That is exactly how long I have left until I leave this chapter of my life behind and start my new journey as an American Airman.
The thought of this is still unreal to me, and I’m waiting for it to sink in completely. I walk into my very empty room and look around at the few decorations and photographs I’ve left up
and think to myself “this isn’t my room anymore.” Of course, in ways it will always be -my- room, but for all intensive purposes, it no longer is. I wont be coming home to this room, I wont be covering the wall in more photographs or posters. I wont curl up in my bed after a long day and sleep. I wont have these comforting walls to run to when I need to escape the overwhelming reality that might be facing me. My safe haven, my room, my belongings- I have to part with.
As I go through my things and wonder what I should keep for my future self and what I should part with, little voices inside tell me that there is a good chance I’ll never use these things again. Not for several years. Sometimes, this is a depressing thought. I’m sentimental, I want all of my pictures, letters, knick-knacks, and presents with me all the time. If I miss someone I want to be able to touch some sort of physical reminder of our relationship, friendship, or a memory we shared. It keeps me connected with people, it keeps them near to me even if they are thousands of miles away.
But in other ways, it’s freeing. I have a new start, a way to start from scratch. Build my own life, and then when I’m settled, bring these pieces from my past back in. I waiver back and forth between sadness and excitement at my future constantly.
Then I stop to think- I’m not the only one affected by this. I’m saying goodbye to all of these people that I hold so dearly- but at the same time, I’m forcing them to say goodbye to me. I worked into their lives, and then suddenly I’m leaving for an unknown amount of time. Yes, it’s life. But it’s also painful.
Which is why for the next two weeks, I’m going to dedicate my blogging to letters to individual people. Thanking them, reminiscing of our memories, and letting them know why they are so special to me. I want everyone to know what they mean to me, and what they’ve taught me.
With that said- I’ll begin today with my first letter letter.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I know I need to start this letter with a thank you. No matter how many fights we’ve gotten in, how many times we’ve butt heads, disagreed, and so on- I’m still grateful for both of you. For a lot of reasons. Even if I don’t act like it, I am. the older I’ve gotten the more I recognized the things you did for me, the things you tried to do for me, and the intentions behind your actions. Even if you didn’t know how to respond to things I did or said, and even if I didn’t turn out to be the daughter you envisioned I would- I know you both still tried, and a lot of what you did- you did for me.
My teenage bitterness and anger turned into appreciation and gratitude when I saw the things you did for me, and the way you’ve raised me. I’m forever grateful that I was raised with the manners, respect, and compassion that I have. It has gotten me far in life, and I know it will continue to do so. You taught me to work hard and always do my best at everything, you taught me to be kind to people even if they weren’t kind to me. You taught me how to be respectful and grateful. You taught me so much that I didn’t realize- until I realized that not everyone behaves the way I do. My attitude in the outside world is a reflection of how I was raised. And while their may have been faults in my childhood, they only served to shape me. And I thank you for that, because I know I could have been so much worse off.
I know there are things that I do and paths that I’ve chosen that you don’t necessarily agree with, and some that possibly even disappoint you. But I hope that throughout my life I still manage to do things that please you and make you proud of me, as well- and I hope that down the line when I’m living my dreams and doing what I love, you’ll be able to smile and proudly say that I’m your daughter.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and everything you’ve given to me. And thank you for taking care of my beloved babies Quinn, Halo, and Azera- while I’m away on my trips, and off to the Air Force.
Your Nena, Iiae.