For the first time in the two weeks since our oldest left for boot camp and I started my new job I allowed myself to pause for breath last night. What I discovered is that I’d managed to keep myself so busy with a new job and new running program that I had kept my mind and heart off of his absence. This despite seeing a bunch of photos of his friends, now in college, attending fall socials, college football games and such. Of messages and plans made by this year’s crop of senior parents as they begin the home stretch towards their children’s graduation (was it really only a year ago we were there, too?). Of pictures on Facebook posted by some of his best friends of scenes of them together last year. Of a suddenly more empty house, where I comfort a sad beagle and remain strong and upbeat for the other humans in the house.
But last night, for the first time, it got really hard, and I allowed myself to breathe.
I’ve joined a few online groups and forums for new recruit parents. It helps. We talk about the mixture of emotions we endure as military parents: on one side a fierce, strong pride. On the other is a melancholy anxiety, even fear.
I’ve been thinking and writing a lot lately about the journey, or pilgrimage, that I am taking. Last night I began reading a book that I can just tell I’m going to enjoy, and am reblogging a passage from it below. I had considered posting it to my main blog but thought it fit with the theme of my other too-long-neglected part of the internet. It fits with where I’m at right this very minute on my journey.
On The Road.
… That’s one of the things that fairy tales teach us: that we are all heroes or princesses in disguise. And if that is so, then we must all set out to discover who we truly are: not so we can become rich or successful in the debased modern, consumerist sense, but so that we can step into our true inheritance.
The Road is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, but it offers to those who embrace it the rare and precious gift of self-knowledge. It forces us to step outside that which is known—outside of our “comfort zone” we would say today—and, by doing so, strips us of all our masks and disguises and alter egos. It forces us to look unswervingly into the face of fear, of confusion, of loneliness, reduces us…
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