By the time we had found out Shane was getting stationed for 14 months in Germany, it had been kind of a blur. There had been so much on my mind if I remember it correctly. First thing if I remember the emotion that came to me is fear. Things with Shane had been so good ever since we met each other, since the day I almost tripped up on him while jogging. Coincidentally that was also the last time I ever jogged, cause he has been my cardio ever since but not that you needed to know that.
But being shipped to Germany, my main fear was being separated. I think that was both our biggest fear, we had only been in a relationship for a year but we didn't want to be separated from each other. I wish I can just chock it up to being with someone so much that you want to be greedy and say you can't be separated with them. But this is different, I don't think I'd be able to function. My days are literally consisting of working and being with him and nothing else, and I had a very selfish moment.
My landlord had let me out of my lease because she was super understanding with military and other service personnel so that was nothing. But who would let me go overseas with him? You had to be a spouse to be able to live on base, and even then I didn't have a Visa or any passports. The solution we had came up with was simple, and it makes me lose my shit every time I think about it because eloping – which is what it essentially is – sounds like something that teenagers do when they're in love and want to run away. We're men on our 30's getting married so one can live with the other, in Germany.
We literally walked into the city hall and got married right there and then, complete with the silver bands that they sold there for like sixty bucks. It's the cheapest, most private event and we were done in like 15 minutes. I've never been married and I don't really know how to feel but I just remember feeling so happy on top of everything else that it just kind of wrapped everything up and hid it away for a moment. We didn't even have time for some kind of honeymoon or anything, we had to pack, we had to get our things in storage and then came a part when Shane had to report to the base and I had to do things alone for a few hours before we actually had to go. ”Wait, so we don't get to have a real honeymoon?” he kind of looked hurt after I asked it, but I know what his duties were. He worked for this country before he is my husband. Husband. Jesus Christ, it was so surreal but at the same time he's mine and all mine only.
Next thing I know, I'm on the back tail end of a C-5 Galaxy, headed right for Munich. I think. The military transport planes were huge, but at the same time it felt like we're just on a roller coaster with a roof. I had to sit on the seats on the side of the aisle, while in the middle there is a row of seats, five across where he had sat. I clung onto my two or so backpack's worth of clothes and I knew when I stepped off of the behemoth my life would be changed forever. Ramstein Air Force Base is the destination. As soon as I got out, it was like chaos, but a controlled chaos. I was very much surprised at the level of organization even though there's about a hundred men stepping around in different directions. We took a jeep somewhere, the base housing I would have to guess, everyone had ID's and I was told I'd get one eventually.
My California ID still shows my old name.
It was cold, colder than cold. The colder than I can stand. It's not like South Carolina's rain or humidity, and obviously California is not like this. When I'm not clinging to Shane and watching him get up every 6 AM to be ready, I'm always trying to wake up and just I don't know, trying to fit into my duties you can say? I'm not a wife, that's not my role but when you're kind of confined to this place with only one person and one group who can speak your language you feel like you're boxed in. In the extreme sense, my whole world is Shane which is true but my whole day revolved around him, waiting on him and just looking out the window. I didn't dare venture out until we finally had time to get some clothes at the commissary and even then I wanted to eventually venture out into the city.
It's nothing like I've ever seen before. Everyone just seemed like... like they were living another life and how the streets of Ashwick was a galaxy away. Once I actually was able to get my identification and able to walk freely out of the base and went around the town, it just made me think more about what I had gotten myself into – in a good way. It almost felt like it's the 1950's, the war is over and I'm thinking about starting my life over, but here. Beyond the brick buildings and the pubs and the eateries it just seems like a much more laid back life and almost like a clean slate. Even if I had so much going against me back then, over here it would just be me and Shane and somehow I'd rather have this than that.
Call me a sap or someone who's just not thinking correctly but I just imagine two men with beards, because we don't shave, and a small house right by the edge of the forest just living out their days there and maybe speaking some bad German. I wouldn't know where I would work here, but I could find work anywhere. I can cook, I've done retail, hell I'd even work as a crossing guard. I'd learn how to speak the language and I'd wear old clothes and look just like a local, all of this I would have done if I get to look at Shane's eyes open every morning and see his reaction to see me there. It really helped me deal with the loneliness and isolation - sure the excursions helped too but just having him there made everything just thousands of times better.
What I found out living overseas is that being left to my thoughts I could be a super dangerous person. I've always been my biggest critic and for the first few months of living in there I questioned what I was doing here, living and married to someone half a decade younger than me, but for some reason at the end there's always something that makes me snap out of my thoughts. Wonderfully enough it's almost always thought of my husband or a text from him, or I see something he left in the apartment. It's almost funny, the thought of being so domesticated. I used to doubt myself so much - not just from this relationship but also just anything I did in life. Lately though, well really for the best part of the last two years whenever I felt the crippling feeling of anxiety just creeping around the corner somehow someway Shane pulls me out of it, most of the times he didn't even need to be in the room with me.
Silently, and scarily without even me noticing, I fell into a silent routine. Of course the highlights of the day is always waking up with my husband (husband omg I can't believe it's true) and waiting for him to come home, and then explore the city and try to learn something new, grab some food and have something to eat done and made by the time he comes home dinnertime.
I feel like just as I had gotten used to the daily happenings it was time to come back home. I felt like I would almost miss it, the cold days and the music being played, and the loud sounds of jets taking off every morning until the darkness of the night. I feel like I could have gotten comfortable with that life for just a little bit longer, but as my husband reminded me, this is going back to normal. It's us getting to do our start legitimately this time around. I felt like we have never gone on that honeymoon trip we had intended to do, or even change the last name on my state id. I don't know where we would live, or what I would do for a job. God, I feel like I walked out on my investor and I probably have some explaining to do.
I feel like I'd just have to take it all once at a time and no matter how nervous and anxious I get about it, I have my husband by my side ready to pull me out of that mind frame and help me back on my feet no matter what happens. I think I can get used to do this.