Today marks one week since Zack left. One week down and about 51 left to go (give or take a week or two). It definitely hasn’t been an easy past week. Saying goodbye at the airport was probably one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. I felt so defeated and helpless. There was nothing I could do to make him stay and that lack of control killed me. My entire life crumbled and there was nothing I could do about it, but watch it happen.
In the first 24 hours of him leaving, I got a parking ticket and part of the keyboard on my MacBook stopped working (letters Q-O). Yup, it was a good day (note, the sarcasm there). I brought my MacBook into the nearest Apple store and they were booked up for about a week. Since it’s finals week, I had to find a way to make it work so I now have an external keyboard hooked up to the computer which is a very big pain in the butt. I made an appointment for Friday to get it checked out so I’ll have to wait and see what they say. It was a rough first 24 hours to say the least.
Zack arrived in Tokyo at around 3am EST. I had fallen asleep so his mom woke me up so I could talk to him for a bit before his next flight. It made me feel bad to hear he already hated it. And he wasn’t even all the way there yet. He then boarded his next flight and I didn’t hear from him again until around 11 o’clock that night. He had promised to text me when he landed in Okinawa, but the airport didn’t have wifi. So I had to wait for him to get some sleep and get a Japanese phone later that day. It was the worst wait of my entire life. I’ve never traveled overseas and I was terrified of him traveling alone so I spent a good majority of the day, wondering if he was okay.
I’m not going to sugarcoat how I’m feeling at this point. That’s just not me. I’m not going to walk around with a smile on my face, pretending everything is okay when I’m broken down crying on the inside. That’s just not fair to me. I have every right to be upset and angry right now and the last thing I need is for someone to tell me “you knew what you were getting yourself into” (which I’ve already gotten from a few people).
Currently, I’m feeling very frustrated, mad, defeated, helpless, upset, sad, worried, annoyed, etc. etc. etc. I feel so bipolar right now. I’ve done my best to keep myself busy and surround myself with family and my work, but sometimes it’s not enough. I could be having a pretty good day and then all of a sudden something will remind me of Zack or I’ll come to the realization that it’s only been a few days and everything will come crashing down again.
The time zones are a horrible adjustment. Zack is literally going to sleep as I’m waking up in the morning. Sometimes I’ll get to talk to him before he falls asleep and other days, I don’t. Then when he wakes up, I’m officially settling down for the day and ready to talk to him about everything that happened that day, but I can’t. If he’s awake, then chances are he has things to do whether it’s duty, errands, classes, work, PT, etc. And of course it’s frowned upon in the military to text your wife who got left behind in the U.S. even if you haven’t talked to her in days. So finding the time to actually talk to him has been a challenge.
Having a marriage that is pretty much bound by rules is tough. Anyone in a military marriage would agree with me on that one. It’s tough to never have control over your life and to always feel like you’re a second priority rather than first. Some days I even get mad at Zack for having the job that he has, which I know is completely unfair. His reenlistment was our choice and I can’t hate him for a situation that he also has no control over. It’s not him who’s not making me a priority, it’s the military. It wasn’t him who chose to leave and go to Japan without me for 12 months. Like me, he lacks control. He just handles it so much better than I do.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that we’re on the same team. We may be in different countries, but we’re both dealing with the same situation. We both feel the same way about it He doesn’t want to be in Japan any more than I want to be in Maine and I know that if he could have, he would have gotten his orders changed. He’d avoid this at all costs. But the couldn’t.
When I married Zack, he hadn’t made the “best friend status” in my life yet. We got married very quickly and although we were very close (obviously), I wouldn’t have called him my best friend at that point in time. Now, he’s on the opposite side of the world, and I’ve realized he’s officially moved into that best friend position. My life feels quiet and empty without him here. I tell him everything and there’s no one else I’d rather spend my free time with. He understands me better than anyone else in my life and there’s no one else who can make a trip to the grocery store “fun” (I cannot stand grocery shopping and will avoid it at all costs).
It’s truly hard to live life without your best friend. I’m left feeling completely lost. It’s hard to develop a new sense of “normal” when he’s on the other side of the world. Zack does so much for me and for our little family. Having to take on everything that he does has been incredibly overwhelming. He makes it all look so easy and I’m still trying to figure out how he does it.
As much as this all sucks, I have no choice but to find a way to make it work. I have to remember that in the long run, this next year is going to be such a small part of our entire life together. We still have so much to look forward to in our future and I couldn’t be more excited for it all.