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2003-10-05 - 9:54 a.m.

I rediscovered my diary I kept right before I joined the army, and up through basic training, when the journal actually ran out of pages. It's the only journal I've ever finished, and the only one except this one that I've even filled in regularly. Reading it was a reaffirming of how I've been on the wrong path almost the entire time I've been in the army. It only makes me that much happier to be leaving the service and moving on with my life. The Army has taught me a lot, and I've grown a lot as a person, but I feel I will grow a lot more in a different environment.

There are also some things I want to unlearn. Being in the miltary fosters the type of environment where you're worried about what you look like. So much emphasis is placed on how your uniform looks and how your boots are shined, and how to treat those of higher rank than you. I never used to be concerned with these things. Sometimes, when I'm singing in the car and I'm at a stoplight, I see that someone in the car next to me might have seen me singing, and I become self conscious. Why?! I don't know that person! I'll probably never see them again! And even if I do, will they recognize me and think, hey! that's the girl that was singing in her van! AND what is so embarassing about that?! I never, EVER used to be concerned with crap like that. I'm going to do my damnest to unlearn that mode of thinking from here on out, because it's the worst kind of way to live.

I remember talking with Patrick a while ago, quite a few months, and him saying that if he saw himself when he was younger, he'd say dude! you're clueless. If I saw my younger self, I'd say, right on! I don't think joining the army was a poor decision, I'm glad I joined, but I've made some very poor decisions in the meantime. Most of these decisions have been made because of social reasons. Wanting to be acceptable and liked by the people around me. When am I going to learn that I'm not like these people! When did it EVER seem like a good idea to change who I was just to fit in? What the fuck was I thinking!!

At least I'm learning this now and not later in life. And I mean, REALLY learning it. I knew it in high school, but as soon as I was put to the test, it took me five fucking years to pass it. That's probably why I liked being at FLTCE so much, in Germany. I started out being myself, as usual, and people there genuinely enjoyed my company. I didn't have to try. And no one should EVER have to try, if they know who they are.

This could be why these last couple of days at work have been more enjoyable than usual. I've felt more like myself all week. Yesterday in particular was a hilarious day at work. For some reason SSG Huizing had me in hysterics. I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard. He wasn't trying to be funny but for some reason the things he was saying struck a chord. It was like his synapses were just firing random thoughts onto the chat channel. I laughed hysterically and unashamedly.

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