Better get Better.

I’ve been traveling a lot lately. It’s a few hours upstate, it’s contiguously far East, or it’s back on the West side. As long as it’s anywhere but my “home for now”.
It’s been an amazing experience, and for it I’m incredibly thankful.

However, I’d be lying if I said it was all for fun.

I haven’t been traveling to get away from Corpus Christi; I’ve been traveling to get away from myself, and up until last weekend it had been working really well.

To say I wasn’t prepared for what I’d learn when I stayed home would have been the understatement of the century; everything I’ve put off in my mind, every anxious thought, every fear, every insecurity would catch up with me all at once. In the way you’d imagine a freight train embracing an obstruction in it’s tracks, that was my mind.

It only takes a moment in the quiet and BOOM.
I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of insurmountable uncertainty. I’m nervous that this whole Navy thing isn’t going to get any better. So far it hasn’t been the best. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the healthcare, the discounts, and benefits, but that’s about it. It’s been second choices, compromise, and disappointment. It’s been good people but they leave, and move on. It’s been bad people too, but they don’t seem to go anywhere.  I love Andrew, more than I can accurately articulate, but that doesn’t mean I love what being married to a military man means.

Andrew used to feel undeserving when people thanked him for his service. I have to admit, I felt the same way when they thanked me too. We would laugh sometimes, and wonder what we had done to really be thanked for. He hadn’t been deployed overseas, or in danger, so what were they thanking him for? I wasn’t the service member, what were they thanking ME for? I’ve recently realized something. Not that we deserve the gratitude, but that we can accept it.  Sure, neither of us have done any of the latter that might traditionally merit a thank you, but we’ve put up with a lot. For him: crazy early mornings, disorganization, no say in aircraft, place to live, or their latest, time with family. For me: struggle with career choices, long distance, lack of purpose, and no say in where I call home.

It’s been one thing after another from the beginning, but lately it’s been completely discouraging for both of us.

If you’re a praying person, they would be wholeheartedly welcomed.

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I made a huge mistake when I got engaged.

Let me explain.

Shortly after Andrew and I graduated from ASU, he was commissioned as a naval officer, and given orders to report to flight school which was located in Pensacola Florida. Since we were neither engaged, nor married, I remained in Arizona to continue working, and plan the next phase of my life out. I had read and heard too many stories about girls moving across the country to go live with or near their boyfriends; the majority of them ending badly. I decided to forgo the possibility of heartbreak from moving to Florida by staying in Arizona, and instead endured a different heartbreak: missing him like crazy.
After 3 months, Andrew bought me a plane ticket to Florida to spend 4th of July weekend with him, since it would probably be the only break he had that entire summer.

I was shaking when I got off the plane, and our first hug was like nothing else. It was weird being next to him again, as I had really forgotten what it was like. You almost have to get used to the idea of being someone’s girlfriend again, after only Face-Timing and texting for so long. When you spend every day with someone for almost 2 years, and then suddenly they’re on the opposite side of the country, 3 months seems like FOREVER.

Andrew told me that he needed to go straight to his friend Drew’s house so he could study. I didn’t care at all. I was happy just to be in the same state as he.

We saw a lot of traffic coming on, so he told me we would cut through base to avoid it. I knew nothing about the area, so I of course agreed to the plan.

We drove through NAS Pensacola and he called Drew. Drew said he was out getting some pizza for dinner and told Andrew he wouldn’t be home for about an hour. Since we didn’t have keys to his house, Andrew suggested we go hang out at the beach to kill some time.

We got down to the beach, and I realized it was the first and only beach Andrew and I went to when we first drove him down to Florida to be moved in. It was gorgeous out. The sun was beginning to nestle into position to go to sleep, the lighthouse down the way was turning into a silhouette set in front of a captivating orange sky.

We started to walk down the beach, and I saw a rose sticking out of the sand. I was about to walk by it when Andrew suggested I pick it up. Attached was a note card with some of Andrew’s sweet words. We continued to walk down the beach where I saw 11 more roses zigzagged down the beach, each one with a sweeter note than the last. When I got the 11th rose, the card said, “I am so proud of you, honored to know you and would like for you to not only be my best friend but…” My heart was pounding. My suspicions that this was going to end with Andrew kneeling were becoming more and more feasible. I walked up the 12th and final rose, “My WIFE! So Brookie, will you marry me?” I swiveled around to see Andrew smiling, on one knee, with a boxed ring in his hand. I didn’t answer, I just jumped into his arms smiling, overwhelmed, and relieved.

“I didn’t hear you say yes!”

“Yes, of course babe!”

Andrew had employed a friend of his to walk down the beach with us and take our pictures while the whole thing was taking place. It was awesome, and everything a girl could dream of.

Then I made a HUGE mistake.

Not even 20 minutes after the biggest moment in my life thus far, I invited the entire world into what was supposed to be a private, and intimate moment shared between two people.

Up on Facebook and Instagram it went; the picture that I believed best encompassed what had just happened.

Immediately my phone was full of notifications, comments, and congratulations. I got texts, and phone calls, and voicemails and emails and it was all very exciting.

But it was a really, really bad decision on my part.

I took a moment that should have been processed, enjoyed, and quietly spent with the man who had just asked me to share in his life for the duration of it, and I opened up the floodgates to the world instead.

Rookie 21 year old mistake.

To my friends who want to get married some day, or who will be soon engaged, I implore you to listen to this. Sharing your engagement on social media is actually a really fun and cool thing, but in good time. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have shared that moment with anyone until Andrew and I had the time to really enjoy it with each other. IMG_2638.JPG