Just in for a few days

You step off that plane and want everything to be like home. It’s supposed to be like some baptism or something. But is isn’t.

People have moved on. Lives are different. You’ve stayed the same–the civilian you, not the warrior made to go off for months and months.

People marry, people divorce. Scenes shift. There’s still the hugs and the enthusiasm, but there’s a distance in every conversation. There’s a year gone–a year of fun and frustration, laughs and cries–stuff you’ll never see.

I guess that’s why they spend so much time preparing you to visit home. “Go back to your friends,” they say, “but remember that they’ve continued to change.” They tell you not to put expectations on any visits. They say to try not to be disappointed.

I know a group of 20-somethings is hardly as dramatic as, say, a single mother who has just missed out on 1/3 of her child’s life during an Iraq year, but I don’t have much “home” apart from my family and friends, so it’s a tricky thing for me to feel so out of place with people I used to vibe with so well.

It’s a bummer to hear about all these plans and projects going on, knowing you can’t be in the loop–that you’re just a tourist, stopping by for a few days of polite toleration, before life here recommences. I suppose it was a little presumptuous to think I was a part of things here, even if in spirit.

Soon it will be back to the Army and the soul-crushing weight of routine and bureaucracy.


About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

4 responses to “Just in for a few days”

  1. hynes says :

    Understandable man. I think in some way, no matter if you head off to war or on some personal venture, you experience the same thing. Life is changing. A double-edged truth that befriends and betrays us everyday.

    If you’re heading out to the EC let me know.

  2. Felyne says :

    If you were an airforce brat like me, then you’re probably used to being completely uprooted and relocated every three years?

    Personally, I’m moving to San Diego for work, indefinately. To me, its no big deal, everyone else around me seems to be freaking the f*k out. I know what you mean about the ‘tourist’ feeling, I’m about 5 weeks out now so can’t make any plans past 19 November. U2 are supposed to be playing here the weekend after I go, and I have a prized ticket. Gutted.

    I guess what I’m trying to say in my always very long winded way is, it doesnt matter what other people want for you, its what YOU want for YOU.

    In the meantime, come LIMBO with me, its a fun place to be. 😉

  3. BWJones says :

    Just remember that the world is not changing without you. You are changing along with the rest of humanity and experiencing life. The Army is not a limbo per se….. although it may *feel* like it. Take what you will from it, but please, please continue to document your experiences through photography and perhaps someday, sometime, publish the story.

  4. Felyne says :

    Just want to clarify, by ‘limbo’ I mean ‘an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place’.

    I’m not in the Army, merely in the process of relocating myself, so I am in a state of transition myself.

    Sorry for any offense caused by the confusion.

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