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Guest Blog: Loving Living Alone

 Posted by on December 11, 2012 at 07:00
Dec 112012
 

Jessica

Blogger Biography: Born and raised in Phoenix, Jessica moved to NYC for college, where not only did she discover her love of magazines, food and travel, but she also met her Army husband. As they move across the country, and hopefully around the world, together, she is working on her graduate degree, honing her cooking skills and making their home together.

While the hubby was away on his deployment, I had a lot of “me” time. Nine months of me time. And facing that prospect earlier this year was scary. I’ve always had roommates; I went from college dorms to a shared apartment to married life. The few months here and there that I was totally on my own, mainly a summer during college, I was miserable. I talked to a counselor to work through all of my feelings, something I am very glad that I did. So with the prospect of nine months in my much larger space with a few friends was scary. But there was something about living in “our” space that actually made it soothing. And my packed schedule. I made sure that I had stuff to do, maybe too much, with work, volunteering and now school. Plus my newfound friends. So over those months, between girls’ nights, long drives and self reflection, I started realizing what I truly need and want out of life.

My first realization was that I have to love what I’m doing career-wise. While I was working for a publication telling amazing stories, I wasn’t focused on web. And as nerdy as it may sound, I missed coding HTML daily and trouble-shooting broken links, which I did a lot of in my previous jobs. Additionally I realized that I needed a workplace full of amazing, supportive people. Sure there were some of those people but not enough. I thought I’d be fine, but realized that no, I needed something else. I was lucky enough to find something else. It’s not the dream job, but it’s giving me what I need right now. And I went back to school to pursue my master’s. It’s a goal I’ve always wanted to accomplish, and I was lucky enough to be near the perfect program. I need to be happy in all areas of my life. Yes, there will be stress but at the end of the day I need to love what I’m doing. I do really miss talking about food all the time. So as I move forward I’m thinking I may just need to find a great food-web crossroads again.

Surround yourself with positivity. Totally cheesy, I know, but totally true. If I had been negative for the last few months there is no way I’d have made it through. I had family and friends to call when I had my bad days who would tell me that it did indeed suck, but that time was flying by, or that they are in the same boat. Maybe we’d go out and have dinner or drinks to pass time and have some fun. Vent about whatever was going on. But not focus on the negative. I also had weekly phone dates with friends across the country and we’d talk about anything and everything. It helped me focus on the normalcy in life, not the fact that I was apart from the hubby.

I really need sleep! I’m not so good on this front. But I’ve been trying! I just can’t seem to fall asleep early enough. And when I do lay in bed my mind wanders to how my hubby is doing to my to-do list for the next day to why are my neighbors making so much noise. But I noticed that on the days when I got a full night’s sleep I was doing well. I wouldn’t get down or upset about little things. So get your sleep!

The level of uncleanliness I can tolerate when it’s just me is higher than with another. This is totally true and I don’t know why. So sweetheart, I’ll try to cut you some more slack about picking up the house all the time. But you’re still getting trash duties back!

I’m still not super crafty. I had all these plans of making cute wreaths for the seasons and welcome home things. Yeah, I don’t have the time or patience for those, mainly the time. Maybe next year!

Just because we’re apart doesn’t mean our marriage stays stagnant. Over the last few months we’ve worked on our relationship. We’ve done this by talking about our hopes and dreams. What we’re looking forward to, when I can get my puppy…no just kidding (kinda). What to expect when he comes home. It sounds crazy but I feel closer to him now then before he left. Maybe that’s because before he left I was doing this thing where I distance myself when I say goodbye. It’s also because we’ve been having such deep conversations when we can.

So what have I really, truly learned? I am much stronger than I thought I was. I can indeed survive months on end by myself. No matter what is going on, I can’t lose focus on my wants and needs, and boy do I have an amazing husband! (Sorry I brag about him a lot.)

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All materials copyright Military OneSource, 2012. Blog content held jointly by writer and Military OneSource, with shared rights to republish with appropriate attribution.