re together 24/7, 80 years is a long freakin time to be with someone. I actually think it’s impossible to get along with ANYBODY 100% for that long. Stop thinking that you have to put on this perfect facade of your relationship. Just stop.

David and I know all of this. We know that there’s no telling when we’ll be living together again. There are a couple of things that we need to plan still.

But we are confident. We’ve done long distance before. We have to go back to facetime dates, holiday planning, leave dates, the whole shabang. And we are okay. We don’t want to be separated, but we’re staying positive. We talk about how exciting it’s going to be to have weekend visits again, to really appreciate our time together. We talk about how we’re going to deal with certain feelings coming up. Certain situations. We talk about how we need to improve our communication skills, so we’ll be A1 once we’re thousands of miles apart. We talk about all of the cool things we might get to do or see, since we’ll both be in different places.  We even talk about our post-military life. The house we want to live in for the rest of our lives. Our future children.

There is so much adventure in our future. Some we’ll take on together, some we’ll experience apart. And we are so excited for the other person. Frankly, I’m happy David will get to live the next two years without a wife who constantly wants him to be home. Who is a total homebody and kind of forces him to be a homebody too. He’ll actually be able to go out with his friends or whatever without having to worry about spending enough time with me. He’ll get to grow individually. And for me, I will finally learn how to be on my own. I am 22 years old and I have never been on my own. From living with my family, to a college dorm with an awesome roommate and boyfriend who I was with 25/8, to being back at my parents house, to now living with my husband. This is my opportunity to grow up. To push out of this little bubble I’m in.

I’m sure that all of this radiant positivity we have will change as soon as we start missing each other. But all we have to do is remember everything we talked about. If I decide that I want to stay in the Army for a few more years and he wants to stay in Ohio and work, then we’ll get through that too. I have no doubt in my mind that as long as we stay focused on the bigger picture and keep God in our marriage, then we will be unstoppable. We will shock the haters, the doubters. We will continue to show others that it is not “impossible’. That it’s not about statistics. It’s about love. Determination. Courage. Commitment. Forgiveness. God. Faith. Hope.

When someone asks us how our marriage is holding up in a year or five, we will confidently say that we love each other more now than the day we got married.

♥♥Keera♥♥

Four Years Too Long

“Ahh, so you want to join the service. Did you just graduate high school?”

Actually, I twenty-two and married.

“Why are you just now enlisting? Are you running away from something?”

I guess you could say that.

About my junior year of high school, I had this nagging feeling about joining the service. I can’t explain why I had it. I have never been a physical person. But there was something about picturing myself in uniform. That feeling of pride and self-fulfillment, as well as saving other soldiers.

The medical field has always intrigued me as well. That’s always been something that everyone pictured me doing. I really cannot picture myself doing any other field. So combine that with my desire to be in the service, and bam: I want to help service members. Save those who are saving us.

Having anxiety, I didn’t really want to share this with anybody, because it wasn’t the same plan that was planned for me. The assumption was that I was going to go to nursing school. It wasn’t a terrible assumption, I was still very excited about nursing school and eventually getting my license and working in a nursery. I accepted this idea, because it was an exciting plan.

My freshman year of college, the university I went to had an ROTC program. I was really excited about this! I don’t remember the exactly what the program required, but after a couple years of ROTC, you had to enlist for a couple years. It was just the way it worked. I was more than willing to do it. However, somebody who had tons of influence on me at the time was completely against it. Not in a controlling way, by any means. Just because that person cared about me and didn’t like the idea of me being gone.

I transferred schools after my freshman year due to financial reasons. David and I have been dating for a few months. I haven’t really thought about enlistment for a while. I was in an associates program for nursing, so I was going to finish in just a couple years. That next summer, David left for boot camp for the marines. I found myself feeling a little jealous, because I felt like that was supposed to be me just a couple years earlier. While he was gone, I was talking about getting my bachelor’s in nursing and then enlisting as a naval nurse. And I was talking about it more openly this time. It was going to be a couple years before I got my bachelors, but I was still excited nonetheless.

But wait! Another event to postpone this plan. David and I got married, and I couldn’t stand the thought of staying in Ohio to finish school. So I moved out to California to be with my husband. As months went by and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with school and getting a good job, something occurred to me.

What was stopping me from enlisting now?

David and I talked about plans, situations, ideas. He knew that I’ve been wanting to do this since before we started dating, so he was (and still is) 100% supportive of my dream. So here we are! I’m going to be a medic in the United States Army. I am very very excited. I know that being away from David is going to be really tough, but we are going to make it work.

So I guess you could say I’m running away from something. I’m running away from my comfort zone. I’m running away from this feeling I get that I’m not worth anything or not capable of accomplishing anything. I’m running towards self-fulfillment. Towards self-confidence.

Towards the me I’m supposed to be.

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♥♥Keera♥♥

From Ohio to California: Our first great adventure

I actually remember the day I found out we would be moving to California. But I’m actually going rewind to January 2015.

David and I have been engaged for about a month now, so wedding plans have started. Along with that, living arrangement plans have also started, since the military was involved. I was in nursing school, and had a year plus a few months left. We decided together that I would stay in Ohio until I got my nursing degree. At this point, we didn’t know where David would get orders to. He was still in Georgia for his schooling. Of course, we were hoping for North Carolina so bad. It would make things so much easier. But something didn’t sit right with me. There was something about spending our first year of marriage apart that bugged me (we already knew we wanted to get married that summer).

I knew it was for the best, maybe even the “smartest” choice. But I wasn’t happy with it. My grades were slipping. I was getting A’s and B’s in all of my classes, then started getting C’s and the occasional D. My depression was the worst it’s been for a long time. I couldn’t keep focus. Wedding planning wasn’t even doing the trick. Finally, I realized that I needed to make a decision that would make me happy.

David and I talked and talked. We kept it between us for a little bit. We finally decided that I wasn’t going to finish nursing school, and I was going to move with him after we got married. Nursing credits don’t transfer, so wherever we went I would have to restart everything. But I was so excited! However, breaking the news to my family wasn’t pleasant. To this day I still get asked , “So when are you going back for your degree?”

Fast forward to spring. I came home from work at a decent time, and I was just laying on my bed texting David. He was graduating from his schooling in just a few short days, and he was waiting to receive orders. I was so anxious. Finally, I got the text..

California.

I just stared at my screen for a while. What? Where? What part? I had so many questions. At first, he thought we were going to be stationed at Camp Pendleton. As soon as he told me that, Google became my best friend. I saw pictured of beached and palm trees and everything you would picture California to be. We were going to live right be the beach! I started looking up schools to go to. Then I got another text..

Twentynine Palms.

Oh ,okay. That sounds nice! Palms is literally in then name, it’s probably another beach base!

Desert. We’re moving to the freaking desert. No grass. No water. Just mountains and sand.

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I got over it pretty quick. The wedding was in just a couple months and I was going to be able to move with my new husband, so I figured I should make the best of the situation. David and I made plans for him to fly back to Ohio, and we would drive out to California with his beat up Dodge and our pup, Meeko.

The wedding day came and went. Summer was coming to an end. David got the paperwork all filled out and got the keys to our new home! He sent me tons of pictures, including one of our front door. It was finally the time for us to make the move.

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Here’s a no-so-surprising twist to our plans: David’s leave didn’t get approved because they MIGHT be going into the field. Might. Alright, Marine Corps. I did NOT want to wait until when he might possibly be able to come get me, so I made the decision to drive across the country by myself. I packed up all of my stuff, and we fit most of what we could in the truck. We couldn’t afford a u-haul (and I’m not really sure how to drive one). So a lot of out stuff had to be stored at his dad’s house until it could be picked up eventually. My bother-in-law checked all of the under the hood stuff. My stepdad made hotel reservations for me and helped me map out my trip. It was going to take three days of driving, two nights of stopping to sleep.  Didn’t seem too bad.

Finally, the day had come. It was August, super early in the morning. We loaded the truck up the night before, and just had a few last minute things to load up. It seemed like my family and I were putting off our goodbyes, but we had to do it. I hugged and kissed everyone (currently typing this and trying not to cry). They hugged and kissed Meeko. Leaving my family was hard. Especially my sister.

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And we were off! Our first day of driving was from Ohio to Springfield, Missouri. There’s not really much to tell about the trip, because I was very lucky enough to not have any kind of events happen for me to write about. I prayed more on that trip than my entire life combined. Missouri is a pretty state! But VERY humid.

The second day was from Missouri to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was when I started to see the transition to desert terrain. And weather. I was so happy that I paid to fix the air conditioning in that truck before I left! Meeko slept through the majority of the trip. I stopped about every two hours to let him to go the bathroom, but he wasn’t eating. But he still seemed to be a very happy pup, despite the worries of him being affected by not having his brothers around him anymore.

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Finally, our last day of driving! New Mexico to Twentynine Palms, California. I was playing pump-up music most of the way. I was expected to arrive around 6pm. This is when I really got deep into the desert. And to my surprise, I found it beautiful! There was something so mesmerizing about all of the scenery. Even today I believe that nothing compares to a desert sky.

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ANOTHER SURPRISE: David never went into the field. I beat him home that day. So when he got home from work, his wife was there waiting for him. And the adventure together started. We’ve turned this bare little apartment into a home. We’ve gone hiking through the desert. We’ve camped under the desert stars. We’ve been on some west coast beaches. We’ve grown in our faith. We’ve grown in our marriage. We’ve grown individually. I have come to consider Twentynine Palms a blessing. I’ve met some amazing people out here. I’m following dreams that I never thought I’d go after. I fall more and more in love with David every single day.

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I can’t wait to see what’s next.

♥♥Keera♥♥

I used to hate sharing my thoughts and feelings with other people. I always thought that it would be used against me later. However, I find myself more and more open online. The more people responded to what I was saying, the more comfortable I became with posting more and more. It has been such a wonderful outlet for me.

A little bit about me: I’m Keera. I am 22 years old and I am happily married to my wonderful husband, David. We are living in the desert in Southern California. We are originally from Ohio, but we moved here with the Marines. We’ve been out here for a year, and it has been a great experience. It has given us a chance to grow in our marriage together without other people getting involved. We have learned to work our problems out ourselves by communicating. We have grown up so much.

I am enlisting in the Army. It’s been something I have been wanting to do since high school. I am so close to finally achieving this dream of mine. My husband is super supportive! We know that we’ll have to deal with distance once again, but we are prepared to make it work. There is just so much going on in my life and things are constantly changing! So this blog is to help me keep up with myself, and whoever else is interested in keeping up as well.

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♥♥ Keera♥♥