February, you came too quickly.
I wasn’t ready to flip the page on the calendar quite yet. The journey to Newport begins in 9 days. Between now and then, we have boxes to pack, a party to throw, OCS-specific items to purchase, and a birthday to celebrate. The busyness associated with these preparations has escalated this past week – and it will continue to do so over the next week and a half. My evenings consist of half-marathon training, baking/cooking/shopping for Ben’s birthday/(not)goodbye party, reading through the “Surviver’s Guide to Officer Candidate School”, and falling asleep the instant my head hits the pillow. It’s a good life.
Although each day that passes is a day closer to when Ben leaves, it is also a day closer to when he will be done with this stage of his military career (this is what I tell myself to make myself feel better.). We are both excited and nervous for this crucial stage, having greater confidence in the other than ourselves as we draw closer to finally beginning this long-awaited journey. Arguably, my side of the deal is much easier to endure – and I’m okay with that. I’ll never fully understand the stress and strain that Ben is experiencing now and will continue to face these next few months and beyond, but I’m committed to support and encourage him – even if that just means making him macaroni & cheese and scratching his back upon request.
After reading documents from Ben’s recruiter, I’m becoming better acquainted with military vernacular and protocol. I’d like to thank the Navy for introducing me to my new favorite word: scuttlebutt. One bit of advice to the Navy powers-that-be: in the future, I think you should refrain from having people report for duty at 1100 (yes, that’s “eleven-hundred”, not “11 o’clock a.m.” – look at me go!) on Valentine’s Day. Thankfully I have never been overwhelmingly attached to this fabricated holiday, but I don’t think being bombarded by all things associated with pink, love and Cupid will be encouraging to me as I leave Ben in Rhode Island. Seriously. For those men and women who will be leaving their loved ones that do in fact love Valentine’s Day, you have my sincere sympathy.