Half a Year Gone By

I’m gonna be real honest with you guys- I’m feeling major guilty about not posting something here in nearly two weeks. I feel like I’ve left you guys hanging and that’s pretty rude. So here’s a small update full of big stories:

1) I’m about to take the plunge into finals week and I have a feeling this will either be very good or very bad with very little room for anything in between. I’m surrounded by the remnants of the end of this semester’s classes, including projects I’ll throw away and flash drives full of papers I’ve already written (or started and don’t wanna look at again) and I’m waiting for the microwave to announce that my third cup of easy-mac is ready. Yes, my third cup today. I don’t wanna talk about it.

2) I spent this past weekend with R, which was the first time I’d seen his face in six months. I went to visit him at the Coast Guard Academy as his date to the Coast Guard Holiday Ball, which ended up being one of the most formal events I’d ever attended. It was full of dancing, uniform stripes to memorize, and me over there watching in pure amazement and making sure I didn’t do anything embarrassing (a large task on nights like these). So many of you have asked to know the whole story, but I feel like I couldn’t do it justice without having everyone gather ’round so I can just spill the details and not forget a thing. If you’re reading this blog to get the whole story, continue reading, if not, I understand. There are a lot of words down there and you’re probably studying for finals too. So here goes:

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My flight was scheduled to leave on Saturday morning at 8am (insert nervous expression because I’m not a morning person) and the closer I got to the day, the less I could sleep. Saturday morning was spent navigating airports, checking flights, and hopping between planes. And with each minute that ticked by, I was quickly transitioning from a place of excitement to a place of “I might have a panic attack” and that alone is concerning. Finally I was at the baggage claim area of the third airport I’d been to that day. I could feel my heartbeat against my jacket and the ten minutes between my arrival and his seemed like ten days. And then there he was; decked out in uniform. Medically speaking, I know I died for a second because I know my heart stopped beating. This was the moment I’d been imagining and reimagining for six months. And then I was running. I know it’s really corny and it seems like some duplicate of a Nicholas Sparks novel but I don’t care. I was scared that he’d changed, that a stark uniform and months of military training had hardened him and created walls that I’d never witnessed but the second I saw him I knew he was still mine; he was still the R that wore overalls and preferred to go barefoot and made me feel like the luckiest girl. He laughed at me and caught me and that’s all I cared about.

We spent the next few hours getting back to the academy and suiting up for a night full of formal attire. I slipped on my dress and the shoes I knew I would hate in a few hours and I was ready. We raced back to the academy so he could put on his fanciest uniform, and then we were headed into dinner (and by dinner I mean the most formal meal of my life). Four courses later and I was just about ready to burst, but the night was just getting started.

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The dance portion of the evening was being held in a building down the hill from dinner, a hill now slippery with rain and haunted with the arctic breeze of Connecticut in December. Let’s just say I was rather numb by the time we got down there. After meeting some high-ranking officials (I felt like the normal people in Princess Diaries who don’t know what to do when they encounter the queen) he and I watched cadets of every ranking dance the night away. I’m not talking about awkward high school prom dancing, I mean swing dancing and all the other fancy moves you see on musicals but never in real life. It was like a movie.

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This is the inside of R’s uniform cover (his hat)

The next day he picked me up and gave me a tour of the academy, pointing out where he learned to sail and showing me the places where all the stories I’d heard took place. And then the moment we’d both been dreading. I had a train and two planes to catch and it was my time to go. So I held in my tears (let’s pretend like I held them in) and I was headed off. It was just like the movies when she turns around in the cab to watch him for as long as possible and he does the same except I knew if I kept sitting like that, I’d have an emotional breakdown and I had to keep it together for both myself and my cab driver. Poor guy. I spent the rest of Sunday getting home and realizing that I’m more emotionally unstable than I thought.

But don’t worry you guys, he’ll be home in seven days and now we can all count down the days together.

Food for thought: find someone you’d run through an airport to hug and don’t ever let them go.

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