Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Two Weeks Down, Eight Weeks To Go

I can't believe I'm already two weeks into this adventure.

I've come along way from the tears and stress of the first few days here. I'm relieved to say that the impulse to jump on the first flight home has died down as we've settled in to a routine. I still feel a little lost and incomplete, but being away from W and the puppies is much more manageable than it was.

Every time I try to sit down and put this adventure into words, I can't. The experiences, the challenges, the people, the conversations, there's just so much more to this than I could ever do justice to. I find it impossible to summarize the kindness and generosity that has been shown to us by strangers, and even more moving has been the support and acceptance that the military family has show me, the liberal, peace-loving, sometimes naive, girl that I am.

I've slept in a field, spent a day at a shooting competition, and been quoted in a NRA publication. I've squatted on the front porch of a rural clays & gun club, peed on the side of the road (and myself), got a tattoo, and eaten a gas station breakfast burrito. I've seen 3 states (and courting), driven a gravel road over a Mesa & down into a canyon, learned to read a map (kind of), and developed a deep love of the local KOA.

For better or worse, these boys have become my family. Despite the most fundamental differences, we are challenging one another to grow, and I'd like to think they are learning as much from me as I am from them. We fight and disagree and we will NEVER see eye to eye on so many things, but I know that if I ever need them all I need to do is holler PORKCHOP SANDWICHES and they'll come running. 

And the laughter. Oh my god, the laughter. I've laughed harder and more often these past two weeks than I have maybe in my life. We're talking tears streaming down my face, trying not to spit out my mouth full of food, might pee my pants, gasping for air, laughter.

I'm learning about who I am, who I want to be, and refining the moral compass that guides me through life. My patience has been tried, my strength tested, my values questioned, and it is in these moments that I know I am growing the most. I can't help but believe that this exactly where I am meant to be right now, and that this journey is playing a huge part in who I am meant to become.