When it rains it pours…

…So I just put on my rain boots and dance in the rain until it stops.

Or at least, that’s what I like to think.

Today threw me a few curve balls, and taught me some lessons.

Yesterday I hadn’t paid attention to my schedule and arrived to the briefing 3 minutes late-when I THOUGHT I was getting there early. (Because as any Airman knows, 15 minutes early is on time). Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to make that mistake, but we were of course held accountable to our fuck up and asked to stay after to get talked to. We were on a one and done deal, late again and they’d talk to our supervisors.

So this morning I set my alarm 10 minutes earlier so I’d be able to accommodate running a little behind and still be on time. So glad I did.

I get my hair in a bun, get my uniform on, grab my bag and head out the door with a growling stomach- because I hadn’t been allowed to eat since 7:30 last night due to labwork I needed to get done- but I’d had a belly dancing class. So really I hadn’t eaten since 5pm and I was HUNGRY.

I’m walking towards my car and hit the clicker- no beep. Hmm, strange. I get closer and hit it again. Still no beep. Okay not good. I get to my car and manually unlock it- thinking maybe my key remote had died. I go to start my car. Nothing. I try again. Still nothing. Okay panic time- I had an appointment in 25 minutes, it would take at least 5 minutes to get there, walking wasn’t an option, and if I was late I’d be in deep shit. I get out of my car and think frantically- Okay obviously I wasn’t about to fix my car just then, my priority was getting to the clinic and getting to my tests. And not crying because I was tired and hungry and extremely overwhelmed.

Then I remember I’m not a civilian anymore. I’m not by myself, I’m not screwed, I’m not ‘lucky’ if someone stops to help me. So I whip out my phone and call a fellow FTAC Airman that I’d eaten lunch with the first day, and met at the gym to learn some pointers 2 days before. I call him, and woke the poor guy up- then tell him my car wont start and I have an appointment in, now, 20 minutes. He was on it. I called my sister, whom had helped me buy the car, and told her what was up. She offered me some suggestions to get the car going but to no avail. Alas, it would have to wait until later.

Said fellow Airman pulled up within a few minutes, fully dressed in uniform and ready to go. I got to my appointment in time and he went in with me and just waited anyway- even though his appointment wasn’t for another hour after mine.

I’ll save the play by play of the appointment, and fast forward to what really sealed the deal for me. I’d got a ride back with another guy to my dorm and the guy who’d helped me in the morning texted me seeing if I needed a ride back since he’d just gotten out of his appointment. Well no, but I offered to buy us brunch (since we hadn’t eaten since last night) if he’d be willing to try jumpstarting my car, but first take me to go buy jumper cables (something I regret not having already purchased). So we went to Denny’s, along with another guy from my FTAC class, then got some jumper cables and headed back to base.

I, knowing nothing about cars, stood buy and let the guys do their thing. They tried jumping my car to no avail. So guy #1 suggests we go to the auto hobby shop on base and see if they could help. He drives us there. Bring us the battery- they said. WHAT. I don’t know how to remove a fucking battery. Okay, I didn’t even know which black part the battery was in my car. Guy #2 happens to know how to remove and re-install them. Damn my day is being saved.

Long story short? We go back to my dorm and remove the battery, we bring the battery back to the auto shop. Come back in an hour they said. We go to guy #1’s dorm and get something to drink and play xbox for a bit, then go back to the auto hobby shop, pick up the battery and go back to my dorm. Guy #2 reinstalls my battery and the moment of truth came. My car started and all was well in the world again.

I couldn’t have been more grateful for being in the Air Force and having such awesome wingmen. I’d known them a few days, and already they had dedicated their entire afternoon helping me out and fixing my car for me- just for the sake of helping me. Even with the best of friends, I wouldn’t find this level of helpfulness anywhere else but right here where I’m at. In this group of people that would willingly lay down their lives for their country, their families, and each other. And I would do the same.

Motto for this post? Just help someone out. Even if you’re getting nothing in return materially, you are getting everything in return in reality. And I assure you, whoever you help will be eternally grateful.

Status of crisis: defeated

Status of my car: Getting checked out Saturday

Status of my day: Long, tiring, taxing, and rewarding.

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Two Weeks of Goodbyes

Two Weeks.

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My mom, dad, sister, and me at my dads graduation.

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.

Love,

   Your Nena, Iiae.

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My dad and I, when I was around 1yr.

My mom and I this year, when I took her to see Pat Benatar, Journey, and Loverboy

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My dad and I at the Emilie Autumn concert this year

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My mom and I at my Great Grandmothers house