I’m not going to lie- my last two weeks in Oklahoma were a rough few. My attitude towards everything was, well, terrible. I could try and blame it on the weather (106 F every day) or my 7-day-a-week work schedule, but I think the real issue was the fact that I was just homesick. I missed my dog, my bed, and just the idea of having a home. And then my angry side won out (“I’ve been in a hotel room 45% of the year so far? Who signed me up for this job?”), and thankfully, rational-Andrea decided not to blog during this period.
|...and that's just since January!|
I’ve been home a whole 2 days, and thankfully I’ve dug out of the self-pity hole and gotten a grip. I’ve realized:
- I, in fact, was the one who signed me up for my job.
- I love my job, even when I articulate otherwise.
- That even though being away for long periods of time isn’t easy, the soldiers I’m with every day have it infinitely harder than I do. They have babies, other careers, and are prepared to be in a warzone for a year.
And once again, I’m humbled by the people around me. A common theme, for which I’m very grateful.
Like I mentioned, I can always count on my “kids” to cheer me up, and this trip has been no exception. The unit I worked with had some of the most hilarious and kind people I’ve ever met, and all of them were nothing but sweet to me. Several of them are now people I can call my friends… and friends do nice things to each other. Like have them captured and interrogated. Right?
|Before being waterboarded with a bottle of Perrier|
One of my kids, Chas, knew that I was coming to our field site that day and printed out posters warning his fellow soldiers that a known terrorist operative (me) was armed and dangerous, and was to immediately be escorted to the main operation center. I channeled my inner Nina Myers, but to no avail.
When I decided to go vegan, I knew that I had to put a lot of focus into adopting a healthy plant-based diet, and not rely on processed meatless junk food. I’ve relied heavily on Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, which emphasizes fresh vegetables, whole grains and beans and gives a well-rounded approach to a plant based diet. Following this philosophy has made me feel great, and I can’t begin to express the benefits it’s brought to my body. Within a month of changing my eating habits, my skin cleared up, I had a ton of energy, and I just looked… better.
|A must-read for those interested in plant-based diets|
Over the past few weeks, I’ve kept the general basis of my diet, but started adopting some unhealthy vices as a result of my stress and crankiness, like coconut-milk chocolate ice cream (nondairy but fullll of sugar) and the occasional order of french fries. I don’t attribute these to being vegan- if I still ate meat and dairy, I’d have done the same, but with Ben & Jerry’s and Chick-Fil-A nuggets alongside my fries. But now that I’m home, I’m back to focusing on Alicia’s “Superhero” foods, and I have no doubt that it’s played a major role in getting me back to normal.
PS- It’s my sweet boyfriend’s 31st birthday tomorrow (or today, where he’s at!). He has been so supportive of me through everything- always finding time to talk to me around my crazy work schedule while he’s in a warzone, and making me laugh when I feel sad and miss him like crazy. Happy birthday Jeremy, and thank you for being so wonderful to me!