As I sip on my coffee this morning reflecting back on 2018, I’m filled with so many mixed emotions.
A year ago today, Charlie and I FaceTimed at midnight in celebration of the New Year together. It hadn’t hit me at that time that it was only the beginning of celebrating life’s occasions without the physical presence of one another.
Fast forward to February, and we find out Charlie is being stationed in Hawaii. That was tough to wrap our heads around. I still receive the sarcastic comment from folks saying “Oh must be tough being stationed in Hawaii”. Funny how that one still irks me.
It didn’t make sense for us at the time to move with Charlie to Hawaii until after our wedding, and so in Virginia I stayed…until I received a message from a Google recruiter about opportunities in their Boulder, CO office. Colorado. You know, the state my then fiance and I had been dreaming of one day moving to? And Google, well, I don’t think I need to explain that one.
Charlie may have been more excited than I was. Next thing you know, Google flies me out to Boulder, I get the job, and BOOM - I’m moving to Boulder. Although it didn’t happen as fast as that, primarily because that boom entailed giving up a job at a company I loved with people I adored, leaving my father and the county I grew up in, and last but not least, selling our first home and moving across the country by myself.
Did I mention we had a wedding we were planning?
Within the first few months of settling in, my mind took me on quite the emotional rollercoaster. My fiancé and I just made the decision to be apart through the next 4 years of his service with the Marine Corps. Were we completely out of our minds? I just up and left a company that helped me grow tremendously, and gave me friendships that will last a lifetime. What is wrong with me? And this whole Google thing, let me tell you, it’s not as great as it seems.
But, God has a way of working his magic, and that he did. Right around the time I was questioning moving back to Virginia, Google began increasing their initiatives for hiring veterans and giving back to those that have served. With that, they needed a veteran recruiter, and my hand was instantly raised (along with many exchanged e-mails & meetings, because who transfers roles within 3 months of working at Google?).
At the same time, Charlie and I were still unsure if he was going to be approved the leave to come home for our wedding. “Who’s going to be the stand in groom?” was a frequently cracked joke at that point.
Despite it all, the transfer into the veteran recruiting position was approved, Charlie was able to come home for the wedding, and we celebrated the most beautiful day of our lives. Post the wedding, we had the chance to finally explore our new home in Colorado together, and had the most amazing staycation honeymoon that a girl could ever ask for.
However, the highs of life come and they go, and that they did. The first week of December, Charlie deployed to Okinawa. Even though there was a 16 hour time zone difference, we didn’t think it would be a big deal. We were wrong.
Christmas was hard. Really hard. In the last few weeks, Charlie and I have barely been able to speak to each other. If it’s 8am in Colorado, it’s midnight the next day in Japan. If it’s the evening in Colorado, it’s mid-day the next day in Japan. In a week, he’ll be off to South Korea, and something tells me it’s only going to become more difficult.
But, as I take another sip of coffee, I can tell you I wouldn’t trade this year for the world. Every day, I walk out of my office in awe of the colors of the sunset falling on the Boulder Flatirons. I now have a job that is more rewarding than I could have dreamed of, helping those who have served, who have gone through hell and high waters with their families to serve our country, in finding a job at one of the best tech companies in the world. I have the most loving husband who supports me in everything that I do, and never lets me forget that. And last but not least, I have this blog, and readers like you who care to hear more and see my work.
2018 was a year I’ll never forget. 2019, I’m ready for you.