It’s been a meandering path to California. Born and bred in Texas, a few lost years in Missouri, back to Texas, followed a soldier to Georgia, and then followed that soldier back to his home, California.
I have always been a wanderer. It was nothing for me to take off for a weekend, on my own, and to show up when I felt like it. It’s part of who I am. So it makes perfect sense, to me at least, to have ended up across the country from where I grew up.
I grew up in suburban Texas, graduated high school, and found myself, on one of those meandering trips, in Missouri. The relationship that brought me there did not last, and I came back home to my family. And while there I went to college, worked, and swore off men.
Then I rethought the swearing off of men, and decided I just needed to be more selective. Look for a man, and not a boy, I told myself. Someone who can clean, and cook, and iron clothes, in addition to fixing cars and taking out the trash. Someone you can lean on.
Life dropped a soldier into my lap, and he does all of those things. And does them well. I spent some time running from him, convinced I would not have the strength to stand in his life, back him up, and carry on for both of us, when I needed to. Walking away from the soldier meant walking away from my heart, and I just could not bring myself to do it.
I found myself married, facing down a deployment, and pregnant before I had chances to even breathe properly. My oldest is one of the few things in my life I have done right. I found myself entirely changed, and not just the stretch-marks. Life has calmed, and the searching for something feeling, that drove me on all of those meandering trips and to wander through new places, is gone.
And now, 4 years, two deployments, and countless training missions later, my soldier is now a civilian. I will not lie and say that my time as a military wife made me any wiser; I am still hot-headed and stubborn, too outspoken and opinionated on the best of days. On the worst of days, it does not shock me to hear down-right bitchy aimed in my direction.
A cross-country move while pregnant with my second little girl brought me to the high desert. Where now I am raising my girls, trying to keep my house together, and remembering to take a shower. Sometimes not all on the same day.
Welcome to Flowers in the Desert.