Missing the Combat Boots

Going from waking up in the morning at 0400-0500 hours to get to work in military uniform to waking up at 0500 hours and dressing in civilian khakis and polo shirt for my cafe job. From and hour and half lunch breaks to half an hour. From 24-48 hour shifts to 6-8. From talks about missing home and the civilian freedom to having second thoughts about leaving the military.

This is what my life is starting to become. A doubt. An emptiness and lack of purpose. I am sure this is only a phase and will quickly burn out of my mind because in all reality the only time I'm ever doubting my leaving the Army is when I'm working my new job. My co-workers are the typical college students that stress over the dumbest of things in life and find myself not being able to relate to any of them.

I have no doubt that this will pass with the aid of my husband and awesome new friends. I remind myself the only time I'm unhappy is when I'm working in this cafe and it isn't permanent. Getting paid $9.00 per hour for only 6-8 hours is really an ideal job for someone who has exited the military and shouldn't be upset.

I am stronger than this.


Not the Army Anymore

My first day at work in the cute cafe was quite a culture shock. Things that I couldn't do in the Army, I now can in my civilian job. But there's quite a similar aspect between jobs as far as professionalism. There's a uniform/behavior code, there's high expectations of employees to exceed the standard of excellence, and there's family feel to the job.

Some of the things that I can not get over is how much the co-workers complain about working the weekends or during holidays. There really isn't a big deal because it's not like they're working 24-48 hours shifts straight in a foreign war. In the military we're trained to not expect days off during holidays, it was our duty to make sure the people were safe during the special days. I'm used working the holidays like it's a normal regular day. What some people do not understand is that they're only working 3-8  hour shifts on holidays. I don't think they'll ever realize how fortunate they are.

Speaking another language while on duty was another no-go in the military. On my first day I overheard people speaking Spanish though they were just as fluent in English. I must have seemed like an alien when I asked them if they would get in trouble for speaking Spanish while on the clock and around other non-Spanish speaking co-workers. I come to find that the manager is trying to learn Spanish thus enjoying the jibber-jabber the co-workers create in the back area of the cafe.

Some of my new co-workers go in a bit of awkward shock when they hear I got out the Army. They can't relate to me much like I can relate to them.

I gotta admit it was interesting day. Someday I'll get used to being a civilian again without having flashbacks of my former life.

For now I'm looking to continue my self therapy in my new sewing hobby.