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Joe is in Iraq doing cool stuff and I’m stuck in boring Tacoma … just kidding!

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Joe dons his father's Kevlar in Panama in the '70s.

Joe is three weeks in to a life-changing trip to visit US soldiers in Iraq.

He’s making great images and amazing memories, but he’s also helping me learn more about our relationship.

The trip was supposed to be short, I thought. Only six weeks, Joe doing his thing, I doing mine. I visit my family at Christmas, he spends the week in Baghdad.I get sick during New Years, he hops many flights between Iraq and Kuwait and finally lands in Basra. In the end, he has super travel experience, and I get lots of to-do listy items done. When he comes home, life seamlessly goes back to normal.

I hate to admit this, but I only wish it was that simple.

Instead, it’s been one of the most challenging/character revealing periods of my life. IT HAS SUCKED (sorry, I didn’t mean to yell).

I’ve not spent so much time “alone” since … I can’t remember when. Even though we talk every day, the separation has caused me to rethink who I am and who I’ve become since getting married. I am different now, and I believe that “different” is good. But this new me doesn’t know how to function very well without Joe. Perhaps that’s weak to admit, but it is true.

So I’ve decided that even though it’s been tough, in the big picture, the divide will bring us closer together as it independently makes us better people. It will make me a better person because I believe, in part, that I’m starting to reconnect with the successful and happy single person I was when we first fell in love.

Joe, on the other hand, is doing something he’s felt passionate about since before we met: good journalism. With the steady decline of the industry in recent years, Joe’s passion had been restrained as we waited to see if his name was next on the list of lay-offs. This opportunity to go to Iraq gave him a renewed excitement for his job that I’ve not seen in a while. In a way, he too has the opportunity to reconnect with the person he was when we first met.

I’m very proud of what he is doing, because I believe the work is selfless and perhaps thankless. And now I’m excited to see what this next life chapter has in store.



Written by barrentine

January 3, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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