Army's darkest day: It has been the darkest day imaginable for our troops in Afghanistan.
As news broke of the tragic death of 5 more soldiers in Afghanistan I found myself slipping into melancholic reflection about my life. I'm pretty lucky really and I don't treat that lightly or overlook having the things that I have, despite the ordeals I have experienced during my life. My reflection was far more sporadic I guess, random and seemingly isolated.
I feel like I am slipping away from people, like I am becoming a social hermit. It's quote ironic to say that considering I go out several times a week to play basketball and referee. But that is essentially the extent of my social activity. Weeks when I do not get to play basketball, because my shifts conflict with the playing timetable, it starts to feel like my life is simply work, work, work. I feel as though I am slipping away from those people who used to be so integrally important to me. People are busy, we each have our own lives and own things going on, but I have found that I don't seem to catch up with people much anymore. Friends I used to see at least weekly, I go for weeks at a time without seeing. Best friends are now people I find out about the goings on in their life through Blogger, and the difficulties of time differences and the responsibilities of singularly raising two young girls has me feeling as though I can't stop this distance from growing more between the most important person in my life and myself. I find myself tossing and turning in my sleep, this recurring dream that she is slipping through my fingers, that I am losing my hold on her, that I am doomed to forever be kept in the dark, plaguing me.
It wouldn't be so bad if I was content to have my life filled so wholly by work. But work has me filled with disillusionment. I go to work every day and work harder than most, in order to make the section I work for the best it can be. I watch as people around me not only lack basic professionalism, but who seem to treat such things like values and ethics as insignificant non-essentials. I continue to watch as complaints are ignored, or handled internally so as to be swept under the rug. I watch as troops junior to me get supported and rewarded with deployments over and above me but then the concept of seniority is used and thrown in my face when it suits them to justify denying me the opportunity to take on a position that will go well towards my chances at promotion next year.
Everything is crossed that the debacle with the QPS is sorted in my favour - I need professional change. I need to reignite myself and find some meaning to my work. I need to feel like I make that difference that was the motivation behind my enlistment. I need my contribution to matter to someone.
And finally, and perhaps the most melancholic aspect of my reflection - I'm lonely. I'm ready to settle down with someone. I'm ready to start a family, or be a part of someone's family. I fear I am going to turn into my mother.