Monday, May 11, 2020

PCS Status: 2020

It's that time again!  That time when the Army closes one chapter and ships us off to the next!  

Fort Bliss, TX may seem like an unlikely choice for a little family like mine, but three years ago when when Eric and I talked about and factored in all of the intricacies that go into making certain decisions for our life, we had no doubts that Fort Bliss was the exact right place for us.  

And we were right!  Life unfolded seamlessly here and we can look back on this chapter fondly.

El Paso has been gracious and loving to our family.  Isabelle has thrived and blossomed here; having all the space to explore her heritage in a way that Eric and I could never have provided otherwise.  I was welcomed with open arms into the community where I spent my time volunteering at a homeless shelter and also nudging my shy self into local hiking groups where I explored every trail in the Franklin Mountains.  And Fort Bliss was where my husband was successful and got to work side by side with incredible Soldiers who he will remember for his lifetime.  

El Paso, TX may seem to you like an unseemly city, but take it from us that El Paso is special, and we are better for having lived here.  Our little family got to witness firsthand how tight-knit and resilient this community is after the mass shooting that happened on August 3, 2019 at a Walmart that we were at just the day before.  The community pulled together in a way that is impossible to put into words.  El Pasoans are some of the strongest and most loving people you will ever meet, and I can say that because they enclosed us into their love and protection when things got scary.

But... it's that time again, and I have to be honest... we are very ready to leave.

I've mentioned a time too many that this hasn't been my most favorite area of the world I've ever been to.  We just aren't desert people and that's taken a toll on my spirit after almost three years of living here.  And for all the love El Paso has given us, El Paso was sure to claim a few of our most precious things in exchange for that love... our beloved Brewsky, my wedding ring, and almost my father-in-law (but then God Himself stepped in for that one).  While I can appreciate the delicate balance of good/bad, bad/good that the Universe constantly manages, my little ol' self will never be the same without those precious parts and I'm angry about it.  

So it's time.  I am ready to leave. 

AND GO TO.... 

VIRGINIA!!!  Fort Lee, Virginia!  

Y'ALL!!  We are going back to Virginia!!!

{We've actually known this for a good while now, but with everything going on in the world it wasn't certain whether our move would happen as scheduled.  There's still a lot of unknowns as current events unfold, but we now have official orders and that's as good as it gets in Army life.}

Fort Lee is where we lived briefly while Eric was a student, but now he will be the teacher!  We are so excited!

Except that... the Army is opening a new chapter for us right before Isabelle starts her Senior year of high school/college.  
I can't remember if I've mentioned this on my blog or not, but, Isabelle is currently earning her associates degree from El Paso Community College (EPCC) at the same time as her high school diploma (our baby is smart).  It's not easy to move ever, but especially during high school, and especially right before her Senior year.  With all that our daughter is working towards, it would only hurt her future to force her to move to a different school just one year shy of finishing everything she's started.  

Military children are incredibly resilient and adaptable because they are asked to make sacrifices that are not always fair and are never convenient.  These traits will serve them well in life, but it's hard when life changes and you never know when or often even why.  Isabelle moved three times between two different countries and two different U.S States in her 8th grade year, alone.  And that was really hard on her.  Isabelle is a good girl, she is smart and ambitious, she is mature and self-sufficient and makes friends easily, but at the end of the day she's just a kid trying to live her life while having almost no control on when her entire world will change.

And that makes being a kid that much harder.  

Eric and I knew that the timeframe for another PCS would be near Isabelle's Senior year.  This was one of those intricacies that we had to factor into our decision when we were getting ready to move here.  After watching Isabelle struggle with an initial transition, we decided that we would not ask her to make any more sacrifices for Eric's career, no matter what that meant.  So we were mindful to keep Isabelle involved with all of the conversations over the past three years of the different ways in which Army life may unfold for us, and have let Isabelle be involved in forming our decisions.   

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that Isabelle wants to stay here in El Paso in her house, at her school, with her friends.

Eric and I sure can't blame her, so we are honoring all of the commitment she's given to her academics and are making plans for Eric to live apart from us for Isabelle's Senior year.  

Now, there are things that the Army will do to help keep life consistent and families together in situations like ours, and we sure did discuss those particular things, but ultimately, what is best for us is for Eric to move to Fort Lee and for Isabelle and I to stay in El Paso so that she can finish high school/college here with her friends and in her house.  It's going to be hard, and require a giant adjustment, but we have made the right decision.  And anyway, it's only for a year.

So like I said, it's that time again!  That time when the Army closes one chapter and ships us off to the next!  


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