Trust is key to a relationship, any relationship.  When you can’t rely on the truth of what someone is saying, then you really can’t be invested or dependent on them.

Broken commitments can be just as damaging as deliberate mistruths.  If someone blows off a commitment too you, then how can you trust them to keep further commitments to you?  How can you put yourself in a position where you need to rely on them?

Sometimes it is unavoidable, you make a commitment you didn’t really think through, or you have competing commitments.  It takes bravery to address that, but if you want to preserve the relationship, then you need to need to own up to the situation as soon as you realize it and address it directly with the individual you are breaking the commitment with, probably best in person.

Commitments are critical though.  Consistently meeting commitments, and allowing yourself to be dependent on someone else’s commitments is how you build trust.


Valentine’s day

Holidays usually bum me out.  In fact, they are probably the times when I’m most happy I don’t drink anymore, since I’m sure I’d end up black out drunk.  The reason I would assume is because holidays are generally about connection, with friends, family and loved ones.  And usually, my friends are with their family and loved ones, and I’m by myself.

Valentine’s day always feels particularly stinging when single and your friends all have partners.  Generally good to steer clear of facebook for a while, and avoid the wave of sappiness that you secretly wish you could share in.   Then there’s thoughts about texting exes that you beat back down, and try to maintain some self dignity.

In reality though, it’s a product of my own decisions and how my life has been prioritized.  And it’s generally better to be alone than with someone who isn’t right for you.    Keeping it in perspective makes it a little bit easier.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.



One of the interesting aspects of being in the military is you get to move around a lot.  Since moving away from my childhood home I’ve lived in 7 states across the country plus a couple overseas deployments and a few other extended trips for work or training.  It’s interesting to think how that could affect someone both positively and negatively.  Certainly I wouldn’t want to change my life, but it’s still a fun thought exercise.

So what are some of the positives of moving around a lot?  Well, it gives you a good perspective on things beyond just where you grew up.  You can appreciate points of view from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds that maybe you wouldn’t have been exposed to if you hadn’t moved.  You also get a sense that people can have striking similarities and common concerns despite seemingly vast differences.  A parent in Afghanistan still worries about their children’s futures like someone in middle America.

It also makes you more open to change, and perhaps a willingness to take risks as you’ve been forced to confront the unknown already in life.  You’re more comfortable with complete life upending changes such as a career shift or relocation.  You have an appreciation that just because something is new or unknown does not make it bad.

And in a practical sense, you’ve learned how to package your life.  You’re less likely to be tied emotionally to material goods since you’ve had to give up your house.  Lastly, you’ve also appreciated the benefits of just having less stuff.  And you can more quickly and easily move into new friendships, work groups, and social circles as you have a lot of practice.

So what are some of the drawbacks?  Well, you can start to avoid putting down roots anywhere, out of fear that it would make the inevitable move more painful.  This can cause relationships to be more shallow and less fulfilling that they otherwise could have been.  You may be admittedly more self-reliant, but also less willing to be vulnerable to other people.

People may avoid relationships with you, knowing that you will leave.  Intimacy can be elusive and perhaps too scary to pursue on both sides.  Once something goes south you can get in the pattern of moving again to avoid the situation, rather than living with what you got and trying to make something work.

My recommendation – it’s beneficial to experience a few life upending moves, ideally when you are younger.  The perspective and lessons will last.  As you get older though, it probably is best to settle somewhere and put down some roots.  Moving constantly get’s tiring, and lonely.



Returning from War #2

This is a companion to my second post on deploying:

So my time in Afghanistan drew to an end.  While it was a good trip, it was definitely exciting to come home, and there would be a girl waiting for me this time.  It was the same long ordeal to fly home, although this time got to see my sister as I connected through the Baltimore airport, which was cool.  When I finally got back to my home city there was a crowd of friends and people from work to greet me at the airport, which was an awesome change.  And there was my girl!  She was there, and I made a bee line right for her and kissed her.  Everything was perfect.

Well, not quite.  My friends (who didn’t know my history, I’d been happy to talk about it at work but was too ashamed to tell my friends), had bought me a bottle of scotch as a welcome home gift, my favorite!  So my girl drove me home, we started drinking and I promptly blacked out.  When I woke up, she was gone, and it was never the same.

Other little things sucked as they always do when you try to unpack your life after being gone for six and a half months.  I remember picking up my car and shattering my car window as we hit something trying to push it out of the autoshop back lot on base.  It was just embrace the suck time.  Whatever, I shrugged.  I got a jump, drove home with no window only to have the car die on me again.  Had to get another jump.

We get time off to reacclimatize, two weeks.  I really didn’t know what to do with myself, so spent most of it drunk.  Occasionally I’d awkwardly reach out to the girl, but that never seemed to go anywhere, somewhere something had died.

I was just home, and didn’t have anything to look forward to.  Just alone with my thoughts.  Drinking took care of that.  Tattoos suddenly became interesting.