Today I said goodbye to my life as I knew it for the past eight years. This was my last day on active duty. I've got a little over a month of time where I'm still considered active, but it's like a big vacation. I don't have to go work and I don't have to cut my hair or shave everyday, so that's a relief because I hate shaving everyday. I've got a job lined up in Virginia that I'm sort of wrestling with, but we'll get into that some other day. Today was very bittersweet for me, it was very surreal to be honest. I realize that I'm not going to be in the military anymore but at the same time it felt like a normal Friday. Eight years of normal Fridays and it really did go by fast.
There have been some good times; Pensacola, Biloxi, New Orleans, Virginia Beach; and there have been some bad times; Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, Virginia Beach; but over all it's been a great experience. It didn't really do well to set me up for the real world because we got a lot handed to us that I'm just not going to have anymore, but it got me out of Pennsylvania and living at home and forced me to grow up and live on my own by paying rent and bills and buying my own stuff. Sometimes I'm ready for the "real world" and other times I feel like I'm moving out of my mom's for the first time all over again.
I am ready to go though. I'm not leaving because I'm disgruntled at the Marine Corps, but at the same time I'm ready to grow up and find out who Adam Parson is and leave behind who Sergeant Parson was. I'll always have a piece of him with me but there is this whole other life that is on the other side of the door for me. I'll have some stability that won't force me to move every three years or so. To be honest I will kind of miss that. I liked going to a new place and seeing new things, no matter how much I bitched about it. I've got a child to worry about though and I have to do what I think is best for the both of us. What I think is best is staying in one spot and not having the dogs of deployment barking on the front porch. I never tried to hide from deployments, but I don't want to leave my child if I don't have to.
There are some things I'm going to miss, but here's what I won't:
1. Formations. They may look good from the other side, but please come stand in one.
2. Forced running/exercise.
3. Constant bashing of my music choices. I like John Lennon and I like a strange little bi-sexual named Ani. Deal with it! Oh by the way I enjoy listening to Bob Dylan too!
4. There are other news sources out there not named Fox.
5. Green shorts. I have underwear longer than these things.
6. The fear of change. Don't be scared of new cammies and running suits.
7. Constant bashing of all things gay. They're gay, so what. They won't pervert you any worse than you are already. They may even enlighten you to some things that you never knew existed.
8. I'm 26 years old and I know how my uniform should fit me. I don't need an inspection every October telling me that.
9. Stamping my last name on every piece of clothing I own. Yes I even had to put "Parson" on my underwear and socks.
10. Admin and Supply acting like it's their money. If I'm entitled to it, give it to me.
11. Change of Command ceremonies that are in the hottest part of the year at damn near the hottest time of day.
12. Yes I am a Sergeant, but you know what, Colonel? I'm not stupid. I could have a very good conversation with you on a wide variety of topics because I too have read more than Playboy; they do have some great articles though (once you're done looking at the pictures)!
So Gentle Reader, there you have it! Please stay tuned for the adventures in post military life. It should be interesting and you will have a good read as I press on with my child in tow.