Wednesday, November 28, 2012

feelings on my first PCS

 I don't remember the last time I was vulnerable on this blog, but this feeling has been heavy on my heart and writing sometimes gives me clarity, so here goes. I've never been one to want to leave too far from home. To me, vacationing in paradise for two weeks is different than living there for 3 years. I've been to California for all of 3 days in my entire life for a short family vacation. It is breathtakingly beautiful, but I never dreamed of moving out west. To me the east coast had everything my little heart desired. Don't get me wrong, I "knew" what I was committing to when I married someone  in the military. But, there is a difference between being told something will happen and something actually happening.

I'm not afraid of making new friends and I'm not afraid of adjusting to the military life. I am grateful for this experience, I am excited to have our own place, "settle down" somewhere for a few years, and finally find a job again.

But. 
I love the east coast. I love it. I wouldn't trade growing up in the Carolinas for anything in the world. To me, they are the best states in the world, they hold so many of my memories and house so many of my family and friends. I love back roads, I love tractors holding up the traffic, I love people waving when you drive by, I love cotton fields as far as the eye can see, I love sweet tea, hunting, and trucks, I love when people don't blink twice after I say y'all, I love colonial style homes, I love highways being two lanes not six, I love the smell of the marsh, I love slow talkin' and slow living.

I know it's coming ready or not, I know it's going to be okay, but today I am feeling overwhelmed, nervous,  anxious, and a little sad.


*PCS (Permanent Change of Station)

28 comments:

  1. It is a scary thing. Our first PCS wasn't too far but it is the furthest I've lived from home (New Jersey) and moving to North Carolina was terrifying. It takes time to settle and get a routine but you can do it!

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  2. You will do great on your first PCS Jordan!

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  3. California is the complete opposite of EVERYTHING you have just mentioned. I hope you learn to love it because California especially southern California has so much to offer.

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  5. I can understand not wanting to leave the places and people nearest and dearest to you heart... Not sure I could do it! I think it's definitely the memories made in places that make us yearn to stay there and be there. The beauty of this move to Cali is that you will get to create a whole new set of awesome memories with your husband, ones that you will treasure for years to come, as the first place you "settled down"! Good luck settling your heart into this move - you can do it :) For what it's worth -- I have spent quite a bit of time in California and I think it's amazing! You will love it in time! (ha ha probably right before your next PCS?) Life does slow down once you leave the cities too... esp. in northern Cali or on the coast :) There's plenty of back roads and my personal favorite... Mountains. Just waiting to be explored.

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  6. Moving from Tennessee to San Diego was a major shock and it has completely rocked my world! We love it out here but it is not home!!
    You will do great tho! Crying when you are home sick helps... a lot and so does a bottle of wine!! haha! You and your husband will get closer than you have ever thought possible!! It's pretty awesome! If you ever need a friend to hangout with or just need to hear a southern accent, I will be right down the road from you! :)
    Enjoy every minute!!!

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  7. I love this Jordan, I love your heart. And of course I share your love for the Carolinas! I know the Lord has huge plans for you guys in Cali. Brian and I have seen in the past 2 months how good it is for us to be away for a little bit. To figure out how we do marriage, to make our own traditions. I know that will be true for you and Ben too! Cant wait to watch from afar :) And cant WAIT for you to come visit me here :)

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  8. My first PCS took me 3 hours from where I grew up. It was a move, but still close enough to easily make it home for holidays and any random weekend. The next move took me overseas. I think it was a bigger shock for my family than me. We've adjusted fine though and I'm sure you will too! You won't be there forever, so just think of it as an extended vacation.

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  9. Moving and change is always scary, but once you get there you will adjust just fine! Sometimes I still have "I miss my Mom" days, but that just means an extra long conversation or Facetime is in my future! You will do great! :)

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  10. Sometimes change is a really hard thing to get used to. My only advice about moving somewhere (when you might not really want to) is to 'think' your gonna love it! Then you will, I promise. I spent 10 years stationed in North Dakota. Those people that moved there thinking it would be miserable actually were miserable the whole time. But those that were willing to try it out actually loved the place. I LOVED ND and miss it so much. Now we are in Germany and love it even more. But can you believe there are people here who hate it? lol Really, a PCS is all that you make it to be, and it seems like you've got the right mindset for your upcoming move. Good luck!
    - Your newest follower-
    Lacey @ lagjeg2003.blogspot.com

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  11. I moved from Memphis, TN to Camp Lejeune, and although they are both in the south, it was still a culture shock. Like I'm sure you have already discovered being in D.C., every place really has it's own little quirks and personality. I realized after 4 months of living in NC, I was growing comfortable with the little personality of Eastern NC, and not so disgusted by missing what I was used to.

    You are gonna do great! Based on your awesome personality as seen through your blog, I'm sure you will find things to love right away! Just concentrate on your new family (you and your man), and the times you miss your family will start feeling more bittersweet instead of gut-wrenching. You can do!! The time will pass so fast! Take it all in while it lasts :)

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  12. We moved from Georgia to New York earlier this year. I have moved a lot and thought I would be prepared. However, I balled like a baby when we drove that moving truck out of my parents' driveway. It is perfectly normal to be nervous, and just because something scares doesn't mean that it isn't also everything you've always wanted. It is all just one big adventure.

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  13. I'm a Yankee transplant to the south, by way of being a nanny from Pennsylvania to North Carolina... I immediately fell in love with all of being southern. I felt like I found myself down here - like this was where I was meant to be the whole time! I met and married my husband (who was a Marine at the time) and we were blessed enough to stay in the south while he was still in. No cross country PCS for us. We are still in the south, both love it here. He is from Nevada and his mom wants us to move there so bad - but I just can't and neither can he! I always say I'm an east coast girl, and the south is where my heart is. Good luck to you, you can do this - military wives have something special in them :)

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  14. Jordan, moving and leaving are minor traumas in life. Let yourself be sad. It's healthy to grieve. But when you're ready, listen to your optimistic self and grasp everything you can for those three years as you "settle down" with your husband and your military life. You are a strong woman and being vulnerable is terrifying but it's true when they say that your home is where your heart is. I hope that you'll find that your heart is where you and your husband build a home and a piece of it is still in the Carolinas - because your memories are embedded there. You've got this.

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  15. I won't lie, California is just *different*. But there is beauty in it all! There is zero Southern Hospitality to be found out here (the most I've found is from my southern and midwest girlfriends whose husbands are stationed here).

    There is a lot to do outside here, year-round, which is awesome. Get involved in off-base activities asap. Although I'm active in my husbands' squadrons' OSC, I also do a lot with our church, as well as random neighborhood stuff too (we live off base).

    And don't let the winter weather get you down...it will be grey and rainy with some sporadic beautiful days till about March. Over all, California is a great adventure and let's be honest, there are WAY worse places to be stationed :).

    Email me if you have any questions, we've been out here for about a year and a half!

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  16. Having gone the other way, west to east, it is just as much of a culture shock. However, I agree with the mindset of if you go there knowing you will love it you find out you will. Moving from my beloved California to Florida taught me to appreciate the uniqueness of both places. I will give you a few tips to make your transition to California a little easier and a few things to look forward to; Never ever call if Cali to a local (we hate that and drives us all crazy! No one from there calls it that and it is the first thing that will make you stand out), be ready for the best Mexican food in your entire life (always go to the hole in the wall that looks a little scary on the outside, but I promise you that those are the family owned places where everything is made from scratch), it’s no joke that In-N-Out burger is a way of life (google the secret menu, you will be glad you did), our beaches are a bit different then what you are used to (the water is colder and the surf can be a bit rougher depending on where you are, but a Pacific sunset is amazing), yes we drive like no one else but I miss being able to just hit cruise on our freeways and work out all of life problems at 65 mph, take the time to explore the state, there is no other state that has so many different regions (must see spots are Yosemite, Palm Springs, Tahoe, Big Sur for the redwoods, Coronado for The Del, Pacific Coast Highway is great but a long drive, the Bay Area is a crazy mix of just about everything wonderful there is in the world, and you will fall in love with Napa). I promise that it will be wonderful and scary at the same time, but a life without adventure has no joy to it. We might not know what the heck sweet tea is, but we sure do know how to have a good time West Coast style!

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  17. Having gone the other way, west to east, it is just as much of a culture shock. However, I agree with the mindset of if you go there knowing you will love it you find out you will. Moving from my beloved California to Florida taught me to appreciate the uniqueness of both places. I will give you a few tips to make your transition to California a little easier and a few things to look forward to; Never ever call if Cali to a local (we hate that and drives us all crazy! No one from there calls it that and it is the first thing that will make you stand out), be ready for the best Mexican food in your entire life (always go to the hole in the wall that looks a little scary on the outside, but I promise you that those are the family owned places where everything is made from scratch), it’s no joke that In-N-Out burger is a way of life (google the secret menu, you will be glad you did), our beaches are a bit different then what you are used to (the water is colder and the surf can be a bit rougher depending on where you are, but a Pacific sunset is amazing), yes we drive like no one else but I miss being able to just hit cruise on our freeways and work out all of life problems at 65 mph, take the time to explore the state, there is no other state that has so many different regions (must see spots are Yosemite, Palm Springs, Tahoe, Big Sur for the redwoods, Coronado for The Del, Pacific Coast Highway is great but a long drive, the Bay Area is a crazy mix of just about everything wonderful there is in the world, and you will fall in love with Napa). I promise that it will be wonderful and scary at the same time, but a life without adventure has no joy to it. We might not know what the heck sweet tea is, but we sure do know how to have a good time West Coast style!

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  18. Reading things like this reminds me so much of what a HUGE sacrifices family members of the military make. I pray that you will find a wonderful CA "family" of friends that will be a great support system for you all during your transition. :)

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  19. I can relate..I have been living in SC for the last two years and was born and raised on the East Coast. Whether it be up north or down south, the East Coast will always be me and always be home. I also knew what getting involved with a military man meant and although we still have about a year and a half before we will get transferred anywhere, I know that it's inevitable that I will be in your shoes before I know it. It is sad to think about, but I try and look at it from a positive prospective. We are young and what an amazing opportunity to be able to move across the country and experience awesome places that most other people will never get to see in their lives. Hang in there, I'm sure you will love it!

    -kelly
    sweettea-lemonade.blogspot.com

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  20. You're going to be just fine. Having moved around most of my life I know how you feel but promise...in a couple of years you're going to be asking to move again just to be able to see new things and meet new people.

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  21. I'm going to be honest here - You're in for a real shock to your system. You're right CA is beautiful, but it's a world away from the south. Things move fast, people talk fast, cars move fast. No tractors, hunting, sweet tea or southern drawls. BUT you will find little things that you absolutely love about the west coast. Like nightly sunsets over the ocean! You don't get that in the Carolina's. And dolphins migrating in May/June... You can watch this daily!! The Grunion Run is magical and hilarious at the same time... Bet you don't even know what Grunion are? And Woods Cove... My favorite locals beach in Laguna Beach. Or Golden Spoon frozen yogurt and Ice Blendeds from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf... Only the best in the entire country! You will make so many new mamories in California and will come to find that, hidden behind the 6 lane freeways and hustle and bustle, there is a quaintness to it... places that you can only find in that spot of the state/country. Embrace your mood. When you miss home, let yourself. When you want to explore, do it. Just go with the flow and you'll find out that So Cal is a peace of heaven on earth! And you'll miss it once you leave...

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  22. I've been living in Southern California for the past 3.5 years. We PCS'ed here from Utah, and pretty much ANYTHING is culture shock when you're coming from Utah (that state is like a bubble). But I absolutely love it here. The produce here cannot be beat, and everything is available and fresh all year round. I just got some home grown organic lettuce in my farm delivery yesterday!

    And I think you'll find that californians can be rather laid back. At first glance we do come across as pretty fast-paced but deep down everyone is just a secret beach bum who wears flip flops and shorts to the grocery store in the middle of winter.

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  23. I just happened on your blog, but I can so relate to this. I am old enough to be your mother, but when I was college age, I left the Deep South where my family had been for generations. My sisters had left after they grauated from college, but we were all still in the South. I had grown up in a small historic town replete with antebellum homes, good food, and better manners. God was central to life, and friends and family were the order of the day. I left along with my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and went to school in Florida. It was a completely different world. I love it here and have stayed here my whole adult life, but for the first few years we were married., I begged my husband to move HOME. I probably drove him crazy, but thankfully, he's a patient man. One day I was doing my devotional reading, and it talked about how God planned for Isaac to move away from Abraham so he would not grow up in his shadow and would, instead, grow and become a mighty oak on his own. It was as if the Lord were speaking to me. Now, in my case, I didn't go home, but i learned to bloom where I was planted, made close friends who were like family, grew closer to the Lord, and developed skills and abilities I didn't know I had. In other words, I bloomed. You will, too. Just remember to look at this as a HUGE adventure and enjoy every second of life with your husband. Explore the beauty of California. Celebrate each and every day. "This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in IT." Remember, husbands feel terrible when we cry and whine about being homseick. I know this first hand so benefit from my experience and don't make the same mistake. They are trying desperately to provide for us and want to make us happy. There's nothing that hurts worse than hearing we are unhappy. They think we are unhappy with them, and no amount of assuring them otherwise will erase that nagging thought from their minds. So choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice just like being married to the man you love is. This will give you the opportunity to bond in ways that other young couples don't have. The military is like a family so develop friendships there. Find a good church and develop friendships there. Have fun! Don't cry! And most of all, enjoy your handsome husband. Enjoy catering to his needs. That may sound old fashioned, but it is as Southern as can be. A Southern girl knows what it takes to make her man and her family happy, and it is foremost in her mind. Read the Five Languages of Love and figure out what makes both of you tick and then be the best wife in the world to him. And while you are doing all of this, know how much we appreciate your sacrifice to your country. I salute you and your husband both! My cousins have been in the military, and I love them to pieces for it.




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  24. You are going to shine, shine, shine over there in CA! I love how us southerners can spread our 'southerness' to all parts of the U.S./world! Always bringin a piece of where we come from to a new place...the best!!! I love you girl, and thank you for sharing your heart! You are so beautiful on both the inside and out:0)

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  26. Just came across your post! I recently just made the big move with my Marine to San Diego from Charleston, SC. I was scared, anxious and nervous, but also excited for the new adventure!! I have lived on the east caost my entire life and never been to California before. We have been here for 2 months and I am still adjusting. I am happy to say I have made some great people who I hope turn into wonderful friends during our stay here. He deploys next month to Afghanistan and I am still unsettled but it has been so much fun exploring the new city and surrounding towns! There is so many outdoor activities, you will def. enjoy it! It is different, but change is good! Besides we should be happy we arent in 29 palms haha Best of Luck!!

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  27. It will be ok! My husband is a Submariner up in Seattle, Washington and moving out off the east coast away from family was hard! It took me forever to adjust but I gave myself little goals to make my life happier here. Some of them were as simple as trying to find three thrift stores I really like. We also made a point to do things in the area so I felt more comfortable when he was gone. I can tell you my phone bill has gone up from calling family so much, but it is always fun to hear the reactions to all the cool west coast things we are doing.

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