it was all a dream

(Disclaimer: I wrote excerpts of this a few days before publishing it, try not to get too confused, it’s really not that complex of a concept… stupid)

As I write this I’m mid my fourth full day after completing my first six weeks of training for a two increment program at Marine Corps Officer Candidates School (OCS)… obviously more on that later but let me get through this chill intro. Also as I write this I’m South bound on the Amtrak Northeast Regional which passes directly through MCB Quantico and along the eastern edge of OCS. I’ve ridden this train many times but have never consciously seen OCS from the trains perspective. While I was training, however, I witnessed countless trains speed by absolutely torturing me with their prospects of freedom as I was trapped within the confines of Brown Field (where OCS is). Over the course of six weeks, I saw a lot of trains go by, a lot of damn trains, so I would be tempted to say rolling by OCS, less than a week after crossing back over the railroad tracks that represent the separation between civilian life and military life, might be a little hard on the old heart, but I’m not finding that’s the case.

The strange thing about it is that I barely feel like I was there, kind of like I was just living in a dream from May 26 to July 2. I mean, I know I was there, there’s proof – now that it’s had some time to grow out the Asian-ness of my hair is beginning to show, a multitude of almost too impressive tan lines from my cover (hat), glasses and sleeves, and not to mention the calluses on my hands which can only be attributed to hours of rifle holding while we marched to and from every possible location and, sometimes, in circles just for fun. But really, like what happened the last six weeks? It’s a really odd feeling but in the legitimacy found in my extensive scientific background here’s my best guess as to why I feel like I just woke up and missed almost the entire world cup for no reason.

Partly, I think it’s because lack of sleep. Even in the midst of training it was hard to remember what we had done in the past few days. Something about not sleeping and remembering crap – yeah, that sounds pretty legit… right? I’m pretty confident about that one but if someone has a study somewhere that’d be great cuz this is how rumors get started, and next thing you know everyone will be thinking there’s some correlation between sleeping and memory and I just can’t have that on my conscience. In addition to that lie, secondly, I think it’s because there is besides the little evidences I was talking about before, nothing I do on a day to day basis now, bears any semblance to what I was doing a few days ago. The only common thread between these arenas of life is myself and that’s pretty much it.

I’m gonna spare you the details of day to day life during training. You might think you want to hear about it but, from my experience, I’m not sure it’s as interesting as you think it might be. If you’d really like to hear about it, let’s chat so I can see you struggle to prolong your interest because, to be honest, I’m really just not all that great at explaining it. In order to explain one detail I’d have to explain a bunch of other things in order for it to make sense and there are just way too many acronyms for anyone to maintain positive health. Writing about it was barely even an option, there would be so many detours in my writing I would have to come up with a clever simile to apologize for how roundabout it would be. All jokes aside, I’m not opposed to talking, but writing? nah. Y’all don’t want that.

rose and thorn

Let’s not play stupid, there are some questions that multiple people have asked me so I’m gonna take the initiative and and answer those bad boys right now before getting into some of the nitty gritty.

Let’s go thorn first (or low for whoever’s wrong). There wasn’t many specific things we did very often that I just completely loathed. For example, I’m not gonna lie to y’all, cleaning the floor a dozen times a day wasn’t all that fun, straight up, but wasn’t anything to phone home and cry to moms about. The stuff that really got to me was the stuff you probably wouldn’t initially think of. The surface stuff like the yelling and the physical tests sucked for sure, but they were things I got used to and became pretty normal. Not to be dramatic because we weren’t prisoners but the relative freedom we lost became the toughest thing to deal with. Everything from not being able to snack or use the bathroom whenever I wanted or even touch/scratch my face without the risk of getting caught and being yelled at… the little stuff. Stuff like, I missed being outside at night (because we usually went in for the night by 8:00) and taking a shower without a bunch of other dudes. Everything became pretty routine but this is the stuff I found myself looking forward too once we got dismissed.

Rose? Welp… the fact it’s over and I have 52 weeks until I have to go back is pretty amazing. I won’t say I miss them but there are two things I think I’d say I appreciate about my time there. The first is this… the day to day sucked, no doubt. We were all usually stressed, tired and had extremely short tempers but when something funny happened it was the most glorious respite from the tensity. Holding back laughter in the moment then being able to laugh about it together when we got a break… man, that was good. My second rose is more of an extension of my thorn. Being there I developed a list of stuff I want to do now that I’m back and the majority of it is little stuff like I talked about before. Lot’s of sunsets, river time and food. Being deprived of these simple luxuries helped me to appreciate how great they are. I really do I hope I continue to possess this new perspective as I acclimate further back into normal life because it’s a shame and lost opportunity not to appreciate everything for what it’s really worth.

debrief

So that’s that, a real brief glimpse at what I’m thinking but here’s where I’m at, y’all. This is probably the first of a few posts pertaining to my experiences at OCS. The reason it took me a few days to publish this from when I first started writing is I’m trying to figure out where I’m going with this. The good news is I still don’t know. I know I still want to think about how the whole OCS experience affected me spiritually and where I go from here. And by think, I mean write, because they’re pretty much the same thing for me and a lot of the reason why I do it.  This was pretty light, a 100 calorie, post but I didn’t want to drag too many people through the mud who don’t curr (so catch and release with those people right aboutttt now). So if you do happen to be interested in that stay tuned, it’s sure to get really really really personal… lawl naht, that stuff doesn’t need to be happening anywhere on the internet but there’s sure to be some Jesus involved.  I’m usually not sure how or when my next post will come so consider this a rare opportunity to plan out how much you’re going to ignore me in the near future.

Until then, I’ll either see you soon, in which case recover from this quickly, or in the case that I’ve lost you’re interest and you hope I never touch a keyboard again, I hope you were rooting for Brazil last night. Either way, you’ve made it to the end, and for that you deserve (insert whatever you want. I don’t really care I’m just trying to be funny).

peace.

(Disclaimer: I apologize for the rudeness before. I’ll try to do better next time)

ocs. here goes nothing

Even if you don’t wanna waste your time reading this whole thing, at least read the last section so you know why I won’t be answering your texts/messages for the next six weeks…

Sooooo I started writing this a few days ago and I got a little ways through and stopped because I was like, this is boring. I wasn’t enjoying writing it and I can all but guarantee y’all would not have enjoyed reading it (less than you usually do, at least). So just do my fragile soul a favor while struggling through this revised version and just think about how horrible it could be, because it really could be. I think the reason it was sucking was because I was talking about things I talked about here… and I was trying to explain to you how my speculation wasn’t really speculation but half speculation but really all facts but mostly in my head (which isn’t supposed to make sense so keep reading) and it was like I was just hitting my head on a keyboard because it was actually just the worst thing imaginable. So let’s try and be concise and clear hear because my head still hurts and “ytrewq” is still imprinted on my forehead (that was what I believe to be a rather clever joke but might be a little to abstract, therefore, making it not a very good joke at all but think what you want, regardless, I’ll continue to dwell in my ignorance)…

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surprise

I mean, I’m procrastinating, let’s not beat (I originally published this as “beed” cuz I thought that was a word and that’s how much I suck at this) around the bush here, there’s no reason to, I’m probably not actually even talking to anyone because no one’s really gonna read this. Besides, I figure that since I’m finna write about Jesus it’s better than doing school work because there can’t be anything good about doing school work anyways, right? That’s right folks, you heard it here first, there’s nothing glorifying to God about doing school work, that’s in the Bible, somewhere in Ezra. Just kidding y’all, stay in school kids, Jesus says so. But I’m above the Law, though, so I’m gonna blaze my own trail and do a ‘lil writing. Also a joke, I’m just always disobedient to the Lord….. I’m no long sure of where my jokes begin and end.

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oldies but goodies

let’s talk music for a minute. what i mean when i say music is the combination of lyrics and melodies, harmonies and beats played by instruments, not whatever you were thinking. that’s exactly what you were thinking? oh. at least were on the same page cause sometimes that is a difficult concept for people to grasp. caucasian males have special trouble with the beat part in particular, terrible trouble. anyways, since we’re past that, lets imagine a song with the most beautiful melody you have ever heard. so beautiful you don’t know whether you want to hug the person you’re next to or punch them in the face because you’ve just realized your life up until then has been a complete lie. But this melodic offering is accompanied by the most dreadful lyrics that fool you into thinking ke$ha and lady gaga actually wrote shakespearean sonnets. or, conversely, thoughtful lyrical musings that make your heart implode, delivered amidst sounds that would make you wish you born in outer space where sound is not possible (that’s science, google it). both of these cases are not ideal, to say the least. there has to be a balance between lyrics and instrumentals, a give and take.

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my call and the Corps

I’m gonna brush the dust of this baby (by that I mean this blog, not a literal baby) and take to the keys with a post of a little different flavor. This is gonna be a bit of a hybrid between update and faith stuff. It might be just the tip of the iceberg for this kind of post (and, hopefully, the last incorrectly used idiom… but you get what I’m saying) so if it already sounds like a drag to you, save yourself while you can… I would. Recently, my dream of becoming an officer in the Marine Corps became more of a reality than ever before and my faith is playing a big part in how I’m approaching this decision.

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what we know, not what we don’t

A few months ago I read a book called “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. Originally, I took some notes about what I might want to write about and my plan was to write a bit of a reaction to the book. I never got around to writing it and now that it’s been a few months I don’t remember what I was trying to get at with my points (it doesn’t help that I can barely read them in the first place).  I think this is better anyways because now what I remember of the books is what really impacted me. Besides, I’m not in the business of doing book reviews, I don’t like ’em, I’m not about to read about reading (especially since I’m still learning and I have to sound out the words), that’s just silly.  Anyways, the book is controversial, apparently Señor Bell got a lil hot water with those crazy Christian folks, but I don’t really know, someone check my facts cuz they’re probably wrong.

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i wanna live like that

So far, this has been a killer to say the least. I picked up a job, my classes are much more work intensive than last semester’s set and all the extra time I have during the day I spend with friends or at other activities (but don’t get me wrong, it’s also been a huge blessing). The early mornings and late nights have n’t been very conducive to my ability to post anything but I felt compelled to take some time out of my day to write a lil sumthin sumthin for y’all today. I think I felt today I feel especially motivated to post here because before I even got out of bed I was excited about what today had for me. I woke up with a few messages on my phone about potential plans for today in addition to plans I had already set out. Basically, this day was pretty locked up from the start to be a good one. The reason that this is motivating to share with y’all is that it is just one small glimpse at how much the Lord had been blessing me and teaching me since I’ve gotten back from break. I’ve been growing so much this term and want to share with y’all the joy the Lord is bringing to my life and what he’s been teaching me.

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would you dare to believe?

I overthink things… like a lot.  I’m especially good at this when it comes to planning for things and trying to guess how things will turn out. I get myself in a frenzy over all of the possible outcomes and what I’ll do if this happens or how I’ll react if this doesn’t.  It’s exhausting.  In the endless hours of empty time I’ve had over the past few days I have been learning about God’s plan and how I should view God’s plan for my life.  In a lot of the stuff I have been reading recently, and in the music I have been listening too my eyes and ears have really focused in on this common thread.   It’s been a real encouragement to see and hear all of this as this is a season of my life where I need it desperately.

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you don’t know what you’re missing

I love music, and when I say I love it I mean I LOVE it. I always have music and if you catch me without something playing I can guarantee you that there’s a tune running through my head. I was listening to Mumford & Sons Radio on Pandora yesterday (which I recommend by the way, just about the best station ever) when “Show Me What I’m Looking For” by Carolina Liar came on. My initial thought was “Wow, I haven’t heard this song in a long time, probably for a good reason, really.” Not that I hate the song I just think it’s outlived its popularity. I probably would have skipped if it weren’t for Pandora’s limit on skips, and I wasn’t about to waste a skip. So I was jamming out (like always) when I really started to listen to the words.

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