Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Forgot Who I Am

To quote Joe Walsh, when I returned after the first deployment I definitely felt like: "Everybody's so different, I haven't changed."

Looking back I can see how it definitely wasn't true. It's hard to remember what I was like, how I felt, how I acted before I left. Being in a combat zone for a year when you're 18 changes you in a lot of ways, and I kind of wish now that I'd paid closer attention to what I was like before I left to have a better comparison.

I'm a punctual, early rising, hard driving, pragmatic, serious, impatient, and confrontational individual today. Which of those traits did I always have and which did I acquire through the deployment out of necessity? It's hard to say.

I know I don't like talking about feelings or emotions now (which is a primary reason I started this blog, so I could deal with them indirectly through writing), but was I always like that? I can't remember for sure.

I love reading, writing, athletics (participating, not spectating), math, business, and exercising. Before I left, I don't think I liked any of those, with the minor exception of athletics, which at the time I also enjoyed spectating but now can't seem to stand. Which of these changes were caused by the deployment and which were just natural progressions of a person's life as they grow older and move out of their teen years?

Looking forward, its hard to say what I'll be like when I return. Who knows, maybe I won't like reading anymore. Maybe I'll discover a love for painting or movies or something else. Maybe I'll have more nighhtmares, maybe I won't. It's scary looking too far forward, but you just have to take it a day at a time. It's those everyday choices that add up and make the changes in your life.