Today, as I sit in my “cube” counting the days until my retirement from the US Military I can’t help but think, “what the hell is next?” A friend of mine is blowing up my phone with text messages about a new job that he’s been offered by the post office. $17.78 an hour with very little supervision and an easy schedule and route. That’s like, $35,000 a year, which is fine for him. With his retirement check from Uncle Sam and his disability from time served, he’ll have a nice little life. There’s only one problem with that. That’s not the life I want.
I’m in a similar position. I will be retiring with a disability rating but the money I will receive each month won’t maintain the life I’m used to and, more importantly, $35,000 wouldn’t supplement me enough to live the way I want, my wife and I, to live. So, how do I land that next career? What are my passions? What would I like to do, that wouldn’t seem like a job? I HAVE NO IDEA!
In other news, some disturbed teen opened fire into a school out in Texas. So far the death count is under ten but it’s still ten and that’s to many. What’s wrong with people? Life isn’t that hard. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong, but what are the alternatives? Most of us aren’t born into a wildly wealthy lifestyle like Prince Harry, but even he has put in work and earned the respect of the people by serving. Most of us are on the grind, everyday, every moment of our lives, once we step out of the shadow’s of our parents, although less than 1% serve in the Military but that’s a topic for another story. For me, I left the shelter and security of my parents about 25 years ago and sadly, I haven’t grown that much since then. I mean, I’m married to an amazing woman who is way to good for me (SHHH, don’t tell her), I have had a good career in the military that has spanned a quarter of a century. Financially, I’m fine, I mean, not having children helps with the financial strain and I’ll speak to that, a little bit, later in this post. Problem is, that financial security will disappear on day one of my retirement (t-70).
I’ve promised my wife that once I retire I will do whatever she would like, and I would. After all, she has put up with every cockamamie plan or change of plan the military has put on us since we first met. So far, she has said that she wants to stay where we are, gain a little more experience at her current position and start a family. Her first request is easy, stay put, it’s her second request that I am failing at and that is starting to bother me and affect my confidence. Question is, how do I fix that? I know the simple answer is, “have some sex,” but I’m afraid it isn’t that easy.
With all these things going on, I still work for the Military and my first line leader is a toxic, idiot. He’s about the same age and he out-ranks me but his experience is virtually the same and I would argue I’ve challenged myself as much, if not more, than he has in our careers. That being said, I don’t want to get into a whole thing about who’s better but I do want to express my displeasure with the way he treats us here in the office. It’s a, “do what I say, not what I do” culture and it sucks. I’m at the point in a soldiers career where we set it to cruise (I have less than 2 months) and help where we can but primarily work on the next step. The military has an entire organization designed for transitioning soldiers and they encourage retirees to start to fade away in order to give the organization we are leaving the opportunity to move forward without us and it gives us the chance to try to get ahead of the game as we move to our next life.
I often say that I feel like Brooks from the film, “Shawshank Redemption.” The elderly, librarian who has spent nearly his entire life in prison when suddenly he is granted parole and set out onto the streets of the free world for the fist time in a long time. He feels scared and alone and more importantly, he has no idea which way to go. He’s lost and after a short time of struggle, Brooks gives up and takes his life. Now, that’s a bit drastic but I certainly see how someone can become institutionalized after spending their life living a certain way, having their life managed for them. It’s scary and I’m feeling it but I’ll sort it out.
I better get back to work before any of my bosses start to circle like a shark that smells fresh blood. I’ve been doing this to long to have these feelings. I’ve done it right for a long time, fuck these incompetent turds. Let me retire and get on with my life. I’m supposed to be doing something big. I know it.