I have been thinking a lot about change lately, and about whether or not I like it. I am the type of person who enjoys burying herself in the daily rituals of life, so as to not think too much. When I was recently unemployed, the thing that drove me nuts the most was not having a routine to fall back on. I didn't necessarily have to get up at six o'clock every morning and could eat and sleep whenever I felt like it. Needless to say, I was really adrift. I am working again and gaining further confidence as I get more and more familiar with the work and the rhythms of the office. I am finding myself falling into patterns and the security feels good.
Things are about to change again. My boyfriend is returning from his sail with the HMCS Vancouver in a week and I will have to adjust everything again. I am looking forward to his arrival and will be there to meet him on the jetty when he sails in. We will have to get used to one another again, now that I've become accustomed to sleeping alone and cooking for one, but it's all worth whatever adjustments we have to make. When I talk to my mother about the deployments we joke that my relationship should be considered an "alternative lifestyle." At my new work, they have been asking me what my boyfriend does for a living and when I say that he is in the navy, and that he has been gone for a few months, their mouths generally drop open in horror. And I agree with them. If I didn't fall hard for him, our relationship would not have lasted through the separations that the navy has already put us through. It is the ultimate test. For someone so buoyed by routine, living with a person whose job is anything but, can prove to be problematic.
For me and every other navy woman it is a difficult test, but allows you to learn pretty quickly whether or not a relationship will work. The navy, and the armed forces in general, are quite the marriage graveyard and if there isn't commitment on both sides, then there is no chance. I've had to channel that self-reliance that I developed as a single woman living alone, and just got through my day-to-day life. The days went by and things got easier, and my boyfriend made it better by calling on a regular basis. Lonely moments come and go, and my countdown continues to motivate me to get on with it. Happily, this experience has given me more confidence in my own ability to take care of myself on an emotional level and strengthened our relationship. Neither of us knew how hard the separation was going to be, but we've come out the other side knowing that we can live with our "alternative lifestyle." It's definitely not for everybody, but sometimes change is a good thing.