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Conversations Over Coffee: Military Deployment, Moving, Quitting my Job, and GETTING ENGAGED!
This blog entry is going to differ from my previous travel posts. I wanted to use this platform to not only share my travel adventures, but to also journal about important milestones in my life. My intention is to not only share some of my personal stories with my readers, but to also be able to reflect on these moments years later.
Therefore, I will be posting “Conversations Over Coffee” entries from time to time. They will be filled with life updates and lifestyle content to share with you all. You know – the type of conversations you have when you meet up with a friend for coffee to catch up on life. :)
You’ll find that the month of June for me was filled with making choices that were heavily impacted once we received Lucas’ deployment orders, and from there - it was an exciting whirlwind of events.
We had known about Lucas’ possible deployment overseas for a little over a year, but that’s the thing – “possible” was emphasized for a while. Lucas has served in the Army Reserves for six years and counting, and his unit had not needed to deploy until 2019. Even during the months of military preparation leading to their deployment date this year, there was still a possibility that they didn’t need to deploy.
Regardless, we needed to plan for the anticipation. In May, we decided that I would move back home in June to stay with my parents during the duration of his deployment. Although Sherbert is an excellent companion, I just thought that I’d need a little more support than he could give me in our Seattle home all by ourselves.
Moving Out of Seattle.
Deciding to move out of Seattle wasn’t the easiest choice to make, however. (Not even in the slightest.) Lucas and I had lived together in our apartment in West Seattle since last year, but I had also lived in Seattle for the past five years while I was going to school at the University of Washington.
Seattle was my home. With familiar spots like Pike Place Market, our local diner with the best eggs benedict, Alki Beach, and our favorite Sunday Farmer’s Market all within reach, I had enjoyed every minute of our Seattle chapter. We had many firsts in our first apartment together – including our first time building Ikea furniture (which was a story in itself! lol), our first time baking pizzas in our own kitchen, and it was also the first home of my very first kitten and our first fur child, Sherbert!
Additionally, our West Seattle home made for only a half-hour commute for both of us to get to our jobs. The bus system was so convenient for me to use everyday to get to work in downtown Seattle, and the free parking nearby made it easy for Lucas to get to and from work. If we were to commute from our previous homes in Puyallup, it would’ve made for an hour commute for Lucas, and a 2-2.5 hour commute for myself.
Because moving out of Seattle increased my commute significantly, it caused me to have to make some more life decisions…
I Left My Job.
Work is work. There’s always going to be aspects of a job that you utterly dread, but there are also aspects of a job that you’re graciously good at or thoroughly enjoy. I worked for the same company in downtown Seattle for 1 year before I decided that it was time to move on.
If the only thing I needed to take into account was the job itself or the account team I worked with directly, I would’ve made the commute work. But given all the changes to adjust to – Lucas’ deployment and moving back home in Puyallup, the longer commute just didn’t seem feasible for what the job was able to offer me.
I was and still am so grateful for the growth and learning opportunities that my previous company was able to provide. However, at this point in my life, I needed time. Time to adjust, time to pack and unpack, time to prepare for the deployment, time to ease my mental health, and time to create new goals. Money will always return, but time won’t.
Running Out of Time…
I decided to put in my two week’s notice while Lucas was away for military training in North Carolina. I had planned it so that once he returns from North Carolina, we would both have one entire month to spend together before he deployed in mid-July. We had made plans to go on a trip together, hiking, and spending time with family.
However, a week before Lucas were to return from North Carolina, we discovered that his deployment orders were switched. Instead of having one month back in Washington to prepare, he would only have four days before leaving for his deployment.
I don’t even know how to describe in words the utter dread and defeat I felt when we heard that news. Not only was 9-10 months going to be taken away from us, but it was going to be taken away even sooner than planned, and 1 month to prepare turned into 4 days.
You can imagine that fitting in a month-long of goodbyes in 4 days was nearly impossible, and to top it all off – it happened to be the weekend of Father’s Day and Graduations. Nevertheless, Lucas and I wanted to make the most out of his last weekend home.
After a delayed and rescheduled flight, I picked up Lucas from the airport on a Friday morning. I had to spend the day working remotely from home, but for dinner Lucas and I spent the late afternoon with his family at Olive Garden. Because we were stripped away from our planned trip in early July, Lucas booked us a hotel in downtown Seattle for Friday night. We wanted one more night together in our city that we had called home for the past year before he left for his deployment. Lucas surprised me and booked us a room at the Loews Hotel 1000 on 1st Ave with the original intention to walk to Pike Place Market for breakfast the next day.
Although we were still full from Olive Garden earlier, we had just enough of an appetite to munch on some fresh oysters, a cheese platter, a glass of Riesling for me, and a rum and coke for Lucas at the restaurant attached to the hotel, All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar.
We were walking back up to the hotel room when Lucas started talking a little more sentimental than usual. We were talking about the deployment and how we were going to make it through – that the time away from each other was going to suck, but that we’ll always know how to make it work. And before I could even blink, Lucas surprised me with the question, “Will you marry me?” and pulled out the most beautiful rose gold ring I had ever seen.
You know how some brides sort of see it coming? That wasn’t me lol. I’ve always felt sure with Lucas, and even since the beginning of our relationship we made it clear to one another that we didn’t date around just to date – that we were looking for long-term. But if you knew Lucas, he is not quite the “planner” type, so I was very happily surprised that he pulled it all off without me finding out.
Lucas later explained to me that our families already knew, and that he was planning on proposing during our trip in July. But because the sudden change in plans, he decided to buy my ring in North Carolina that way he could propose the day he returned. While I was working from home earlier that day, he snuck away outside to receive my father’s blessing and even had the ring approved by my best friend, Chelsey, a week prior.
I am still in awe, and I am still trying to process how blessed I am to have found such a wonderful person to spend the rest of my life with.
Annnd that's a wrap!
To say that last month was exciting would be SUCH an understatement. Although some may say that all the life changes (especially the deployment) can be stressful or overwhelming, the most important thing to remember is that regardless of all that life may throw at me, the one thing I know for sure is that I have the BEST partner to go through it all with me!
Now that I have time off from work, I’m excited to have the time to unpack and settle in back home, the time to dream new goals for myself (like going back to school, traveling, finding a new job, and investing in my photography), and now… time to PLAN A WEDDING too! :)
You can either “go through” or “GROW through” a deployment, and Lucas and I have decided to choose the latter. Although the sudden change of plans threw us off for a moment, it only means he’ll return sooner than planned. It also eases my heart knowing that the platoon he was switched to is one that I know will look out for him while he’s overseas.
Just have to remember to count the blessings, and not the problems!
Cheers to getting ENGAGED!