Deploying is easy but coming home is strange, at least for me. In the military we adapt fast to harsh conditions, we have to. We accept the fact that deploying means work – a lot of face paced, hard work. Long days and short nights.
Everything changes when you leave but life goes on back home. It’s a break from the real world. Suddenly I went from 13+ hour days to 8 hours, with a two-hour lunch break and then I’m home doing whatever it is I’m supposed to do at home. My weekends have returned, 48 whole hours to myself and I can’t even fathom what I’m supposed to fill my time with if it isn’t work. I’ve gotten so used to working all the time non-stop and it all just grinds to a halt. The need to be productive is there but the work just isn’t.
For the first week or so there’s the constant feeling of being unarmed – because I am literally unarmed. After carrying a weapon constantly for an entire year it’s a little frightening suddenly being without it.
Some of us come home and our children are a little older, our spouses look a little different, the furniture has been rearranged. It can be unsettling.
I miss the people I worked with who I saw every single day. Now seeing them in the halls where I work now is a little bit nostalgic – happy and sad at the same time.
I transfer to a new duty station in April where I’ll be part of another team, a different family. I’m excited and nervous like a kid going to a brand new school mid-year. Will they like me? Will we all get along?
I’ll be visiting family soon and celebrating the Christmas they decided to postpone for me. After that it’s storage units, apartment hunting, and the big move.
As for myself, I’ve undergone a transformation this week. I’ve gone from regular wife into flu-symptoms sweatpants-wearing wife. I’ve contracted what I assume can only be a horrible disease that turns me into a big whiney baby. My husband, as usual, seems immune.
As for my work and this blog, it’ll be going in a slightly different direction now that I’m home. I’ll be shooting mostly personal work, hopefully collaborating with some great people in the future, getting a website re-design, and blabbering on as usual.
Also, if anyone missed the guest post I did over at the Tangets blog, you can check it out here. Learn what it’s like to be a military photographer without enlisting, could you ever get a better deal than that?
Tammy Hineline on 500px
Tammy Hineline on Flickr