I wasn't prepared for this life. No one sat me down and told me how things worked. No one told me what to expect. I had to learn how to be a military girlfriend all on my own. I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I agreed to date him.
I wasn't prepared for him to leave. I knew from the beginning that he was going to leave. We even knew the projected date. I thought everything would go on as normal, we just wouldn't see each other. I had done a long distance relationship before. I knew the whole time this relationship between my soldier and I would be long distance, but I didn't know how bad it would hurt when I drove away from him knowing he was leaving in a week and not knowing when I would see him again.
I wasn't prepared for the first time I went out without him. I wasn't ready for the snide remarks people made when they found out I was going out with friends. I didn't know how torn I would be between my decision of going out or staying in. It seemed as though everyone had an opinion of what I should be doing to handle myself and they never seemed to be the same opinions I had.
I wasn't prepared for the first time I was hit on by a guy after my soldier left. Even after I told him I had a boyfriend and he found out what he did, he wouldn't give up. He told me I had a better chance to be with him because I didn't know if my soldier would come back to me. What a great pick up line. I can't even describe my anger from that night.
I wasn't prepared to go to an extended family function without him. I had to try to answer all their questions that followed the "Where is your boyfriend?" question. My stomach turned with each one. I didn't have many answers and what I did know, I didn't feel like telling them. I ended up avoiding the majority of people that night just so I didn't have to constantly explain why I was alone.
I wasn't prepared to wake up in the middle of the night from a terrifying dream only to realize I was hugging onto a pillow. I felt broken when I wanted to reach for my phone and call him to get some reassurance, but knew I couldn't. There were countless nights where I laid awake wondering where he was and what he may be doing. And I had to get up the next morning and act like nothing was wrong. I didn't expect that feeling of helplessness.
I wasn't prepared for the amount of tears that streamed down my face the first time I saw a man in uniform. I searched his face to see if I could catch a glimpse of familiarity. I turned around and scanned the crowd around me, hoping my soldier had come home early. In those short moments that felt like hours, all I could hear was the sound of my heart beating in my ears. This was not my soldier. It wasn't our time yet. I had to keep waiting.
I wasn't prepared when one of my best friend's father passed away. I had to face it alone. I had to go to her house and try my best to be a pillar of strength for her and the rest of her family, when I had nothing to help back me up. My comfort and strength was thousands of miles away, but I still had to be strong for that family. I had to keep going.
But through all of this, I wasn't prepared for how much our relationship would grow. I didn't know how much we took for granted until it was all gone. No longer was I mad when he didn't call me when he said he would. I had almost forgotten how funny he was and how much we had in common. I've grown to love the sound of his voice even more now that I don't hear it as much as I had hoped.
I wasn't prepared for how deeply I would fall in love with him while he was gone. I didn't know how much someone could be missed. I didn't know how badly it would hurt to be separated. I didn't know the strength we had to keep our love going, even in the hardest times.
I love my boyfriend very much and although I could have never been prepared for this life, I wouldn't give it up.