I retired my awesome Oakley boots today. They will not see American soil.
I ordered them my first few weeks in country, and now in my last week, they will be sent to the trash. It has gotten to a point where I have to shoehorn my foot out of them at night. What should take seconds, often takes minutes.
I loved them and they served me well. I’m sure that for my next deployment, or even before, I will order new ones. They are way more comfortable than the issued boots.
I will miss you, dear boots…
My job is officially over…
We had our farewell party last night. We don’t leave for a few more days… but we are essentially done.
So I’ve been on active duty orders for over a year now…
Kind of crazy to think that an entire year has gone by and for most of it I’ve been in boots and a uniform everyday. My feet are sick of it and I really am excited to look like a girl again. But overall, it has been a good year. I think I’ve grown up some, yet regressed at the same time. Some days I feel like I’ve lost IQ points, and other days I’m ready to do anything I want. I still don’t know what that is… but I’ve got a little more time to figure that out.
I’m definitely more willing to be more adventurous and take more risks. I’ve become “one of the guys” and sometimes speak like one too. I’m more fit than I was a year ago. I’m still single, but much more okay with that. I like to think I’ve become wittier… but not sure that’s really true. I’m sure my patience has gotten worse, not that I had much to begin with.
I’ve missed weddings, and babies, and parties. I couldn’t go out and celebrate for friends’ new jobs. Or hug them when they told me they were expecting. I had to call my family via the internet on birthdays and holidays (thankfully, I got to be home for Christmas). I missed my niece’s basketball games and school programs. I sold my car and lost my job.
I got to meet some awesome people, and some not-so-awesome people. I did some cool things. I did some stupid things. I dealt with other people doing stupid things.
So now, I’m left wondering where this next year will take me. The previous one has taken me halfway around the world and changed my perspective on many things. I can’t imagine what else will change. Is there anything left? 😀
Yes, I am in Baghdad… well, on the military posts in Baghdad. It’s sort of a mini-vacation… I am here with Jess because our captain wanted us to see other parts of Iraq before we left. We may not (hopefully) get a chance to come back here anytime soon.
It was a great day… we did a tour of some of the palaces on base and got to see another concert tonight.
We saw the Victory over America Palace… bad choice for a name… it was one of the first things to get bombed when we invaded. Too bad nobody lived there yet since it was still under construction. We also got to see the Ba’ath Party (Saddam’s political party) House, which was THE first thing to get bombed. Something like 200 bodies are still buried in some of the rubble. It was pretty awesome!
Then… on our way back to our temporary room, we came across a concert being set up. Turns out Darryl Worley was in town tonight and putting on a show for the troops! It was a good concert and I’m glad that we decided to check it out.
Tomorrow should be nice too, just hanging around with nothing planned. Gotta love vacations! 😛
We are finally slowing down our operations… it’s been nice to have a bit more time off and be away from the office. I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in my PTs lately, too, which is nice because it’s starting to get hot out.
My time here is coming to an end shortly. I’m super excited to be leaving and to come home and see all my friends and family, but I think there are parts of this that I will miss. My teammates (most of them), working with the women in Mosul, the new friends I’ve made…
But it just means a new chapter in my life will be starting. Hopefully it will be as exciting as the one that is ending.
I had my first overseas concert last night. The Zac Brown Band came to Mosul during a tour of Iraq and other countries in the area. I have to admit I didn’t know a lot of their songs, except Chicken Fried. I had downloaded their album a few days prior to the concert, so I was able to hear them before the concert… I love them!
And the concert was awesome. Of course, the atmosphere made it a bit more subdued than I’m used to for concerts, but they were understanding and were able to play to the audience well. It was a really fun night. I wish I had pictures, but forgot my camera.
OK! Before you go chewing me out… I don’t really smoke… not cigarettes at least. I still tell people on a daily basis that cigarettes will kill them.
I’ve always like cigars, and now I really like hookah.
A hookah is essentially a large, water-cooled pipe. You use flavored tobacco, which is really tasty. It took me awhile to get the hang of it. It still gives you a bit of a buzz, and it makes me sleepy.
Most of the ones here (there is a hookah bar on post) are around 3 feet tall. I bought one in Qatar that was only about a foot tall. Hookah bars are also gaining popularity in the states because it doesn’t have the chemicals that cigarettes have.
It’s still not something that you would want to do all the time, especially if you have a PT test coming up. But it is fun to relax and socialize around. I would suggest that everyone should at least try it once…