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Our Final Update | 11 Month Check-In

11 Month Check-In, A Recap, & A Thank You! | Keating & Co

Here we are, guys.  My final update! 11 months are complete and soon I’ll have my husband home with me again. As we near the end of this year long separation, I look back on the morning I said goodbye to Zack last August and remember just how impossible this year apart felt. I was devastated as I watched him walk away from me at the airport. I’ve heard it’s impossible to remember the feeling of pain, but I swear I remember that morning like it was yesterday. Every look he gave me, every word he said, every feeling I felt. I remember it all. And I’ll be honest, I had no clue if we could do it or not. We hadn’t been together long when this was thrown at us so we had never had to experience something like this before. It was all new to us. We had never had to work together as a team as much as we have this past year. But here we are, 337 days later and we’re so close to the end now. It’s insane! I couldn’t be more proud of us for working together and getting through this year apart.

I’m having a lot of mixed emotions about Zack returning home. Not necessarily bad ones, but more thoughts and feelings than I thought I’d have. I thought I’d get to this point and just be 100% full of excitement. And I totally am! But there are so many other feelings coming up than I had anticipated.

I’m excited and emotional. 

I’m ecstatic that he’s about to be home with me again. It makes me so emotional just thinking about it. It’s so close right now. Our life won’t be on pause anymore. We can continue our life out in California and start our family. I’ll be able to wake up next to him every morning and fall asleep in his arms every night. I’ll have someone to go to the movies with and spend time with on my days off. I wont be alone anymore. I’ll finally have my partner in crime back. My best friend. And that’s the most amazing feeling in the entire world.

Our Final Update: 11 Month Check-In | Keating & Co

I’m sad and frustrated.

This year apart has been hard. Very hard. But after about five or six months, I finally developed my own routine. I created my own life here and unfortunately that life really didn’t include him simply because he wasn’t here. And as sad as it is to say, I’ve almost gotten used to him not being around. I’ve become more independent than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And I actually love it.

I do not want to live in Maine long-term. I repeat, I do not want to live in Maine. But I am a bit sad that I’m going to have to leave the life I’ve built for myself here. It wasn’t easy to push past my depression after Zack left and build myself a life without him, but I did it. And I really do like the life I’ve built. I know everyone at my home gym because I’m there 5-6 days a week. I can come in and they know that my card is on file and what drink I typically purchase. A couple of them know what car I drive and check me into the gym before I even step out of my car. It makes me feel at home. I then have my amazing family here that I’ve been very fortunate to have spent so much time with this past year. I can go on family trips and celebrate birthdays and other special occasions with them. Something I haven’t been able to do since I married Zack and moved away. And lastly, I have a job that I love, working for a company I would love to move up in and continue working for long term. And I cant…because we’re moving…again. And that’s so frustrating to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to continue my life with Zack (duh). But it’s upsetting to finally have re-built my life just to throw it all away and start over yet again in a new place. And then in 2018, we’ll be doing it all over again. What’s the point in getting comfortable when it’s just going to be thrown away? I’m tired of making friends I’ll never see again and finding a company I love working for, knowing I can’t even stay at it as long as I’d like. I’m so ready to just settle long-term.

Our Final Update: 11 Month Check-In | Keating & Co

I’m scared, worried, and a bit nervous. 

When Zack returns home, more than half of our entire relationship will have been spent apart. We’re almost used to being apart at this point and that kind of worries me. It worries me that maybe we wont be able to connect as well when he gets home. Like our relationship in person will be different from how it is through text. Maybe we wont be compatible anymore. I’m not even sure how to go about explaining these feelings in a way that really makes sense. I guess it’s one of those things where unless you’ve lived through this, you may not fully understand it.

I know deep down that I’m just overreacting. I’m stressed, I’m missing him, I haven’t seen him in months, and I’m completely overthinking all of this. But sometimes I just wonder if the time apart will end up affecting us negatively in the long run. And it’s worrisome. This just isn’t the type of life that I want for our marriage long-term. I don’t want to be a military spouse. But for now, we’re working hard to get through it and work together as  a team to build the life we want together.

I’m also a bit nervous to move. It doesn’t even really feel like we’re moving yet. I’ve just been counting down the days until Zack comes home rather than counting down the days until we move. But here we are, the end of July and we’re moving aaaaaaall the way to California in just over a month. That’s insane. Thankfully I’ll have Zack home with me to help me out with everything moving-wise, but holy moly. It’s right around the corner. And it’s a bit scary to think about.

I’ve never been to California or even left the east coast before. I love seeing new places and meeting new people, but this move is all of a sudden making me nervous. I have no doubt that I’ll end up loving it there. And I know once we’re settled, Zack and I will create an amazing life together just like we did in North Carolina. But it’s the fact that we are starting over and don’t know anyone there that’s getting to me. We don’t even have a home there yet. So really, we’re moving across the country to nothing. No home, I don’t have a job, and we don’t have friends. It’s both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Our Final Update: 11 Month Check-In | Keating & Co

Although this year apart has been the hardest year of our marriage so far, everything really did work out for the better. Zack can’t stand Japan and would have been so miserable if we had been “stuck” there for three years. One was plenty for him. I am also so fortunate that I was able to be present in my family’s lives. I had so many amazing opportunities and got to be involved in so many life events that I would have missed if I had been overseas with Zack.

+  I got the opportunity to get to know my new stepmom and stepsister and even got to be present for their engagement.

+  Zack came home for the holidays!

+  Zack and I got to see our first Patriots game at Gillette Stadium.

+  I had the best birthday I could have asked for thanks to my amazing family.

+  I had the opportunity to focus on my education and graduate with my bachelor’s degree (and with a 4.0 GPA). I even got to attend my own graduation as well as my sister’s…I later got accepted into my MBA program as well!

+  I improved my mental health as well as my physical health (which I am so unbelievably proud of!).

+  I took this time to grow my blog and my business and now have a job that I’m so unbelievably in love with. I’ve had so many great sponsors this past year and so much growth! It’s incredible.

+  I met some amazing people through my internship this summer that I never would have met if I hadn’t been here.

+  I’ve fallen in love with working in sports and would love to continue it when we move out to San Diego. I’ve also been very thankful for the amazing opportunities my internship has given me this summer.

+  Zack got promoted to Sergeant this past June.

+  I was present for both father’s day and my dad’s birthday.

+  I enjoyed an amazing weekend in Upstate New York with my parents and sisters (and got to visit my great grandmother for the first time since 2013).

+  I got to cross white water rafting off my bucket list!

This year was full of so many amazing memories and accomplishments both for myself and for Zack. It wasn’t the year I had originally hoped for, but it really was a pretty incredible year and I am so thankful I was able to be here for it all.

Our Final Update: 11 Month Check-In | Keating & Co

I’m now looking back on everything Zack and I have been through these last two years and am amazed at how far we’ve come. From finding out Zack’s reenlistment got approved to signing the paperwork and finding out we’d be heading to Japan to later finding out, I’d no longer be joining him. We spent months and months and months trying to get me medically approved to go with him and it just didn’t work out the way we had hoped it would. It’s been an emotional roller coaster that’s taken up 2/3 of our entire relationship. We might have gotten married fast, but our three years of marriage have been far from easy. We’ve faced challenges some marriages never have to face and we’ve succeeded in making it all work out. Marriage is hard, but there’s no one else in this world I’d rather have by my side.

I couldn’t possibly be more thankful for all of you. Really. I can’t even put my appreciation into words. The amount of love and support I’ve gotten from you all this past year has been incredible. I’ve appreciated every blog comment, every social media shoutout, every email, and every miscellaneous gift. As much as I don’t like being a military spouse, I will miss the military community when Zack eventually decides to move on from the Marine Corps. I never could have imagined “meeting” so many amazing people and having the amount of love and support I currently have. Thank you all for everything!

Don’t miss our other check-in’s from this past year!

WEEK 1 | MONTH 1 | MONTH 2 | MONTH 3 | MONTH 5 | MONTH 6 | MONTH 7 | MONTH 8 |
MONTH 9 | MONTH 10

XOXO
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