On quitting

I’m not great at quitting things.

I realized the other day that I’ve been slightly overcommitted with my time for as long as I can remember. It’s just my way of life, apparently.

Being busy runs in the family – I think we have a hard time saying no to things. Whether we’re busy with jobs, school, nonprofit boards, social action groups, church, advocacy, clubs, you name it – our calendars are packed. Even my grandmother just recently stepped down from her position on the board of a nonprofit.  When I was in college, I was a part of multiple clubs and on the executive boards of two of them, all the while being a double major & working/interning/student teaching. I get exhilarated looking at a full planner. But, also exhausted.

When we moved to Dayton two years ago, I got a job about three weeks after arriving – before we even had a house to actually live in.

Yesterday, I gave my two week’s notice at that job.

I’ve loved that job, I’ve hated that job, but most importantly, I’ve made incredibly close friendships and learned about what it means to adult at that job – to live in the real world, interact with everyday people, deal with intense frustration, share in the joy and sadness of others, and just plain work hard. I didn’t expect to stay in this job longer than a few months, but, here I am.

At the same time that I’ll be leaving this job, I will also be leaving the board of my local Air Force spouses group, of which I have been a part of for a year & a half. I joined the group right when I arrived, and in true Fogarty fashion, joined the board just a few months later.

If it weren’t for this spouses group, I would not have met so many incredible women who inspire me on the daily.

I would not have learned what it really means to be a military spouse.

I’ve learned so dang much about military life in general through this group – this new world that I stepped into when I said my vows would have been a much scarier place without this group. Being on the board meant that I was able to form deeper friendships and, frankly, learn about life from these spouses – both “seasoned” and new.

I won’t be leaving the group itself, but stepping down from a leadership role is something I’m just not used to. Being on the board of a group, something that I’ve done since high school, makes me feel like I’m in control {if only slightly} of the direction of the group that I attach my identity to. Being in groups like this is also how I make most of my friends.

Without being on the board & so closely tied to this group of women, I will have to be more intentional with developing my friendships, or acquaintance-ships. Not a word, not really a phrase, but it feels oddly accurate for military life.

I “know” a lot of people, but would they actually call me a friend? I have my doubts.

Ah. It’s so odd to be leaving two big things at once. It feels scary, it feels so so sad, but it feels freeing. I can take a second to breathe. {and maybe clean the house…} I feel guilty for not being a part of these things, and nervous about having to intentionally seek out social time outside of the realm of meetings & arranged events. I have to figure out my identity as someone who is less involved, less busy. I have to quiet those feelings of guilt for having free time, which is a commodity that many many many folks do not have.

Really though, I need to remind myself to quit explaining & reasoning away my choices.

I am so endlessly grateful to the people that I’ve met at my job & on the spouses board for the impacts they’ve had on my life – great, small, & everything in between.

I may currently have a giant mixing bowl full of feelings sitting in front of me, but I trust that things will turn out just fine in the end.

March madness & military life

March has been a wildly busy month – but I think I say that about every month!

It has been a month filled with learning, new projects, stepping out of my comfort zone, lots of coffee, family visits, & goodbyes to good friends.

Continue reading “March madness & military life”

Forty truths & no lies {about me}

Hello there, dear readers & people that I actually know in real life! I love you all!

This is going to be like those beginning-of-the-year icebreakers that everyone actually hates, except I’m the only one talking and it doesn’t suck.

I’ve picked up a few new followers over the past few months & thought it was about time to do a proper introduction of myself.

Standing in the snow & wearing my LuLaRoe, as usual.

And what better way is there to do that than dumping a bunch of random {and some fun} facts out onto the interwebs? I can’t think of anything, so here goes! Continue reading “Forty truths & no lies {about me}”

Dayton Coffee Crawl

I don’t think it really needs to be said, but I love coffee.

The first thing I do when I go to a new place is to search for a coffee shop to try out – & the second is to try to find a bookstore, so I think my priorities are set in the right places.

When I found out we were moving to Dayton, I was so concerned that for some reason, they wouldn’t know how to do good coffee in this random spot in Ohio. (I was spoiled by my east coast upbringing, I think) But after doing a quick Google search, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

Once we arrived in Dayton, we made pretty quick work of checking a few coffee shops I found off of my list. Somehow, though, I still haven’t managed to get to them all! Now that we’ve been here for over a year, I thought it would only be appropriate to do a series of posts that I’m going to call the Dayton Coffee Crawl – visits to every single local coffee shop in the area, with an overview and my thoughts on each one. Traditionally, “coffee crawls” are single-day tours of a number of coffee shops in an area, resulting in some SUPER CAFFEINATED people. But I don’t have the time for that and goodness knows my heart can’t handle too many shots of espresso in one day!! It’ll be a slow crawl.

Continue reading “Dayton Coffee Crawl”

Feelings on friendship

It’s hard to make friends.

It’s hard to make friends when you’re an introvert, a generally awkward person, a young & childless military spouse in a place that is new to you, and a liberal & not religious military spouse at that.

I have learned so. dang. much. about adulting in the past year since we moved to Ohio. I’m in that post-grad identity crisis stage still, which is weird enough on its own, but pile on the desire to make friends in a completely new environment where you don’t know anyone, and still being a newlywed, and you’ve got a LOT OF FEELINGS ALL THE TIME.

When I say that I’m not great at making friends, I mean long-lasting, deep friendships. I’m the kind of person who has a lot of acquaintances and people that I can talk to, chat with, enjoy spending time with at social events. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting to know people on this level, but sometimes I want something more complete. I often end up with just a few close friends, and unless I’m living near those friends, those friendships tend to be more distant than I’d like. I’m not the best at keeping up communication – just ask my mom when I last called her! 😫

Some people are so lucky to be able to form fast friendships that last and have depth, closeness, and heavy meaning, no matter where they go. I envy religious people who can connect through their faith to people and use that as a basis to form friendships, and develop those deeply through fellowship and study. I think that is a beautiful thing, but I’m not a part of a faith that allows me to have that right now. Mothers also instantly have something in common, a shared experience of giving life & raising children, and that can help form fast friendships. I don’t have kids yet, and understand that having kids majorly changes your life, your focus and your priorities, and that it might be harder to become friends with women that don’t yet share those experiences. I can still keep my fingers crossed that I’m just making up that idea though!!

I put such a focus on military spouses because that’s one of the most prominent parts of my identity at the moment. I don’t have a life-defining career, so the main way that I can find and make friends is through the group of Air Force spouses that I am a part of here in Dayton. There’s a shared experience that military spouses have that gives us a way to feel instantly connected to each other, and allows us to explore friendship – but many of us have big differences! I am a liberal, pro-choice feminist, and just by typing those few words, I might instantly alienate a lot of military spouses that I’d hope to be close friends with. I don’t generally have a problem being friends with people who don’t share all of my views, but I know that other people might find it more difficult, and that the closeness I’m looking for sometimes comes from sharing those types of views and ideals. Of course, maybe it’s not “worth it” to pursue friendships with people that would be turned off by big parts of my identity, but it still feels so discouraging to mentally cross more names off the list of potential friends.

Lately, I’ve been putting myself out there a little more, have been more active in these groups, and have been putting more of an effort into the chances that I do have to connect with other women and make friends. And I think it could be starting to pay off! I’m continuing to meet more women that I’m excited to get to know better and to see more often, and I think that feeling is mutual with some of them! I know that building lasting friendships takes work, a spark, effort, and that it won’t always work out the way I might hope – but here’s to hoping.

Also, I am totally aware of how freaking cheesy this whole post sounds, but sometimes my brain just really likes to write cheesy-ass things. #sorrynotsorry

wholly-margaret-endcap

Our Dayton Bucket List!

My husband, Ben, is an officer in the Air Force, which means we’ll be moving every few years as he gets new assignments. His last base was Hanscom AFB, right outside of Boston, and it was a perfect place for him to be stationed as a young officer when we were first dating. Boston is a city filled with young people and lots to do in the downtown and surrounding areas. We packed so much into those 4 years while he was stationed there and while I was in college at Wheaton. We even made a Boston Bucket List, but not until we had about a year left in the area, and between me finishing up college and us planning our wedding and move, we definitely didn’t check off as many places as we had hoped.

During the winter of 2014, we found out where he would be headed next – or should I say we, since we were engaged and planning our wedding. He had applied to AFIT, the Air Force Institute of Technology, what seemed like AGES ago, and got the call one evening that he had been accepted to a program to get his Masters in Engineering! We were thrilled! But then came the realization that we would be moving to Dayton, Ohio.

I’ve grown up on the East Coast and near big cities my whole life, so when I heard “Ohio” my mind immediately went to: Midwest, cornfields, empty, sad cities past their prime, economically depressed, old houses, no fun, nothing to do!

And while there are plenty of cornfields out here, I could not have been more wrong about Dayton. Continue reading “Our Dayton Bucket List!”

Anniversaries

It’s been almost a year since Ben & I got married, and a few days after that will be a year since we moved to Dayton. What the what?!?????

Time is FLYING by, and I’m not sure if it’s because life has been generally good and we’ve been keeping busy, or if that’s just what it’s gonna be like as I get older. Either way, I still can’t believe it.

It’s been quite a year. We got married (duh), moved to Ohio, bought a house, have been slowly furnishing the house and making it ours, adopted two cats, I started a new job (almost a year ago there, too!), Ben started grad school, we’ve traveled, made new friends, found communities, and have explored this new area that now feels so familiar.

I feel like the only thing that could have made this year even crazier would be having babies, but don’t worry, that’s not happening for a few years. (Really Mom, I’m not pregnant, I promise!)

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about where I was (both physically and mentally) last year, how many aspects of my life have changed, and how Ben & I have grown together. It’s been a wild first year, but there’s no one I would rather have spent it with. Here’s to many more crazy years ahead of us!

 

Summer snaps – day forty one

We had a trip to the vet this morning (checkup and nail trimming, so nothing to worry about) and I snapped this pic when Ben was showing the vet something on Samson’s belly. Ugh, this cat is too much. Just look at those eyes!