Friday, June 28, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Before I start this post, allow me to assure you, FM and I are a-ok, there is no break-up in the wings, so no worries! You may now exhale… And begin singing The Clash in your head!

One of the hardest decisions I have been forced to make during this Army Adventure of ours was whether or not I wanted to move around with FM, or stay put.  Technically, the choice has yet to have been provided to us, but assuming our eventual espousal to each other, it was something I knew I would ultimately need to consider. I am therefore obligated to ask myself, How far am I willing to go?
When FM received orders to report overseas, that impending decision was harder to ignore so intently, especially after he had asked me directly what I would be inclined to do.  As much as it killed me to declare it, my immediate reaction was a big “No way, Jose!”

And even through considering the alternatives, making a pro/con list like any ardent academic or generally organized undecided, weeks later the decision remains a solid “no.”  It is something I have struggled with, because I want to be able to be with FM again on a daily basis, but the thought of being forced to remain outside of the U.S. for over two years was the straw broke my poor camel’s aching back. Let’s face it, the guy’s been doing double duty recently, I do not think he’d make the trip! 

I realize some of you may be facing the same daunting decision, or may have in the past (if that’s the case please feel free to add your comments on how you made up your mind), or you may just be considering whether or not it is something you could handle should the day arise when your soldier asks it of you… So allow me to explain some of the pro/con items that ended up in my thought process generator and perhaps it will be something that helps sway your undecided vote, or at least leaves you a little less confused.

Some Pros

Finally get back to living together. Here’s the big one.  After three years of living together, it has been quite difficult to now live separate lives, so getting back to living under one roof would be awful nice.
Experience living in another part of the world. The experience, I am sure, would be fantastic. And if we received command sponsorship, living there would not be much different than living in the US, financially.

Removing myself from the perpetual year of 1998.  My parents must have some interestingly skewed contact lenses, because they continue to view me as my 10 year old child self rather than the 25 year old adult that I am. Finally moving out, and half way around the world no less, would end the time warp. 

Some of the Cons

Living in a foreign country. I can get by in some languages, but the Asian dialects are not among them.  Being in a new and foreign place, with no knowledge of my surroundings, and no means to communicate, no thanks! 

Command sponsorship is very slim in FM’s new area.  Most of the tours are considered “hardship tours” (i.e. you head out to the vast unknown by your lonesome, no family to follow whether they want to or not).  And even if you can receive one of the few coveted command sponsored assignments, you will more than likely need to find off base housing in a seedy, unguarded local area. That’s a big NO!

Command sponsorship would require a minimum of 24 months overseas.  One year is sentence enough, tacking on another for a base we really do not want to be at in the first place is like electing to sit on death row.  I’ll stick to my 6x8 sq. ft barred room thank you, no need to add the shock chair! 

Moving everything we own around the world. I do not even think I have to explain this one. For those of you who have moved even once, non-military style, you understand this problem, now couple it with sending everything almost 7,000 miles BY MYSELF! NOOOOO!
A snippet of what moving all of our junk by myself
looks like.  I took the pictures as reminders of what
I definitely do not want to do again!

Not being with FM for six months at a time. Yes, R&R leave will be nice, but six months is a long time.  Granted, we are essentially serving that sentence out now through all of his training, but we did have a 24 hour break in there for his graduation from BCT.  And we get to talk almost every day.  Who knows how often I will get to hear from him when he is on the other side of the world, and that does not even compensate for the thirteen hour time difference. 

Leaving all of our family and friends for two years.  I have a very close, very big, fat, Italian family.  We like to get right in each other’s business and stay there. And most of my friends live within spitting distance.  FM’s family and friends, while further away upstate, are at least still reachable from down here on Long Island.  None of them are remotely close to FM’s new station, and none of them would be happy to be out of the loop for the next 24 months (And we would be unhappy without them too, have no doubt).
Just a few of that big, fat Italian family last Thanksgiving.
Oh yes, there are more of us out there!
As much as I love FM, and trust me, I love him a ton or I would not be putting up with all of this Army uncertainty, I am not willing to sacrifice two years of our life together to a foreign country that we have no desire to remain in.  And, although he was slightly disappointed, FM agrees and knows why I hold firm to my decision to stay in the ‘States (which is, of course, another thing to love him for).  We are well aware that this will be a difficult and trying time for our relationship, but in the long run it will only assist in shoring up our camels’ backs, making us better equipped to conquer the cruel and unforgiving military desert. 
Again, please feel free to leave your comment on how you made your decisions to stay or go with your soldier to their new duty stations.  What did your pro/con list look like? How did you ultimately decide what was best? And what do you now appreciate because of your decision?

Be well, and may your mind making be as painless as possible!

Oh, and let’s start this weekend off a bit more chipper with #backthatazzup Friday and That Friday Blog Hop.  Thanks to Whitney and Rebecca/Tiffany/Chrissy for hosting. 

xoxo Rebecca

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  1. That is a really difficult decision to make. My hubs and I had to make that call over the last few years too. Timing was everything for us-how long would he be gone? How long do I need to remain at my job to be in a good place to move up? What does the job market look like for me at our new installation at anytime?
    I did not want to move without a job and him possibly leave. So ultimately the decision was that I would wait for the school year (my career is in education) to end and spend that time job searching in the mean time. And then after that year if I hadn't found anything, I would join him regardless. So you just have to figure out what works best for you in all avenues, but also consider the timing of the Army. It's never an easy decision, but ultimately you have to answer to each other and your specific relationship and not everyone else around you.

    1. I agree. Every situation is different. I am finding, as an older first time Army family, it is difficult on my end to try and maintain a career when I know I will be forced to relocate to stay with FM. It's something we're currently struggling with, but I'm sure it'll work its own way out!

      Thank you for adding perspective from someone who has already had to make similarly tough decisions!
      And I'm glad to have you as a new follower as well! Welcome :)


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