“What’s next for me?”

[[This is a very real and blunt post about my own personal life. I only hope that you don’t judge who I am based on what I say. My hope for this post is that I can help at least one person realize that no matter where they are in their lives it’s never too late to change yourself for the better.]]

For me, New Year’s Resolutions have always been those things you say but never keep, which is the main reason I made it a point to never make them. I have always hated starting things I don’t finish, which is why most days I sit around watching Netflix, on social media, and doing chores around the house (cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.)

I am a textbook lazy person. I’ll admit that. I don’t like the idea that there is something out there that I never finished. So, to try and prevent that I don’t set myself up for failure. I realize at this point in the post you probably think, “If you don’t try, how do you achieve things?” And to be bluntly honest, I don’t. I know that there are people out there who know me and say that I have finished things, like high school & college, I have a husband, you know life’s good? And it is, I have done things that I am proud of and I having an AMAZING and loving husband, who is my rock and my world. But, ever since I graduated college, the question that I have been asked several times has always remained, and that is,

“What’s next for me?”

For Andrew it is to continue his career, for most of my friends it is joining the workforce, for the other part of my friends it was more education. For me, my answer was always, I was moving across the world to be with my husband, which is an amazing experience. But here we are, all settled in and living our daily routine, and often I feel like I am being left in the dust by people by the people I was once competitive with. In this moment I feel like Meredith Grey in Season 10 when Christina turns to her and says, “You let up.” I stopped, fighting for what I wanted in my life and I turned to what feels like an easy way out. All the while, letting Andrew and the people around me down, when my potential is so much more.

While I have had different influences in my life, from friends to family to total strangers whose blogs I read. I have recently met a person that has made me really think about my life, and the direction I want to take it. She has made me think about my life in the past and how I can be a better person at this point in my life. She is the first person I have met that has made me take New Year’s Resolution’s seriously, whether she meant to or not.

I have a need to make a difference in 2018. I saw a post on Facebook that made me think about what I needed to change to achieve my goals, the post read:

Here’s a reminder for you in 2018:

  • don’t beg for someone to stay
  • save space for people who matter
  • don’t chase anyone
  • accept what cannot be changed
  • leave what isn’t good for you
  • no matter what happens, think positively
  • give time for yourself and love yourself

I need to make a change in my life and I hope that I can make a difference in the lives of the people around me. That being said, I decided to create a little list of my own named Life Resolutions, rather than New Year’s Resolutions. I want to fight for what I want and have something to show for myself. I don’t want it to end with 2018. I want it to begin in 2018 and carry it with me throughout my life.

Life Resolutions:

  • write more, whether it be in journals or here on my blog
  • back off social media, not finding my satisfaction in how many likes I get on my Instagram photos
  • not trying to take the perfect photo so that I see how unperfected and messy my life can be, Andrew and I aren’t perfect so why try and force that into a photo
  • become a pilot and work for Delta Airlines
  • learn to love my life as it is rather than being sad and jealous because I don’t have that one thing
  • read more so that I can learn more, you can never learn too much
  • learn how to admit I am wrong without getting angry about being wrong and lashing out
  • and last but not least, love more, I want to show people what it is to be a person who loves you unconditionally and will drop everything to be there for you

This list is something that I am taking seriously this coming year and in the rest of my years here. Matthew McConaughey said once in his Oscars speech,

“And to my hero, that’s who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I have a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who is your hero?”. And I said I don’t know I gotta think about that, give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “Who’s your hero?” And so I thought about it and I said you know who it is, it’s me in 10 years.

So I turn 25, 10 years later that same person comes to me and goes “so are you a hero?” And I was like, not even close. No, no, no. She said “Why?” I said because my hero is me at 35. So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to beat my hero. I’m not going to obtain that, I know I’m not. And that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

I know that I may not succeed at this list every single day. But my hero does and from this day on, I will strive to be the greatness that my hero is. I will fight to be the person I want to become. I can’t beat my hero, but I sure can chase her.

More stories, how-to’s, and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s

[[Written for Andrew, my loving and amazing husband who supports everyday; for my grandparents who never gave up on me; my mom, meemaw, granny, and shawn smiling down at me; for Hayley, Bry, Michelle, Caitlyn and so many more friends who are in America right now working on amazing things; and last but not least, to Jen, an amazing friend I met out here in Japan and has shown me what it is to be stronger than you ever thought possible, you inspire me and make me want to fight for greatness.]]

“So?! How’s Japan??”

Number one question we have gotten:

“So?! How’s Japan??”

Well, firstly, moving is just as stressful as they say. Military moves are never easy, and anybody who has talked to me about it knows that ours certainly wasn’t a cake walk. However, despite the difficulty it took to get here, Japan has surpassed all expectations I could have had. Andrew and I got here a little over a month ago and every time I walk outside I love it here just a little bit more. Everything here is within walking/biking distance, which has been pretty nice (except for grocery shopping on a bike, not as fun hahah Hayley you should get a laugh out of this).

Living off-base is very different from living on-base. I feel like that sentence needs to be followed by a “duh”. For one, I realize that I should probably retract my statement a few posts ago, I am definitely not the oldest person here. In fact, I am the youngest person I have met here (except Andrew). Everyone we have met here so far is really nice. Not just the locals, but also our neighbors are pretty cool (insert Sara and Brandon, our super awesome upstairs neighbors and friends). While there isn’t much to do on base there are a few places that I really enjoy here.

I think out of all of them though, my favorite place to go on base is the sea wall. It is so peaceful and the view is spectacular. It’s the only place here (on base) that you can run/walk/jog/bike with headphones in. So when I am trying to catch my breath from the five steps I took towards exercising, I simply lose it again to the view. If I have to workout, I guess it couldn’t get any better than having a view.

While there are things to do on base, being off base is far more fun. We have left the base one time (so far) for a bus tour around the city. It was really cool. One thing that I noticed about being off base was just how clean it is. There are people everywhere and yet the sidewalks and trails are so clean! Don’t get me wrong, the base is clean too, it’s just I would expect a base to be spotless.

When we went out on our little outing, we saw (from the bus) shopping centres, car dealerships, and (in my opinion) really cute shops. We went to downtown Iwakuni, we got to eat at local pastry shops and see the bus and train station. It was probably explained two or three times, but I still have no idea how to ride the bus around here.. and I am almost positive that if I get on the bus trying to go the Kintai, I’d end up going back to base or some other place I don’t want to go.

Besides not understanding how to get around via bus, seeing downtown was very cool. Andrew and I went walking down the streets and saw Japan’s “Yellow Brick Road”. We ate Japanese donuts and even though we couldn’t read exactly what they were, they tasted like American donuts (maybe a little better). We also ate at another little shop named Anderson’s (I think), where you walk in grab a tray and tongs, then proceed to put different food items on the tray (no plates just pick it up and place it on the tray). I think this place was my favorite!

After our short adventure in downtown Iwakuni, we got back onto the bus and headed for the Kintai Bridge. It’s ¥300 (yen) to cross the bridge (which is about $3.00). Japan is just as beautiful as they say. Even though it is my first time to see the Kintai, I doubt it will grow old. After Andrew and I walked across the bridge we went into souvenir shops and got ice cream at a stand that sells over 100 different flavours. So naturally, we got chocolate with sprinkles. When we get a car, we plan to go back and hike up the mountain to the Iwakuni Castle.

We have many more adventures to come, but so far Japan has surpassed every expectation that I have had. I can’t wait to meet more people and see more places.

More stories, how-to’s, and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s

“haha.. That’s funny”

When I was a kid, my mom moved us around a lot. I had lived all over this country before I was even 10. My mother was a traveling nurse, so she moved where they needed her. Being a kid and moving is actually quite stressful, mainly because it means making new friends in new places constantly. As I get older, still the hardest part of moving is trying to make friends. Or just trying to find reasons to leave the house. For me, the first couple of weeks here were actually really fun and the days went by fast. I was exploring this new town and learning my way around. But, as time goes on, I find that the days go by a little slower. This is mainly because there isn’t a lot left to explore, and I have to be available to get Andrew since we only have one car. The biggest thing that helps the day go by faster are friends.

Finding friends isn’t as easy as it was in school (obviously). When I first moved here I had one friend (besides Andrew). We met in an airport a little over a year ago. We were both coming to see our (then) boyfriends. We bonded over the fact that our flight had been delayed for over an hour and how we wanted to get here to see the boys. Since I have moved to North Carolina, I have met new Marine wives and quite a few Marines (obviously). It can be difficult to find things to talk about since everybody is from different backgrounds. But one thing that I have learned is don’t judge a book by its cover. In college, even though everyone is from different backgrounds, you all have one thing in common. School. But here, it is so much different. Not everybody went to school and not everyone plans on going. I learned a lot in college but being married to a Marine has taught me a lot more.

I always assumed that (for whatever reason) I was the youngest person in this “group”. Mainly because everybody acts so much older than they are and, for me, thinking about becoming a mom and having my life put together means you are like 25. Which is funny considering that most of the Marines here are in their first or second enlistment and are between 18-23. At least, that’s what I have encountered, this does not count for everybody. So being 22, I am actually the same age as most of the people here and in some cases the oldest person around. Sometimes when we are sitting around and I get to thinking about the fact that I’m actually the oldest in the room, I think,

“haha.. That’s funny”

because, I am used to being in college classes where people are 24-25. Plus, I grew up with my grandparents and I was an only child, so I have always been the baby.

It’s also interesting because so many people have babies and I honestly haven’t even thought about children. I come home and wish I had a dog at the end of the day. I like kids, the ones that talk are my favorite because they can tell me what they want. To be honest, infants are terrifying to me. I always feel like I am going to mess them up or break them. Like I said I was the baby, so I still don’t know how to put on a diaper.. Which as a woman I feel like I should, but I wasn’t taught. I only know what movies told me. But the moms that I have met here are really great. They have such a tough job, with their spouses being Marines (and especially the moms that are Marines) and being home with the kids.

I have always felt really intimidated by these moms. I’m not really sure why, maybe because they have kids and kids scare me or maybe because I feel like they are much older than me, even if they are my age or younger. But one thing is for sure, the moms that I have met are great people and more than willing to meet people and make you feel like you have a friend in them. The women that I have met here are great and I am so happy to have met them. Hopefully, while in Japan we can stay in contact.

A few weeks ago, some of my Arkansas friends came to visit. I don’t know if I am the only one that feels this way. But when you move and start to make new friends, you feel a little like you abandoned your older friends. When Bry (pronounced like BREE) and Hayley came to visit me, I wanted to make sure that they had a good time. I wanted them to know that even though I have made new friends, they are still two of my closest friends.

They traveled one day, were here for two, then traveled back the fourth day. And although they weren’t here for very long, I had planned a pretty fun week. When they got in, I had made dinner for them. The next day we slept in, then I showed them around the town. That night I had invited a couple of friends over that I had made here in North Carolina to meet them. Unfortunately, only one couple could make it, but nevertheless we still had a great time. Hayley made chicken enchiladas (YUM), and then after the movie we were watching, began the biggest nerf war I have ever been a part of. In short, t’was the best night I’ve had in a long time. It wouldn’t have happened without good friends willing to let go and have fun. The next day was the 4th of July, where we did typically 4th things, i.e. beach, beer, and fireworks. I’ve missed having my friends around. I always miss home, but I couldn’t have a nerf war at home. (The girls beat the 2 Marines by the way, I’ll just leave this here)

[by the way.. Andrew and I are dorks, we own 8 nerf guns, 2 nerf swords, and 1 bow and arrow (it’s got terrible aim, we don’t use it..)]

Friends bring a smile to my face even if it’s just sitting around talking about food or surface things. I’m an introvert, I don’t do well with huge crowds (unless I’ve had a drink or two) but I love just small intimate gatherings with friends where we just drink and talk about life. I love getting to know people better, when I do I try to stay in contact with them. Friends and family keep my going. I really value these relationships. If you are marrying a Marine and you’re worried about the friends thing (like I was), just ask your husband to find Marine’s that are married, which is what I did. Chances are he knows some people, just ask!

More stories, how-to’s, and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s

 

(P.S. I know that it has taken me about three weeks to write a new post, hopefully this won’t happen again, my goal is once a week. I had company, as mentioned before, then I was in the ER and told to rest a lot after my visit, so I slept a lot. Then, I was dog-sitting the most precious puppers in the world this past week! So, I gave them bunches of attention rather than write.. Sorry.. I love dogs.. BUT I will be writing more often! PROMISE)

“Will you go with me?”

I am fairly new at this. Not just the blogging but also being somebody’s wife. I am still getting used to it. The first year of our relationship was really great. We became friends in February 2013 and by August 2013 we were dating. This was one of the best moments of my life because for once something (as far as relationships go) was actually going great. Andrew (my Husband) and I really connected in our friendship and into our relationship because he wanted to join the military and I was from a family full of military members. The fact that we could truly be ourselves around each other helped further our friendship into something more.

When Andrew joined the Marine Corps, I was sad because my best friend was now at Recruit Training with no phone and very little time to write letters. While he was there I got a total of 8 letters (which is quite a few) but I wish there was more (obviously). I got to see his progression from being a civilian to becoming a Marine. After his graduation, the long-distance became something that wasn’t out of the ordinary. We texted (of course) but it was hard seeing as his phone had horrible reception on bases he was at for training, schooling, and eventually his first duty station. We discovered the app Couple (more like I discovered it but you know I’ll say we), which made life so much easier because everything can be sent over wifi! For those in long distance relationships I HIGHLY recommend it! FullSizeRender (1)

As the years went on we had our highs and lows (as any relationship does) but the distance was the primary reason behind our fights. It was hard to remember how the other person was and why we fell in love. Every time I would fly to see him or he would come home those feelings would come rushing back. But within a month of not being together it would become difficult to keep feeling in love or rather remembering why we fell in love. As a normal woman I always wanted to get married but Andrew took a bit more convincing. This naturally added a few more problems to the relationship. For instance, when I brought up rings or anything relating to marriage, he would just shy away and not respond or say he didn’t want to talk about it.

Of course now we are married and it is quite a different story from the typical “We got Married” stories. For instance, in the months leading up to Christmas 2016 (which is when Andrew started to plan the proposal) we were fighting. Things were said and we were actually on a break going into Christmas. It started in September and the closer Christmas came the more we talked. By Christmas we were back together. Andrew had never been one to bring up marriage. He just put it to the side because he didn’t want to regret missing his bachelor years. But this Christmas was different. We got back together and we were stronger than ever. Andrew brought up marriage after we watched Bad Moms. Now, most people would watch this movie and look at it as a hilarious movie that is beautiful but mainly funny. Andrew watched this movie and thought it was funny but he took it seriously and it really made him think about what kind of husband and father he wants to be. For everything I have and ever will have I am thankful for this movie (and God, of course).

After Christmas I came back to Arkansas and he stayed in North Carolina. Everything was great! We were happy and no fights, probably because there was an end in sight for this distance (and we grew up). I was about to graduate college and he was planning to propose in May of 2017, perfect, right? WRONG. The Marine Corps decided to intervene in our happiness and drop a bomb right into our laps. Andrew got orders to Japan. For a YEAR. He received this news in January. Just three weeks after our perfect conversation of our future. The first thing he said after he got the call and immediately called me was, “Babe, I have orders to Japan.” I responded (a little sad), “Oh wow…that’s exciting?” The next thing he said are words I will never forget.

“Will you go with me?”

Now for anybody who knows anything about the military and PCS orders. You have to be married to go with your significant other. This was essentially Andrew asking me to marry him and of course I SAID YES! The next three months were filled with laughter, tears, yelling, planning, A TON of plane rides, and last but not least finishing art projects and homework (so that I can still graduate). Because his orders said that he has to report in May, we had to get married beforehand. This was very stressful because we had our wedding April 28, 2017 and I graduated college May 6, 2017. However, because the military is the military, we needed to be married way before April 28th. So, when Andrew came home to propose with the ring in February we had to get legally married.(Huge shoutout to Hayley and Michelle who put up with Andrew in this rushed proposal!) He proposed February 18th and we were married in the courthouse on February 21.

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Proposal Photos
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Proposal Photos
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Courthouse Wedding
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Courthouse Wedding
Also, because we are married Andrew’s orders were modified to accompanied orders. However, it came with a catch. If I went with him, instead of spending 1 year in Japan, we would be spending 3 years, causing Andrew to have to put in a 2-year extension thing (not really sure what they are called). While this was a tough thing to hear, the more we thought about it the more excited we got. Along with the medical screenings and paperwork this process was really hard to do in such a short amount of time.

Now fast forward to April, everything is going great. The wedding is coming together perfectly and school is going good, I had a lot of meetings with my professors to make sure they knew what was happening in my life. Everything was on track to be anything less than perfect. Until I get a call the week before our wedding from Andrew saying that he might not be able to come home for our wedding. I was angry at first (not at him) but at his superiors for not letting him have leave for such an important date. I found out during this call that Andrew had actually failed to inform them that he was even having a wedding (after we got married in February) until that week. SO my anger naturally shifted from his superiors to him. I felt like crap because I had blamed them for this when really it was Andrew to blame. Thanking Jesus and everybody in Andrew’s shop that has to do with leave, that they graciously let him come home and get married (again).

Our wedding in one word? Wow. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of girls to stand next to me, a better set of guys to stand next to Andrew, better families to come together, better friends, everything was just wow. I will let the photos speak for themselves!

After our wedding, I had to go straight into finishing projects for school and preparing for graduation and the life that was to come after it, i.e. moving to Japan and married life. Since everything was so last minute with Andrew preparing for his move, the Marine Corps actually pushed Andrew’s orders to June. So it was still soon just not as soon as we were expecting at first. Everything was going great but then Andrew gets a call saying that since his new report date is the day before his “get out” date. If we wanted to go to Japan, Andrew would have to reenlist. This (again) pushed back his orders to August. We found this out May 15th and by May 23rd I was moved to North Carolina to be with Andrew.

Moving to North Carolina was not entirely my decision. I was preparing to come see Andrew May 17-22, then go to Florida to see family and come back to Arkansas and prepare for Japan. I got a call from Andrew the day before I was about to leave (after he got his call about reenlisting) and he said (exact words), “You’re moving to North Carolina next week, we are flying back together on the 22nd and driving a U-Haul with our stuff in it to here.” The only thing I could say was, “Alright.” I didn’t get to go to Florida, but I will be there before we leave for Japan. The Marine Corps is great but it is extremely hard to predict what will happen next. But if the plans change and you can’t do what you thought you would, sometimes you just have to say “Alright” and make the best to the situation.

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North Carolina is great but I do miss Arkansas. We all have to grow up and go on our own adventures. This is the story of how one event in our lives went from being an ordinary weekend at church camp to a lifetime of happiness.

More stories, how-to’s, and adventures to come!

xoxo, The Lintag’s