Nothing’s easy

I’m really feeling worn out. I want to go home. I want to feel like a regular person again.
This whole process has been quite tough on me, even though the people that I’m in training with seem to think it’s easy for me.

Living with 50 other people in a bay for the last 3 months, people that are younger and of diiferent backgrounds, the control of virtually every aspect of my life, from what I can wear, to how I must stand while I’m speaking is difficult for me. It’s not an easy transition when you’ve spent 36 years of your life doing things a certain way. I’m certain that if I were to ask my instructors and platoon sergeants about my performance, they would say that I’m doing well. But my fight is on the inside, like it’s alsways been I suppose.

There are times I want to walk away. Go back to wearing jeans, and serving coffee or doing something simple. At heart, I’m a philosopher. I know that once all of this is over, the training that is, I can go back to my life, do what I want after work etc. But for now, I miss my daughter and my friends and laughing. Things that used to interest me, don’t do so anymore. It’s day to day right now.

I put a lot of pressure on myself, always expecting to be the best, which creates internal tension. It serves me well in most instances, but I find that I wear down in situations that require mental endurance. I need to learn how to pace myself. This is quite a long process; 4 months of 8 hrs a day classes–intense physically and mentally– not to mention Basic and possible deployment. The idea of deployment doesn’t bother me. I’ll be doing my job and be treated like an adult, unlike here.

I was reading an article in Men’s Health on how Navy SEALS are trained to handle stress. One of the things that they teach is to place the team first, which removes a SEALS attention from his own problems, and gives a psychological boost when he knows he’s helped someone else. I’ve used this technique several times, and it works, no doubt.

Today, I read a quote from Ernst Junger, famed WWI veteran and a man who was bestowed virtually every literary prize there is by his German homeland. He said: “What ever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, and whatever kills me makes me incredibly strong.” His book, “Storm of Steel” chronicles Junger’s experience in WWI and how he was able to channel his rage and energy, to actually feed off the war and make himself stronger by it. Some left-leaning people hated him for his view that the war made him better, but no one challenged his literary abilities.

The only thing that can keep me going is to think the way Junger did.


7 Responses to “Nothing’s easy”

  1. 1 Mike Rozos
    August 1, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    You can serve coffee, hang out on the beach, or even work at Jiffy Lube, but you will never be a ‘regular person’.

    I’m sure the proper way to encourage someone is to tell them they are perfectly normal, but you are not, so why blow smoke up your ass?

    You are smarter, fitter, faster, and more disciplined than anyone who could be regarded as ‘regular’. So face up to it and keep doing what you’ve been doing for 37 years.


    And keep blogging.

  2. August 2, 2008 at 1:05 am

    I’m no Superman…..far too many flaws.

  3. 3 Mike Rozos
    August 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    “Hello Captain, I’m PFC Moore from second platoon.” “SGT Jones and I have been discussing the importance of fitness and self defense lately and we have decided to do a hand to hand combat demonstration for the rest of the platoon.”

    “Yes, sir, full contact, of course.” “We’ve pretty much choreographed a nice demo.”

    “He’ll use some moves he’s been polishing for several years, and I’ll respond with some basic techniques I like to use.”

    “OK, sir, I’ll let him know it’s authorized.”

    Then you can legally beat an NCO’s ass in front of the whole platoon!

    ‘Superman’ is a state of mind.

  4. August 3, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Read Starship Troopers. Sergeant Zim had that trick tried on him, but he was a badass….

  5. August 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Just be badder. That is the secret to success.

  6. August 4, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Get a copy of the Enchiridion of Epictetus. Admiral Stockdale said that it helped him get through his imprisonment in Vietnam. Stoic philosophy is just the thing to read in adversity.

  7. August 5, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Yeah, all of this existential stuff I usually read is probably adding to my depression….

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