Monday, March 2, 2009

Did You Seriously Just Say That?

I promise a post with pictures from our trip to Verona tomorrow. I don't want to talk about the trip until I get the pictures up. For now I'll just it was a great trip and Sean and I had a blast.

Today I want to talk about something that's been bugging me almost since I've been here. Hardly a day goes by when I don't here someone on-post utter these words, "I hate it here, I can't wait to get back to the States."

Excuse me, what?

You hate it here? Did I honestly hear that correctly?

OK, granted there are days when the language barrier is exhausting and what I wouldn't give for a quick trip to Wal-Mart or Target and some good Tex-Mex, BUT I hope someone slaps me if I ever utter the words, "I hate it here".

Living overseas isn't easy. I give props to anyone who's ever done it. I will fully admit that sometimes I have an overwhelming sense of homesickness and I've cried a few times thinking about home and my family and friends. I do miss home, sometimes a lot, but I'm not going to be ungrateful for the experience of living in Europe.

I've always wanted to go to Europe. It's something that I thought I'd get to do later in life, but never did I imagine I'd be lucky enough to live here for at least three years and experience Europe like most people aren't able to.

I think you either make or break your situation. You can either try to be positive or you can be negative and look at every situation badly. Lots of people are appalled when they learn that I've lived at Fort Polk. I get this a lot, "You lived at Polk? Oh god...I'm so sorry." You know, there were days when living in Podunk Louisiana wasn't fun, but I made the best of it, I went and explored, I ate the food, I met new people, I loved my time at Polk and dare I say that sometimes I actually miss it?

This is the way I look at it, I have the rest of my life to live in the United States. What's three to five years of living in Europe? Why can't people just be grateful for the opportunities they have? Why not make the most of where you are at and go out and explore?

Sometimes I really just don't understand people.

36 comments:

Full of Heart said...

I totally agree with everything you said. Life is what you make it, and the people who are complaining about being there are probably not taking full advantage of the situation.
People keep making creeped out faces and weird noises when I tell them where Sailor Boy is being stationed next, and when I tell them I'm moving there too. I'm always reluctant to tell them we chose it, and that I bet we're really going to like it there!!

Jon and Steph said...

I am completely with you. Some days it is so hard being away from family and not being able to just pop on over to my mom's or dads. Some days I would do anything to have Target only a couple of blocks away from my house like back in the states. But this is a once in a lifetime experience and I think we are so lucky to be able to live in Europe. I have been looking at it more like that these past couple of months and am really enjoying it over here! I'm glad that you are enjoying it too ;)
Sorry to write a novel

Dana said...

Ok, as much as I agree with you, I have to defend the other side a little. My husband and I have been here for 3 years, and while we don't hate it here, we'll be excited to be back with family and friends in the States, mainly for the fact that most of them haven't met our son yet, including my father. I will say that when they say they hate it here, most people mean they hate the unit their sponsor is in, not necessarily being in Europe. That's not always the case, but it is a common feeling around Post. Deployments make it even worse. We do realize how lucky we are and we like living here, but when your husband comes home from work angry and discouraged from constant disappointment in his job, you start hoping for a break.

Megan said...

Wow. I couldn't have said it any better myself. I have been living in Germany for 3 months and since I got here that is all I hear. Mainly the one's who say they hate it here are those who just stay on post. They don't get out and experience the culture, language, food, and other things that some people spend their whole wishing they could. I believe it is what you make of it and that is anywhere, not just Europe. :)

Casey said...

Some people will never be happy, no matter where they are. It's sad really. And it's especially sad when they are over here wasting an assignment that somebody else would have enjoyed.

Is it hard living here? Sure. But, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I have learned and grown so much.

I'm glad you are not "one of them" :)

Brando said...

I've been doing a lot of research on Hawaii and that's all I hear from women over there: "I hate it here. It's awful!" And I just want to scream! Really?

It was the same way when we were in Italy- everyone complained about being over there. These were the same folks who never traveled anywhere, didn't leave base, and didn't attempt to embrace the culture around them. I'm so glad you are grateful for the wonderful experience you have! It's all what you make it!

Mary Teresa said...

It is quite the obnoxious phrase. I figure what the heck?! I'm in another country for 3 years! How many other people get that opportunity? Now my husbands unit is not the most upstanding thing ever, but I'm sure there are crap units in the States too. It just takes some guts to get off base and give it a chance without yelling things in English at the German vendors. (annoys me to the max)

Via said...

Definitely agree! It's EUROPE, enjoy it. Things will always be different, whether it's another country or it's California, and the experience is really what matters--and you DO make your experience, I think. When I was in Kenya we had water about 70% of the time, and when we did it was freezing because it came from a well. But it's not something you harbor on. Why? Because we were in KENYA. =D

nanny said...

It was the same way years ago! You have the right attitude about the entire experience, soak it all up you are building memories now that will last a lifetime. Wish I were there!

lolaberly said...

I so agree with you! You truly have to make the best of the cards you're dealt. Do I want my husband to be deployed? NO. Am I going to have the freaking time of my life while he's gone? YES.

Sometimes it's as simple as plastering a smile on your face when you're feeling bad. There's only so long that you can go before you start to feel happy! :)

tootie said...

We've been stationed at all sorts of places, and it never fails that someone will complain (no matter how great the place is!) You have the right attitude - make the most of where you are!

Can't wait to see pics of your trip!

Sondre Lyn said...

What a great attitude you have. It will certainly make your experiences as you move from place to place with your military husband much more enjoyable. There is a saying in the military (that I am sure you have heard) that the best base is your last base or your next base. I agree with you. Enjoy where you are RIGHT NOW! Good for you and keep it up! :D Make the most of your experiences. When all those other people are moaning and groaning about how much they hate Italy (even though they have probably never left the base so they have never actually seen Italy!) you can have the satisfaction of knowing you are getting every positive thing you possibly can from this experience.

Honey said...

i understand just what you're saying, and those people are such a waste. it's definitely not always fun, but it is always an experience few people will ever get. you have to be grateful, even when you miss target. just think how much you'll never take american conveniences for granted when you get back!

indiana.girl said...

That is such an excellent attitude to take! It's sad how many people live their life waiting for the "good" stuff to happen or only focused on the negative and all the time their own life is just passing them by.

jlc said...

Coming back tomorrow for some pics!! Yay!!

Glad you're enjoying yourself!! :)

Becca said...

This post is officially awesome.

I was 21 when I went to Italy and I did spend the first few months wishing that it was more like the US. I think many people don't like it overseas because they are too scared to appreciate it. I used to be nervous that I would get lost and end up in the wrong country (this was when the Bosnian conflict was really heating up).

After my 1st year, the army did me the favor of sending me to Kuwait. I definitely appreciated Italy by the time I returned!

Some people can't enjoy an overseas tour because they are scared to leave their comfort zone. They miss out on all the great stuff to do. In my experience, these are the same people who in a few years will wish they'd made more of the tour.

I do think Dana has a point that many people are frustrated by the unit or things unrelated to the geographical location. There are people here now that are begging to go to a stateside location that we just left and that I hated. I'd much rather go overseas than to some of the options available in the USA.

Yeah, I'm a little sad that we're going to have to sell DH's truck and store a lot of our stuff. I won't have SuperTarget and ChickFilA for 3 years. I will miss my big walk-in closet and 700 cable channels.

But then I remember the FOOOOOD and the castles and the fun of hopping on a train and going to Venice for the day. I also made closer friends with the military wives than any other place I lived stateside.

(Frankly, I always say that having lived at Ft. Polk for 3 years, I can live ANYWHERE.)

I can't wait to see photos of Verona!

1 Hot Dish said...

I just LOVE your attitude! It's so refreshing! I can't imagine how hard it must be to be so far from your friends and family but, it's definitely a trade-off for a once in a lifetime experience.

I'm so glad you are looking at the positive side of things. :)

Kevin and I are planning a trip to Europe, with a stop in Italy so I can't wait to see your pics!! Until we get over there, I will have to live vicariously through your pics - lol! :)

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

It's all about the attitude, baby!! YOU make or break your living situation.

I admit, I had a pretty stinky attitude about moving to Cannon AFB but Daniel and I made the decision to enjoy our time here. And we have! And honestly, like everyone else, I have mostly good days but there are times when I really feel sorry for myself :)

I KNOW you are going to have a wonderful, unique, and memorable time in Italy!

-Andrea

How to love my wife said...

I'm agree with you!!! Looking forward for your next post..

Abbie said...

Good for you for making the best of the situation! I'm like you...I probably won't have the chance to go to Europe for at least 5 years and when I do, I'm sure I'll zoom through it and it'll be such a blur! You on the other hand get to experience Europe for all that she's got to offer and I'd kill for an opportunity like that! I can't imagine how difficult the language barrier must be but you seem like your managing pretty well! As much as I love my hometown and want to spend the rest of my life here, it would be such a great adventure to get to live someplace else! What a positive outlook you have!

Tania said...

Me me! I'll take their place! :)

I'm pretty sure I would love it, although I would miss home too. But it's just not for everyone...

SuperSapperWife said...

I think you've got a great attitude about it! Military life is such an adventure, I never understood why some people sit back and watch the amazing opportunities pass them by. I look forward to reading about your experiences. Good luck and have tons of fun for those of us that probably won't ever get orders to Italy =)

Kebi Cedawna said...

I think some people just hate the change. Like the other's have said, it's about your attitude. It applies to anything in life, have the right attitude and you can make the best out of anything.

Can't wait to see the pics!
Love and miss you! :)

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Good for you! What a great way to look at it!

Cassie said...

I lived in Europe for a semester in college. We stayed on a NATO base so we could teach in an English speaking school, and I got to know a lot of the military wives there. I was ALWAYS amazed that most of them had not been off the base. Granted, we lived in Belgium and there wasn't that much to do there, but we were an hour and a half from Paris, two hours from London, etc. My roommates and I traveled every single weekend, trying to see as much as we could, and there were families we met that had been there for YEARs, had never left the base, and just wanted to go home. I STILL don't understand that mindset!

Cassie said...

OH! And (my husband is in the Navy) a few months ago I talked to a friend from high school and he was complaining about being stationed in Italy again. I couldn't believe it! I was like, "I'll trade you!" because we were being sent to Virginia.

Jessica said...

I am right with you! I love that you posted about this.. you are so refreshing! I find myself dealing with this a lot right now. People are so negative about my husband joining the Army. Is it hard? Yes. Am I going to miss my family when we do move? OF COURSE. But this is it. It's happening. Why not make the best of it right? We all wake up in the morning and have a choice to either make it a great day or a horrible one. Not that I am perfect, but on most days.. I'm choosing to look at all the positive sides!

Kiki said...

I don't understand that either. What an opportunity!! I think trying new foods is a big thing. Authentic local cuisine just can't be replicated. Experiencing other cultures, and seeing new things...ahh... I love it!

Gleatie said...

I hope that I can have the same attitude that you do! I'm trying to be upbeat and positive but I am SO worried about being homesick! I am going to miss my mom so much that it makes me almost cry to think about it! But that is just me and I recognize that I am a huge wimp. I'm hoping that I am so nervous about it that maybe it won't be as bad as I am expecting (the homesickness that is!)

Barb said...

Great post enjoy your experiences,you are making great memories....Barb

Sara said...

I was sure you'd run across a few people like that. Sometimes people loathe the idea of being in another country with every ounce of their being. It's not always easy but my goodness, do you ever grow from it! And I am not at all miserable at Polk. All the podunkiness about this place is laughable. It's made for some awesome stories. I always felt like this was my second home because my relationship with Mark started here. If we can be happy and content here, I'm sure it's only going to go up.

Mrs. Cup said...

I agree! It's such an exciting time for yall and I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)

Roxanne said...

You have a wonderful outlook! I wish those people who say those things could gain your insight! I think every town, little or small has wonderful things to offer, you just have to look for them! I'm away from home now and leaving was so hard, but this place has little curiosties that I'll never find anywhere else! They girl down the hall does NOTHING...It's her loss! Keep preaching what you love, maybe your great attitude will catch on! PS...I didn't know you moved! Congrats! and Italy??? I'm JEALOUS!

Allison said...

I'm probably one of those people who have said "I hate it..." lately. However, we have been here for almost 3 years now, and I am just reallllly homesick and ready to be back in the states. It is easy to think people are crazy for saying that when you've only been over here for a few months....give it some time :)

That being said, I do get irritated with people who "hate it" but NEVER leave base. That is ridiculous. I am very grateful for all the places we've traveled over the past few years. But on the flip side, one of the reasons I'm sick of being here is that my husband has not been able to get leave for nearly a year....so to me, being stuck in Europe but not being able to travel together gets old very fast :(

I can see both sides, is all I'm sayin' ;)

lala said...

Hubby and I are talking about requesting a PCS to Japan. What do you think? I ask you because you have (so far!) survived (and with style, might I add) a PCS overseas. It sounds like it would be worth it, to me. Living overseas-- seriously? Experiencing a completely different culture? I can't even imagine the things I'll learn.

Would you go to Japan?

I'm pretty much terrified when I think about it, but when I think about my life 20 years from now, if I have never lived overseas I'll be really pissed at myself. Esp when the military pays to move everything.

I love your attitude (and the fact that you labeled this post "stupid people"). :) :)

Kristen said...

Tell those people that I will be happy to switch with them!