Friday, January 31, 2014

Coping is Dope #1: Geography Truth or Dare

 The mainstream milspouse blogs are littered, soaked, stuffed, piled, and saturated with articles about PCSes- apparently they are stressful, disruptive, and generally suckful.  Yeah, no.  Moving sometimes blows, but staying can be worse- at least, that's what I thought.  

Get the Truth after the jump!

Truth: I may have mentioned once or twice that Fort Somewhere isn't my favorite place on the planet.  It's not even my tenth favorite.  When we first got here, I missed my friends and my job in Progressive Metro Area, and I didn't think I'd ever get used to the food, music, and activities that seem to be so popular around here.  I spent the first several months looking for sushi restaurants and burlesque clubs, trying to replace the things I was used to.  Pining for my former surroundings was a full-time occupation that left little space to notice my current surroundings.  Once I stopped thinking so much about  Progressive Metro, I started to think about Ft. Somewhere and how much it blew.  

Everyone seemed to belong to the same religion- one they really, really wanted me to participate in.   The evil discount store my former city banded together to keep out?  Most people in Ft. Somewhere shop there several times a week, can't wait for a new one to open, and have only recently, if at all, heard of a boycott.  Speaking of boycott, where the hell is everybody?  I rarely see other people outside while running or walking my dog- except that time some dude pulled over to offer me a ride, since he assumed that I was on foot due to car trouble.  Actually, that's happened a few times.

Beam Me the F Up.  (Let's make BMFU happen.)

Or not.  One day, about six months into our stay here, I was listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast and perked up when a fellow milspouse called for advice about maintaining a healthy lifestyle in Ft. Elsewhere, where her partner had recently been posted.  Her story sounded so familiar that initially, I thought an over-wrought friend I had vented to one too many times was calling on my behalf.  

The caller hated Ft. Elsewhere- everyone ate garbage all the time and there was no gym to go to.  She desperately missed the running buddies and post-yoga veggie brunches that formed a strong social support system back home.  Actually, she hated Ft. Elsewhere- she just did- it sucked there.  How was she going to get through the rest of their time there?  Help, Jillian!

Well, you know Jillian had a simple, yet profoundly effective piece of advice.

Think of Three Things You Like About Ft. Elsewhere.

Bullshit that won't work.  Well, let's just try it- JM is always right about everything else!  (Except date rape and prob a few other things but you're missing my point.  Shut up.)

Come on- let's try it together.  Three things to like about Ft. Somewhere, no matter how small.  Okay- got one.  It's very quiet here- no honking outside my window all night long, no hearing neighbors fight on the other side of the wall (and floor and ceiling.)  And the crime rate feels like it's a little lower- I've been here for months and had zero break-ins, zero car thefts, and not one of my friends has been mugged.  That's nice, I guess.  Speaking of nice, most people here seem very friendly.  I'm always having random, yet pleasant conversations with people I meet while out and about.  

Once I thought of a few things to like- or even convince myself to like- it got easier to see the silver lining on the dip can, as it were.  Maybe there's more to get used to (or tolerate) than to like, but hatin' doesn't pay enough to justify all the time I was putting into it.  My list of things to like about Ft. Somewhere felt a little forced and insubstantial, but it was a place to start.  

Dare:  Mind you- I am the last person besides Daria to feed you the whole Suck it up and deal!  The whole Be Positive thing is hogwash and helps no one.  So- however you want to look at this- a dare, an intellectual challenge, a coping technique- give Three Things a whirl.  I'm not asking you to believe me (or Jillian)- I'm asking you to try it out.  Let me know how it worked for you!

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