When I was a freshman in college, I dated a boy who joined the military. He may or may not be reading this (hi, Michael). In the weeks leading up to his departure for boot camp, there was a lot of worrying, a lot of tears, and a lot of talking.

“How will you even handle it, all that yelling and screaming and berating?” I asked, knowing full well that, although there are a plethora of reasons why I could never join the military, the yelling and screaming and berating of boot camp is high on the list (that, and the godawful glasses they make you wear during boot camp – I wear contacts for a reason, thanks, and I refuse to wear plastic GOGGLES for three months).

He didn’t seem all that fazed, and he said something I have (apparently) held onto since: “They do it to break you down, so they can build you back up as a soldier.” They destroy you to mold you into something better.

This conversation occurred to me a couple weeks ago. It’s kind of what my life has done for the past year or so. 2009? Sucked. I had a job so awful I lived in constant fear of going to work. I spent all my free time applying to over 220 jobs, to no avail. The person I thought I was going to marry decided I wasn’t the right person and broke up with me, which took me far too long to recover from. I had car issues. Health issues. Money issues. Anxiety issues fit to beat the band. And to top it off, I lived in an apartment that, although adorable, got no natural light whatsoever. It Just. Wasn’t. Good.

But now? It’s like I’ve started over. New job. New apartment. New relationships. New life. It’s like 2009 destroyed everything, but it gave me the chance to rebuild and mold my life into something better. 2009 broke down everything I thought I knew (at the risk of sounding terribly overdramatic) and now I get to figure everything out all over again – and that’s a good thing.

I’m turning myself into the runner I’ve always wanted to be (week 5 of C25K, what what!). I’m taking a writing class again and hoping to actually keep up with the writing finally. I’m becoming increasingly self-sufficient (although I don’t know what I’m going to do when the spiders come back out and show up in my apartment and I have no one to kill them), less and less anxious, and much happier. It’s like after all of that, I am finally in a place where I can create my life into what I’ve wanted for so long. Break it down to build it up, right?

(As a side note, the aforementioned boy also planted the idea “the only limits are self-imposed” in my mind. I try and remind myself of this when I am DYING on the treadmill. Sometimes it helps!)

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2 thoughts on “

  1. This is a great way to think about it.

    I don’t want to hear about the 220 jobs you applied for though. So if you tell me the story of how you get a job can you make it sound easy and painless? No? a girl can dream, no?

  2. How is it that you remember things I said, better than I do?

    On my way home from Iraq, I remember being in a hospital, waiting in a ridiculously long line just to find out what I already knew (I sustained hearing damage in my left ear). I saw a poster that said something to the effect of:

    “who I am now is better than who I once was.”

    I’m sure the actual poster had some regard for syntax, but the spirit of the quote is still there.

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