August 17, 2010

Guest Post!!

Today is my first ever guest post! I am excited to introduce you to Honey Bee from Sweeter than Honey. She has graciously agreed to provide the content for today's post. And not only that, but I am posting my first guest posting on her blog today!
So be sure and skip over there today to read that one as well!

Her topic today is something I think we can all relate to: the concept of "home." So be sure and show her some bloggy love! :)

Now, without further ado.....


I'd very much like to thank JG for allowing me the platform of writing a guest post for her blog. I know all of you reading her blog love it just as much as I do, and I'm honored to think that you'd take the time to read my thoughts, too.

I grew up the daughter of a pastor (PKs all the way, baby!) and we moved around as I was growing up. Staying in one place was a concept so foreign to me that I didn't have any idea if I would like it or not. When Sweets and I were dating, since he moved around a lot, too, we talked about the fact that we'd probably always move around as adults. (Little did we know that it would be because the Army was telling us where to go...) We got married and Sweets and I decided that, with family all over the country, we'd just go where we wanted to go. Neither of us felt like we had a "home" we needed to be near. So, we settled on the state of North Carolina and Sweets, who was certified as a music educator, applied for every single high school band director position that was open in the state. If we didn't believe in the sovereignty of God, we would say it was a very random placing, but we ended up in a very small town about an hour away from Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg.

It was there that I truly felt away from home for the first time. I didn't understand why, because Sweets and I really had wanted to leave Connecticut (where we'd met and gone to high school and college together), and were happy to be in the South. How can you miss home when you don't know where home is? I was profoundly confused and moderately depressed. I seriously wanted to find home. After three years in that little North Carolinian town and three school years with the students that quickly became "our kids," Sweets enlisted with the Army to become an Army Bandsman. We sold our first home, and I headed north to stay with my parents while Sweets was in BCT and AIT.

While I was living in Maine with my parents, even amidst the things I'd grown up with and the fact that I had my parents and my brother for company, I amazingly felt homesick. Granted, I'd never lived in that particular house before, but I was the one who cried for hours after having to leave that house and say goodbye to my parents after a long weekend visit for the first few years of our marriage. (Don't judge...this post isn't about my relationship with my parents, so I won't get sidetracked by getting in to all of that. Clearly, though, we're very close.) It was then that I began to realize that "home" is a very nebulous concept. Some people may not agree with me, but those people have most likely never moved. Or at least their parents and grandparents never did. I began to realize that (forgive the cliche) home truly is where the heart is. While Sweets was in BCT, my heart was in South Carolina. And now that I'm back with Sweets, my heart is in Connecticut and Maine and Massachusetts and Germany and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Florida and North Carolina and approximately 1, 439 other places.

We were stationed first at Fort Jackson, and when we arrived there, I was very homesick. (And very sick. I got pregnant when Sweets was home for Christmas block leave from AIT, and we moved to Ft. Jackson on Valentine's Day. Prime morning sickness weeks. Actually, I had a lot of those. But that's not the subject of this post, either. Focus, Honey Bee!) I didn't have the ability (because of the aforementioned morning sickness) to get to know many people very well for quite a while. And a few weeks later, I had an infant, which, while a fantastic blessing, does impede forming new friendships. *grin* Once we finally got involved in a church and made some friends within the unit, we started to feel at home...just in time to PCS to Ft. Monroe, which is where we are now.

We've been very blessed by having made some very good friends and being welcomed quickly into a church family since being at Ft. Monroe, which, to me, makes all the difference in feeling at home. Especially when you're not really at home. But that's just part of being a military family, isn't it? It's carving out for yourself that little bit of normalcy and familiarity and camaraderie where you can find it, so that you don't feel so alone. It's creating family for yourself where family isn't. It's being family for others who are away from home, too. It's celebrating Easter or birthdays or Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other special event with people who understand how important it is to have someone to celebrate with, when you can celebrate with people you're biologically (and/or affectionately) linked to. If you're at a new duty station and feeling overwhelmed at starting over yet again or, possibly, for the first time, take heart that you're not alone. A lot of the people around you are lonely, too. They need family as much as you do. And, if you'll exert yourself just a little bit, you'll find that others are drawn to your hospitality and friendship. And you'll discover that you're surrounded by people who care about you, because you took the time to care about them.

3 comments:

  1. You're right - all of us are looking for a little bit of friendship and hospitality. =) Your story sounds a lot like mine, Honey Bee! My husband and I moved to North Carolina after we got married, both in search of teaching jobs. 2 years later, we're in the Army! Crazy ride, isn't it? =)

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  2. I think you're right. Its one of those things we all need and want so badly is good, stable, TRUE friendships. Being in the military makes it difficult I think but in another sense, we have this incredible support system of one another as well.

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  3. What a great post! I moved a lot as a kid due to my dad's job (not the Army) and found my "home" in Madison, where I went to college. I've since moved away and miss it greatly, but wouldn't give up my life for the world.

    True and stable friendships can be few and far between, which is why I think the Army has blessed us all, because we are able to link up and form those friendships, no matter how far away we actually are. :)

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