Monday, June 18, 2012

Getting Older

It has been slowly dawning on me that I am fast approaching the big 3-0.
It hit me even harder when I realized my 10 year high school reunion happened just a few weekends ago.
10 years.
It doesn't seem like that long ago...
Well, until I started to really think about what has happened in my life in the last 10 years.
It's scary to think that since the age of 18, the only life I have known is this crazy life as a Marine.
I've never been in a Marine Corps during peacetime, and I will be a civilian before I ever get to experience it.
Now that is crazy!
I feel fortunate and sad all at the same time that while I got to serve in Iraq, I won't get my shot at Afghanistan.
I am thankful that I won't have to leave my baby girl, and I give such MAD PROPS to military moms who have the strength to leave their little ones when they deploy.
However, I can't help but get out wishing that I could have experienced Afghanistan too.

Since getting promoted to SSgt in January, I've felt older than I ever have.
I think some of it is the fact that the rank of SSgt holds some sort of mysterious power to it.
I feel WAY out of touch with my Marines most of the time.
In my current work center, my assistant supervisor is 22 years old...a Corporal.
I remember me at 22, and that was not a good
I was immature, selfish, and a partying alcoholic.
I was young, single, and worked in an organization where I felt the need to be able to "hang" with the guys every time we went out...that meant, if the guys were doing shots, I was doing shots. If the guys were doing beer bongs, I was doing beer bongs.
Me being the 120lbs girl that I was back can imagine, I had some nights I totally regret.

Now, at 28 years old young, I feel like the old lady in my shop.
I yell at my Marines almost daily about the loudness of their music.
I yell at them about the type of music they're listening to (I'm sorry, but the overly synthesized voice of Lil Wayne is not my idea of good music).
I had no idea what "dub step" was until one of my Marines played it for me, and I mistakenly called it "techno".
(I got an earful about the difference between dub step and techno)
I give them long winded talks on Fridays about the dangers of drinking and driving and having unprotected sex....or premarital sex at that....(I know, right?!?!).
I give them financial advice about saving and investing that I know is going in one ear and out the other. 
I know that after payday, all they're thinking about is how they're going to ration out their meager pay for 2 weekends of barhopping and partying...oh yeah...and pay bills....and sometimes, those bills get put on the back burner because partying comes first.
On Monday mornings, I usually ask all of them what they did, and their replies are almost always about the bar they went to, the girl they hooked up with, and the crazy hangover they had on Sunday.
I tell them about taking my kid to the science center and going to church on Sunday.
In my head, my weekend sounded AWESOME....that is...until I say it out loud.
Then I realize how lame I sound.
The icing on the cake was when I was driving my Marine somewhere one day, he gave me a strange look and asked, "SSgt.........(*LOONNNNGG PAUSE*)........are you listening to talk radio?!"
My reply was, "What's wrong with talk radio? That's how I keep up with my current events."
That's when it hit me....I sound so OLD!!!!! OMGosh!!!

But you know...
With all that said, I can't help but think of my days as a young LCpl, Cpl, and a brand new Sgt.
Those are the days where all my hilarious stories come from.
Those are the days where I learned some of the most important life's lessons.

I'm totally happy where I'm at in life, and I wouldn't trade my weekend at the science center and church for anything my young "devilpups" are doing on their weekends.

So all I have to say to them is...
"One day, you'll be the one in my shoes. You can't avoid getting older and gaining more wisdom..."

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