Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I'm so tired every night. Man, what is up with working? Will I ever exercise again? Who can make me dinner every night so I don't have to worry about feeding myself? Can someone just please pick out my clothes (and get them ironed) so I don't have to deal with that whole dilemma every morning? 1" heels? 2.5" heels? How much walking will I be doing? Trying to look like I have it together is really exhausting.

Well, don't get too excited, but things at work are going a little better already. I'm still not totally catching on, but I can see a tiny bit of progress. And today I had a long meeting with one of my people, and at the end he told me that he likes working for me, and that even in just one week he's already learning from me. He told me that he had applied for my job, but that he went to my boss yesterday and told her that she made the right decision in turning him down to hire me. He said that I'm the right person for that job and that he's excited to work for me. ?? He said it with such sincerity and conviction. I just stared at him for several seconds. It was so unexpected. ??

So I cried a little tonight, but only because Scrubs was sad. It - my emotions, my process, my constant thinking - is so clearly about the transition and repatriation more than the actual job. Today I was looking for some old docs that I used in Japan so I can utilize them here, and I opened my memory stick that has my entire Japan work PC on it and started going through my docs. It's incredible. Every project, every list, every spreadsheet. Every document brings back a rush of memories - Did my great leadership team work on this with me? I miss those guys. Were we in Okinawa when we planned that? We probably ate at Chili's on base that day. Was that before or after the major deployment? It was so hard to be strong and positive when the husbands would deploy. What house did I live in when that happened? I think it was the one with the neighbors that left me love notes. That project began right after I got back from Vietnam, didn't it?


It's coming together r-e-a-l-l-y slowly. I feel like I'm kind of grieving or letting go of Japan (ok, now I'm crying) or something. It's hard to let go of - you kind of do the trauma/bond thing with so many people and places and things when you're in that type of situation. I can't explain it. Americans overseas really, really bond. And then there's the bond I had with the Japanese - being so overwhelmed that strangers welcome you and take care of you.

ANYway, I think I just need to spend time remembering it all and appreciating all the amazing people who took me in and cared for me over there. My time in Japan included some of the highest highs and the lowest lows I've had. I feel like I should be posting something more interesting (or more widely applicable), but I might just post some more memories as I continue to go through the mental transition so my heart and head can catch up with my body.

Right now I'm listening to iTunes as I post, as usual, and "Dream Big" by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband just started. I can't tell you the number of times I drove to Hiroshima in my great, silver Mark II with this song on. The road follows the coastline of the Inland Sea, and after I got past the Pas de Chat restaurant, "Words Fail You" by Kris Delmhorst would come on, but by the time I reached the first toll road entrance, it was "Superman" by Lazlo Bane. Yes, I think you're in for more of this in the coming days. Somehow it helps to write it down. It all really happened. To me. Over there.

One year ago I was preparing for, god help me, a week in Thailand.
Two years ago I was in the middle of a systems conversion and HATING life.


  1. You are so freaking beautiful, and what you're going through is the most amazing rebirth!

    (But the guy you had the long meeting with - the one who applied for your job? - don't be too quick to trust him yet. Make him earn it.)

  2. I know what you mean about Americans overseas. I think I grieved for a year when I came back. IT's been over thirty years, and I STILL think of certain people and places and feelings, and miss them all. Allow yourself to grieve because it really is a grieving process.

  3. Thanks for sharing your feelings as you embark on this next chapter of your life. We're all rooting for you!

  4. transitions are hard...and grieving is completely natural. i think it's cathartic and wonderful that you are writing out your feelings.

    hang in there!

  5. I find upsetting sitcoms, mildly sad songs, even breakfast cereal commercials to be perfect excuses to cry when I need to process something, but I'm not sure if crying is the appropriate reaction. (It usually is.)

    I only lived overseas for three months, in high school, but I really "lived" there as opposed to "visiting." My memories of that time still get to me.

  6. Love this. Absolutely go through the memories. Many will never see what you saw or feel the way you felt. Share that.

  7. Amazing blog! I enjoy reliving moments from my past when I was in the military and moving around a lot. It helps me appreciate things and keeps me grounded in the here and now. Thanks for allowing a glimpse into your feelings and may you have good luck with the next chapter of your life. :)

  8. Your posts are a window into your soul. That is a beautiful thing.

  9. FRACK I missed Scrubs. That sucks. Now I'm sad too. I had a white car on Okinawa. Silver would have been much better.

  10. I can understand the repatriation thing -- I lived in Italy for a short bit after high school and coming home was kinda difficult. That, and several years ago, I moved back to NYC after living in the South for almost 10 years, and even that was hard. Maybe it wasn't another country, but you'd be surprised how different it can be. Anyway -- I think grieving is natural and sharing your thoughts in this outlet will only help. Plus, you can look forward to the day when looking back involves more smiles than tears.

  11. hey. i wanted to say that i'm glad the j-o-b is getting better. if even just a little.

    and, i always enjoy a good japan story. i never got the chance to live overseas, and i like to live vicariously through others.

    so, thanks.

  12. You say it is coming together slowly . We have spoken about your type A traits....Most type A types think everything comes together too slowly. Give yourself a little credit , one of your subordinates already thinks it is a good thing you are there this can't be a bad thing. I have faith in you and I have never even met you .......give yourself some time and things will fall in plce for you. I can not comment on the living overseas part cuz ..well I never have. I am sure you will mae it through all of this self doubt and wierdness with flying colors. SEnding good thoughts your way that you make it through your period of adjustment unscathed. Hang in there baby we are all rooting for you !!!

  13. Google Reader is messing with me. It's keeps telling me that you have like, 85 new posts. The weird thing is, though, it's marking all these super-old posts as new. So, for example, yesterday I learned about the hanabi party you went to, oh, two and a half years ago.

    BTW, it's cool that you have "people" to have meetings with. It's not nearly as interesting to call yourself into the conference room (my living room) for a meeting.

  14. Big change is always so hard. Even when it's what you want. So I relate. This too shall pass. as they say.

  15. I agree with Glenn. There is likely bitterness buried there...