Am I really leaving so soon?

Sorry for the few days between posts there -- I haven't really been feeling my best lately. I ate something on Saturday night that didn't sit well with me, and I've been doing a lot of 'rest and recover' since then. Since you're not here to read the details of my intestinal functions, I'll go ahead and get to something a little bit more pleasant... I'm leaving here in 5 days! How's that for pleasant? That news qualifies as downright righteous, if you ask me. It's been a weird few days since I got back from Kabul (upset stomach aside). I don't think it's really sunk in yet that I'm leaving this place. For good. On some level it probably has, but on another it just feels like "life as always." I remember when I made the decision last summer to come out here in the first place, and it felt like such a huge, life-altering thing. I'm moving to Afghanistan. For a whole year. I remember the weeks which followed that decision -- weeks that were filled with moving, packing, selling, paperwork, and tying up all the loose ends to ensure a smooth departure from the USA. Those weeks were a bit of a blur, but I distinctly remember a feeling of nervous excitement that permeated every single thought and action during that time. Life was a bit surreal then. "Am I really about to move to Afghanistan?" was a question I asked myself over and over again in those weeks. Sure enough it was real, and I did it, and now it's almost over. I've received two different emails from two different family members in the last few days, both expressing the same sentiment. The emails say things like "[it's] pretty unbelievable that your year is up" and "I can hardly believe that the year is coming to an end. I just think it is so great that you were able to do this whole thing." When I read things like that, I have to force myself to stop and realize that this year really is over. I guess that is pretty unbelievable. In the weeks leading up to these final days, I would occasionally feel a twinge of that same nervous excitement that I felt last summer. I fully expected the feeling to increase in both frequency and intensity as I drew closer to the end, but now here I am, a mere five days away from leaving, and I'm not sure I'm really there yet. "Am I really leaving in just a matter of days?" is the new question that I've been asking myself. I'm not going to expand on this too much, or try to figure out what it "means," if anything, that I'm not feeling terribly nervous or excited about leaving here. It's simply something I've observed. I assumed that by this point I'd be much more emotional (not that I've ever been one who's terribly emotional), when in fact life has continued to feel quite normal. I'll let you know how it feels when I actually step on that plane. In lighter and not so "deep" news, going to work lately has been GREAT. If you've ever quit a job before, you know what it feels like to show up for work every day knowing that you're on your way out the door. It's a fantastic feeling. When you can nonchalantly utter the phrase "what are they gonna do, fire me?" and mean it, it's impossible not to smile. Life is good. We'll see how I feel about that when I'm back home and jobless, but right now, for a few more days, life is good. Yesterday at work, I got comfortable in my chair and took a nap. I slept for a good 1/2 hour, right there at my desk, and no one seemed to care. I love that nobody expects anything from me anymore, as if the fact that I'm leaving soon frees me from all responsibility whatsoever. Today I don't think I was even at work for more than a couple hours. I showed up at 10, left at 11, and didn't come back until around 1 p.m. I left again at a little past 2 and didn't come back until almost 5. I even ran into the boss today and he asked "when are you leaving?" "Monday," I answered. His next question was "are you going to be at work this week?" as if he really didn't care and it was genuinely up to me. In that case, maybe not! Yes sir, life is good. I may not be terribly nervous, but I suppose there is a little bit of excitement there. Every time I receive an email from someone back home, or read a quick update on their blog, I can't help but think "I'll be seeing you soon. Face to face, in real life." It's hard not to be just a little bit excited about that.


Blogger Jen said...

I'm so glad you'll be heading home soon - in a matter of days!

I was wondering though. Are you glad that you made the decision to spend a year of your life in Afghanistan? Do you have any regrets?

I will definitely miss reading your posts. Even the ones you say are boring tend to be quite entertaining!

Safe travels to you! And have fun "rocking out!"

7/21/05, 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Though there does not 'seem to be' much emotion in the reality of leaving your Afgan year behind, there does seem to be a LOT of emotion in saying good-bye to the job! Excited, ecsatic, happy, so long, good ridance, ....that type of emotion. I wonder if setting your feet on US soil will evoke any heart tugs....I KNOW that seeing your face, feeling your hug, kissing your cheek, will bring all kinds of mama emotions in me....in fact I am teary just writing about it.

I am sooo proud of your decision to go and maybe even more so about your decision to stay and gut it out, and now look sooo forward to you coming home.

love you more,

7/21/05, 11:57 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm so excited for you! How wonderful that you'll be back in the States soon, where you belong. :)

But PLEASE keep blogging...I don't know what I'll do if I can't read your posts. Serioulsy. They are such a nice addition to my day.

BE SAFE, and KEEP BLOGGING!!! (and Rocking Out, as you say)

7/21/05, 2:11 PM  
Blogger Cole said...

SGT Joshie,

It has been a fun year for the most part, and I am certainly glad that I was stuck over here with a co-worker like yourself. Thanks for all the conversations and laughs that we managed to achieve at work. Have a beer for me! (ok, a few beers) Be safe on your upcoming adventures and rock on.



7/21/05, 6:29 PM  
Blogger nwkatje said...

I've enjoyed your posts. Good luck in wherever you go & do. There's always adventures to be had no matter where you go in this world. My soldier husband has 8 months to go in Afghanistan.

7/22/05, 10:50 AM  
Blogger EmilyRose said...

All of this makes me teary eyed! I can't believe it's been a whole year already and that you are really coming home! It's going to be so great to have you around and getting to rock out with you in your room at 1:00am like the good old days ... ahh high school. Wow ... less than a week! Congrats man! Way to stick out what many would have NEVER done ... and with such humor all along the way! love ya man!
your kid sis, emily

7/22/05, 7:42 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

hey, there,

This is a little bit random and I don't know how often you check this blog. I am writing an oratory (a persuasive speech) for my debate team at school. It's about appreciating the "little" people (I don't mean to offend, I just don't have a better term yet). Anyway, I have a few questions...

Do you feel under appreciated as a soldier, especially when it's generals (etc.) that recieve credit for winning battles? Why or why not? (Eloborate, please)

Thanks so much, I'd really appreciate it!

please email me, if you can, at king1026@bellsouth.net

Laura (from Atlanta)

10/15/09, 9:32 AM  

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