For weeks now I have been asked if I am excited to be moving away from Europe, my family, my job. If I’m being truthful, I am excited. But with that excitement also comes a wave of other emotions; anxiety, fear, happiness, sadness, nervousness, hope, stress. It is very difficult to wrap my mind around but I will try to put it in words,
My husband and I will be stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A new place, new house, new friends. It is terrifying and exciting at the same time. What many people may not know is that we have been involved in a long distance relationship for three years. Not just different states, different countries separated us for three years. So moving in together and starting a “normal” married life together (whatever that may be) will be a huge step in our relationship. My goal is to be positive and have an open mind about the upcoming changes, in order to make the new transition much easier.
I will be moving away from my family for the first time…ever. For my entire life I have always had my parents to stand behind me and guide me through life. Now that is all changing. Even though I know I will see them again soon, with seven people in the family you’re bound to run into one of them before too long, it’s going to make a difference to not have that extra noise or dinner leftovers in the house.
And one of the biggest changes of all…I have not lived in the United States for eight years. EIGHT YEARS. Even though America is my home, every time I go back I am struck by the culture shock. I’ll go back to the States and just sit in the cereal aisle of the grocery stores, in awe of all of the options. Living overseas and being deprived of the items that I was used to really helped me to put things into perspective. I didn’t realize how lucky I was. I look around at the places I’ve lived and I understand those cultures and lifestyles: to be thankful for what you have and not to complain about the things you don’t have. This experience has changed my life. It is a positive and humbling change and I will be forever grateful for the person I have become because of it.
With that being said, it is time for me to say see you later to my wonderful family (I love you all so much), the amazing countries I hold so close (I promise I’ll be back), my terrific colleagues (I literally could not have done my job without you), and to the distance that has separated my husband and I for so long (I’M COMING FOR YOU!).
All those “see you laters” come with some sweet hellos. Hello North Carolina, please be good to us for these next few years! Hello “normal” married life, or what can pass as normal in the Marine Corps!
I am so excited for this next huge adventure and with knowing I can move forward with the knowledge and experiences I have been fortunate enough to gain these past eight years. See you soon, Camp Lejeune!