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 ♥♥

 

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♥♥