2009 didn't start out the way I envisioned. January and February were some of the hardest months of my life. Just when I thought things were going great at work everything crashed down in my face. I was partially guilty of putting things off and letting them slide. There was one other person at work who outranked me by a year even though we were the same rank that had a nice tirade on me. It caused me to question my ability in everything involved with work. The past 11 months have been spent rebuilding that confidence in my abilities and working diligently to not let anything like that happen again. It is comforting to know that I may never see the person that blew up my world. He's in Florida and I'm in Italy. It wouldn't hurt me at all if I never see him again.
There were more relationships made outside of work namely at the little church I went to while I lived in the Azores. I was fully embraced as a Sunday School teacher to the 3rd-5th grade kids. It was my first experience teaching. It sure felt like I failed 99% of the time. However, the reward at the end made the headaches worth it. Some Sundays it was literally impossible to get the kids to sit for more than 30 seconds. It turned into more of a time to just play a couple games and spend 5 minutes going over the lesson. When I left the Azores in September there were only 2 kids left from the original 7 as their families had moved onto other bases. Still, there is a connection from a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic where I stepped out on a limb and did something I never would have done anywhere else.
The huge change in 2009 was moving from the Azores to Italy. I knew it was going to be tough, but the excitement of moving to a place I had dreamed about living in for the past 10 years outweighed the fear. I deeply missed the Azores. I actually cried quite a few times over missing the Azores. I would go back in a heartbeat, not for the base but the people that I know who are still living there. Oh, and the ocean views that are everywhere.
The adjustment to Italy has not been fun. I almost expected there to be some kind of singles group running through either the chapel on base or a church off the base. However, for the size of the base there is nothing. That and I'm out of the "normal" age range of single military members. All the young airmen don't want to hang out with somebody who could end up being their supervisor or somebody considered to be an "old fogey".
So far the adjustment to my workplace has been the easiest. The shop is large, one of the largest ones I've ever worked in. On top of that I was put as second in command of the largest section in the shop. It helps that there is a group of guys right around my rank that understand how to work and get the younger people to work. It was intimidating at first to know that there were 25 people looking to me all the time. Now I understand that I can count on getting the word out to about 6 of the leaders under me and BAM all the sudden things are getting done. That's the beauty of delegating.
2010 is going to be an interesting year. I hope I do not make the same mistake I made last year and try to coast through things instead of putting 100% into everything. I would like to go and see some sights here in Italy. I'm only going to be here another 21 months. The first 3 months flew so I had better get to planning. There is also a dream of purchasing an Italian road racing bicycle. The only problem with that dream is the amount of money it will require. I could spend half the amount and get a great American made bike, but I would be zipping around Italy.
I also would like to finally finish my associates degree and start a couple classes toward something else (not sure what yet). I have 3 classes (math, history and speech) before I can get my associates. I don't want to start any classes until after I test for Master Sergeant in a couple months. That means I will be taking classes this summer/fall, prime time for traveling. Oh well, I missed out on taking classes 12 years ago when I came in with all kinds of time to waste.
Last but certainly not least in my relationship with Jesus Christ there is a little work that has to be done. In the past few months I have noticed a hardness in my heart. Partially due to me moving from one place to another and from me not doing the daily maintenance on the heart that is required. Like a car you need to do repairs to keep going for thousands of miles. I have let me heart go past the lower limits without mending the holes. That just means I sink a little deeper every time I come across a rough section in life. If you read this pray that I will seek out Jesus in these times. Pray that my heart will be filled to overflowing with Jesus and His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control.