Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blurred Horizons

Sometimes I pretend the future doesn't exist. Even though I know what is coming up down the road, I like to push that knowledge into the recesses of my mind, ignore the mile markers as they pass, and give myself a temporary blind spot. Sometimes I don't want to think about the changes that may lie ahead, the potential problems, until they are no longer on the horizon but right in front of me, staring me squarely in the face, and won't let me pass.

Of course, I know this is juvenile and not beneficial in the slightest. Pretending things, challenges, don't exist doesn't usually work, not for long anyway. So I have to think about it. I have to remove the blind spot.

When I posted in October about the hubs and I making another big move in May/June 2015, I was excited about all the possibilities on the horizon. But that thrilling anticipation of what may be next slowly shriveled up and left a more familiar emotion: uncertainty, which I vaguely revealed here and here, with a bit of hopeful optimism.

Now, when people ask me about New Jersey and New Yorklike, where are we going to live, have I looked into the job market, what fun things to do plan to do—I answer with a tinge of sadness because I don't have all the answers, and I don't even believe the things I hope for will actually come to fruition.

We picked Bayonne, New Jersey as our next port-of-call for me. Because of it's proximity to New York, the place I've always dreamed of living and working. Of making it big (or, perhaps more realistically, just making it as a teeny-tiny fish) in the magazine world. We had come to St. Pete because that is what G wanted, for his Coast Guard career, and he got his first pick but it didn't turn out as planned. So when it came to deciding where to go next, and after a lot of talking and debating the pros and cons, we ultimately chose a location that would put my dreams within reach while also allowing G to get off land and back on a boat.

But as I've learned, nothing with the military is as it seems. Things don't always go as planned or promised, as those plans and promises can change in the blink of an eye.

We are still moving to Bayonne in May or June. But we have no idea where we are going to live. Thanks to a new USCG rule, we will have to live on base if housing is available. G applied, as required, only to find out that we won't find out until April if we will be forced to live in military housing. We chose Bayonne as the place for G to work, but never intended on living there. But we may have to. And while the hubs loves researching the real estate market and I always tell him it's too soon, now it really does seem like a pointless endeavor.

But there's an even bigger issue at play. Not long after making our moving announcement, the hubs learned that the boat he is slated for, the Sitkinak, is actually home-ported in Sandy Hook, almost an hour-and-a-half drive south from Bayonne, and even farther from Manhattan. After Hurricane Sandy severely damaged the Coast Guard base at Sandy Hook, the Sitkinak was relocated to Bayonne, a fact we were unaware of. Now, the USCG has plans in the works to rebuild at Sandy Hook and we learned that G's boat could be moved back as early as 2016.

This was upsetting news for many reasons. First, it was just weeks after getting married that we moved all the way across the country, from California to Florida. The plan was that we would be in St. Pete for three years, but that is no longer happening. So the idea of moving somewhere else, only to have to move again a year later, is frustrating to say the least.

Second, Sandy Hook isn't exactly close to Manhattan. We never would have picked Sandy Hook if we had seen it listed on the early sea solicitation list. And we only picked Bayonne because it was a hop, skip and a jump away from NYC. So the idea of being shifted to Sandy Hook feels like my Big Apple dreams, our dreams, are being crushed.

I'm holding onto a shred of hope that rebuilding Sandy Hook, like with anything the government plans to do, will take exceedingly longer to accomplish than they say it will. If the rehab does go according to schedule, there's always the option of G commuting to Sandy Hook from, well, wherever it is we are living.

See, these are the kinds of things I don't like to think about. The stuff I don't want to exist. It's so much easier to focus on making the most of our time left in St. Pete than to draw up plans (A, B and C) for how we will handle what's coming down the road. But the future always becomes the present faster than we would like, so I know I can't ignore it forever.

I don't have all, or any of, the answers, nor do I have a sweet ending that can tie up this post with an optimistic and hopeful bow. Sometimes you just have to feel the reality of your situation and accept that you have no control. That last part has been a hard lesson for this still-new military wife to learn, and no matter how many times I've been faced with that clear and simple fact, I'm still learning it. When it comes to this military life, there are no guarantees.

(Central Park and 
by Joseph O. Holmes via 20x200)

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