Sunday, November 25, 2007

If you want to make God laugh

Not sure who it was that said, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans," or "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." All I can say is that God must be laughing right now and I was making other plans.

Four and a half weeks ago, I received a phone call at work from an officer in my reserve unit telling me that I had won the lottery. The prize? A year deployment in Afghanistan (AFG). Some joke you think--nope, not a joke at all. This is for real. A phone call one Wednesday morning turned my life upside down. I called my parents that morning and then spent the rest of the day at work trying unsuccessfully to focus on the task at hand and get some real work done. Ha!

I found out that morning that I was being involuntarily recalled to active duty to deploy to AFG for a year. Even though I'm a Navy reservist, I'm going to be doing an Army job and working in an Army environment. I'll be providing admin support to a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Farah Province. If you want to know more about what this all means, just google it.

Basically, I had four weeks to pack up my life and get ready to start a new one. Pack up my apartment, go to the reserve center to do my medical and dental screening, pack up more stuff in my apartment, call creditors and make arrangements to pay bills, go to dinner with friends, pack up more stuff in my apartment, make appointment with JAG lawyer to execute a will and power of attorney, pack up more stuff in my apartment, tell family, friends and co-workers that I'm leaving to spend a year in Afghanistan. Yeah, right and all in four weeks. Oh, and my parents came to see me for the last week and a half I was in home in DC. Fun, stressful and busy, but overall really glad Mom and Dad came to be with me.

It was sobering to pack up my desk and apartment, and say see you in a year. I really like my job and the people work with are really fun. They make the job worthwhile. Plus, it's amazing how much stuff I think I need, but I was comfy in my little basement apartment. It was home. It's weird to think that for the next year I'm not really going to have a home. A series of rooms in a barracks for the next few months, and then who knows what in AFG. I feel ungrounded without a home.

But now the adventure has begun! I'm on my way and who knows what the next few months will bring. Here I am weeks later sitting in my room in Bachelor's Quarters (BQ) in Norfolk, VA and tomorrow morning I start in processing at Navy Mobilization Processing Site (NMPS). I'm curious as to what tomorrow will bring and everything I'll be learning. In the next few weeks I'll be learning more about what my job will be and more about where I'm headed. I'm really excited about what lies ahead.

I hope this blog proves useful to friends and family in keeping up with me. Everyone says they want photos, I'll post those here as well. Feel free to post comments and ask questions. Hopefully, you'll learn a little Navy lingo along the way as well. I promise I'll do my best to keep it up-to-date and tell you what I'm doing.

At the beginning of this post, you probably thought I sounded a little sarcastic and I was. However, in spite of how frustrating and hard the past few weeks have been, I'm really excited about this new adventure. I figure as long as God is laughing, I must be in for the time of my life.