Friday, June 29, 2012

Missing in action

Call off the search dogs everyone, I'm back in the blogworld safe and sound after a 2 month hiatus. I know, I know, I'm the WORST. Sorry. Please accept my apology and allow me to explain.

My husband has been away at SOBC (Submarine Officer Basic Course) for the last 10 weeks and I haven't been blogging. This is for a few reasons, actually.

Reason #1: While this blog is meant to chronicle my adjustment to Navy life & my experience finding my "sea legs", I felt pretty uncomfortable letting the world know that I was home alone. Isn't that how every Law&Order SVU or 48hrs Mystery episode starts? -- "Navy wife kidnapped after blog-stalker reads that her husband is away". I DO think I'll detail the ups and downs of deployment here, but only if I find a way to really secure this blog & protect my identity. You can never be too careful, right? Anyway, I just felt weird about it so I decided to take a break.

Reason #2: I had nothing to blog about and to be honest, for the first 4 weeks of our separation I just cried, and cried and cried. 

A recap of the last 10 weeks: 

April 18: Rob loaded up his tiny car and started the trip to Groton, CT for SOBC. SOBC is typically the last phase of training in the Submarine Officer pipeline (Nuclear Power School, Prototype, SOBC), but due to back-ups and maintenance on two of the Prototype boats, Rob's class was sent to SOBC before Prototype. 

April 18-May 16: I cried and tried desperately to feel normal while my husband was away. I slept with the light on in the living room and talked to my dog all.the.time. I worked like a madwoman (WAY more than 40 hours a week) and pretended to be OK when Rob called. I'm pretty sure he saw right through my fake phone-smile.

May 16-May 26: I put my big girl pants on and stopped crying. I started to get into a routine and felt semi-normal. I went out with girlfriends, and continued to talk to my dog. 

May 27-June 3: I visited Rob in CT & our family in Plymouth & Boston!! I also had the incredible privilege of being in two of my best friends' wedding as they married each other on June 2. It was an incredible trip that I'll detail in a post later on.

June 4: Rob was promoted to Lieutenant JG!! Eeeeeeee!

June 4-June 22: I worked, trained Charlie with the help of a local trainer, worked out, stopped sleeping with the light on, and counted down the days till my man would be on his way home to me!

June 22: Rob graduated 1st IN HIS CLASS at SOBC. His mom went to the graduation to cheer him on and I paced around the house waiting for the "I'm on the road & coming home to you!" phone call.

June 23: I opened the door to find my handsome prince HOME where he belongs! Charlie freaked his freak when he saw his daddy for the first time in 10 weeks and I cried while they loved on each other for 10 minutes. We celebrated his homecoming & bigHUGE achievement at SOBC with a lovely dinner at Blossom that night and I'm fairly certain I walked around with a huge smile on my face for days. Siiiiiiigh.

While wives are technically allowed to follow their husbands to SOBC and live in the Navy Chalet with them, I decided to stay behind in Charleston in order to get a feel of what my life will REALLY be like for the next few years. I figured it would be an easy trial run for future deployments and I really thought I needed these 10 weeks to establish my independence. I was able to talk with Rob every day and I was able to visit when I wanted to. (This will NOT be the case when he's actually depoloyed under the ocean). 

I have never, EVER lived by myself and it was definitely a hard adjustment. It turns out that I am NO good at cooking for one and since I work from home (ie: no coworkers to go to Starbucks with) I found myself getting pretty lonely sometimes. However, I'm really glad I did it. I don't think it will make future deployments easier but at least now I know I CAN do this. I can live by myself and I can survive.

I've decided to give myself 3 weeks of absolute misery for every deployment. 2 weeks in the beginning, one in the middle. It's OK to be sad and to feel weird when these big life changes happen, but at some point I do need to put my big girl pants on. And, you know what? It feels pretty darn good when you realize you can DO it.

I can DO this. I'm finding my sea legs.