Twice the citizen, 85% the soldier (sun_tzu) wrote,
Twice the citizen, 85% the soldier
sun_tzu

Been Quite A While, Hasn't It?

I've hardly posted anything here in the last couple of years, and I mostly blame Twitter which I find more fulfilling in terms of interaction, but the one drag of it is that you can't really go back over time to see what was going on - to see where you've come from to get where you are now. I still love pulling random dates up on this LJ to read about the way I saw life at various points over time. It's kind of amazing, in a way. There are people whose life stories as captured by LJs and other blogs have fascinated me. It's amazing to think that I started this back in October 2001 as an undergrad, sitting at a messy desk in Peterborough, Ontario, and today, I'm sitting a messy desk in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I've used writing as a form or introspection and therapy for a lot longer than that - since I was about 15 and I started carrying around little pocket notebooks in which I'd scribble down all sorts of things - stream of consciousness musings on life, and that sort of thing. I still do to a large extent, I guess I like the idea what I can just toss out ideas and see them become clearer - and sometimes, people read them and like them even.

I've even been able to see how my points of view about the world have changed over time, which is fascinating.

As I sit here now, alone in the office after a good hour long workout, I'm working to that end again. My tour here ends in a bit less than six months, and at that point I will face a fairly significant set of decisions to make - about where to go next, essentially. I'm on a leave of absence from my "day job" at the moment, but nothing in the world makes me quite as unhappy as the idea of returning to it. Within a big company there's lots of opportunities, but not all of them are clear at the moment, and many of the options will require me to move again - back to Ontario most likely, back to the place I found myself most miserable by the end of my time there.

Before I left, I applied to transfer from the Reserve Force to the Regular Force as well - it would be a decent go, to be honest, I'd go across as a Captain making a pretty good salary, able to buy back my pension so that I could retire at a reasonably young age, and ideally in a trade I'd find intellectually stimulating and offering the prospect of more education, something I desperately want but can't figure out how to afford.

That also brings the prospect of more tours, which is good. In fact, I'd love to work as a contractor over here, but realistically, that's not a possibility because the reality of being separated from my lovely wife becomes clear fairly quickly, and neither of us are especially fond of it, but it does come with the path I chose.

I can't help but feel sometimes like I made the wrong decisions, but there's no real point in complaining about them - I made them long ago and can't change them - mine is now only to try to find a new route - but again, there's a trick to that insofar as I have no idea where I'm going or why I want to go there. I feel like I'm asking the same questions Paul Gaugin did in his painting Valedictory (though to different ends!) - What are we, where did we come from, where are we going? I have no idea, and when things get slow and dull here questions like that become more of interest.
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  • 7 comments
I liked Kabul -- the mountains were so beautiful!! I'm glad you finally made it over there. I hope everything is working out well for you!

Here's me in Kabul, being a dork, haha!
HA!

I have a picture in front of that exact same monument!

I actually hang out up in the mountains southwest of the city in a pretty cool spot. Can't complain much at all!

Life's pretty awesome over here to be honest, I'm doing interesting stuff, though not really working that hard it often seems. Probably better than my thwarted misadventures in Kandahar likely would have been...
I'm sure everyone does, hahaha! I also have one in front of the "Welcome to Kabul" sign, hahaha!

That's awesome -- I love flying in and out of Kabul, it's pretty wild! One of the better runways, at least it's paved, ha!
It's got to be one of the better ones for sure. Lots of gravel strips, but I was amazed by the volume of traffic the one at FOB Salerno handles - Hercs and some other exotic Russian aircraft (An-72 Coalers being the neatest I've seen so far). I have a staff visit to Helmand coming up at some point, which should be somewhat interesting. I heard they build a runway in the middle of the desert that can land pretty much any commercial aircraft.
Crazy!

The one I liked the least was, and I may spell this completely wrong, is Faizebad... Metal corrugated, with goats all over it, eeeeeeeee.
I think it's Fayzebad - but I don't know - I know the place you're talking about though. Sounds fun. There's a lot of austere strips they've just thrown down that corrugated matting to make a runway at I think. Some of the places that the Dash 8s they use to ferry people around use must make the aircrews nervy.
Good to know you are still breathing. I didn't know you'd mostly moved over to Twitter. For me, it has kind of been the opposite--I have been more active on LJ of late, but not doing much of anything on Twitter.

Best of luck in whatever you decide your next move should be.