I have written often of my time in the military as a point of reference for a transformative portion of my life. Indeed, as far as journeys of discovery go the military has been a big one. I have been places few Americans have been and seen things few Americans have seen. I have spoken Pashtun to native Afghans, seen the Himalayas painting the horizon in muted hues, and endured the blasted heat of the desert. I gained and lost much in that time both internally and externally. That is not, however, what I wish to discuss now. I am on a path of discovery now.
I didn’t get the help I needed when I returned from Afghanistan. The my emotions had become dulled by the anticipation of death at war, and so naturally my marriage fell apart – I am in the process of divorce as I write this. I find now that I have nothing left to me. My children are not with me, my bank account is sparsely populated by Washingtons, and we are selling our matrimonial home and am, thus, homeless. I find now I have hit rock bottom, yet it is upon rock that the most solid foundation is built.
Now that I am in a place I have never been before – poor, alone, and having to move back with my parents – I am seeing things I have never seen before. Understanding life from the viewpoint of the despondent breathes a sort of vigor in to my soul I had not felt before. From down here, I can move with some effort in any direction I wish. As long as I can see and support my babies, life will be good. Possessing few things allows one to possess the intangible spirit of life. It is not my THINGS that matter, for things are so easily lost. It is the people I know, love, hate, adore and despise - they are the matter of all things. It is thought and creativity, will and emotion that hold the most meaning and it is these intangible things that we take with us to our graves. The meek and meagre the shadows beneath consumeristic society’s feet, yet they have the vantage point of giants.