I'm (probably) out. Here's why.
"A person is as young as their dreams and as old as their cynicism."
That quote, from Dr. Tony Campolo, pretty much sums it up. All my Marine buddies can relate, I'm sure.
It's terrifying- in essence I'm quitting my job to finish my degree to start a new career making less than I make now. My family's against the idea- except my amazing wife who'd follow me to hell and back-, and frankly I'm not convinced it's the best idea. I do know, however, that I cannot see myself doing this for 12 more years.
I joined for 4, stayed for 8, and don't feel bad about not wanting to spend 12 more years in an organization where having a family is a liability under the ruse of trying to make things better for my family. The retirement pay at 20 years is meager at best, and it's certainly not worth doing something I don't love for that much longer.
I grew up in one city for 20 years; one house for 16 of those 20. My 5-year-old has lived in 6 places before his 6th birthday. I'm not ok with that. Some people are, but I'm not wired that way. My family is the most important thing in the world to me, and I've had to live to the contrary for the last 5 years just to get by. I actually had my boss tell me yesterday that I should bring my 5 and 2 year olds to PT with me at 5:30 in the morning because our kids' caretaker had a death in the family and T is in Chicago for her sister's boot camp graduation.
But God, do I love the Corps. It's like an addiction, almost. I go to work every day, and even if I hate working where I do, with who I do, I love what I do. I still get a little choked up every time I hear the Marines Hymn, and putting on the "U.S. Marines" nametape every day is a mystic kind of feeling that given all the time in the world I couldn't explain to you. Mushy, I know, but when I think about waking up day after day and not "being a Marine," it's depressing and exciting all at once.
So what does all this psychobabble mean? Not real sure. Maybe one of the 5 or so Psych students on my friends list (to include the one I go to bed with every night) can explain all this to me. It probably wouldn't do any good, though, because I'm hard headded and stubborn when it comes to this.
I wish someone would just make this decision for me. That way no matter which way it goes, I'd have someone to blame for the bitterness and depression that will surely come regardless of which decision I make.
Is that transparent enough?
Off to work.