Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A little background for ya'll

Let's get everyone up to speed here... I guess the best place to start would be three years ago.

Ah, it was spring, 2006. The world was my oyster. (ugh, for being an ag journalism major, this intro sucks... Susan Lampert Smith would be ashamed). So I apologize for my rusty writing skills. Anyway, I graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006. I majored in Dairy Science and Life Science Communications (insert weird face/awkwardness here.. every hair dresser I've ever known has given me this face when I describe my career). I got a pretty nice job with Land O' Lakes as a Dairy Production Specialist (more weird faces, I can tell). So pretty much, I was contracted through a local cooperative to sell feed and provide nutritional consulting to farmers. It was only coincidence it was only 45 minutes from my hometown.

Meanwhile.. (I feel like Carrie Bradshaw here.. honestly, count how many times she says "meanwhile" in an episode of Sex and the City), my boyfriend Craig was in Madison, unsure of his future. See, a few month prior to my graduation, I found out through snooping, that Craig was failing out of school. Let me lay this down for you- this was his fifth year of school. Imagine my frustration.. let it fester a bit..

I moved to Northeast WI, he stayed in Madison, taking a summer to figure out what to do. And then, I realized I missed him.. and loved him... So, he moved in with me. It was a hard decision. I really didn't want to unless I got a commitment. It was pretty much all or nothing. And he was very aware of that.

Our first "date" He looks like such a baby!

After taking a year off, he enrolled at another college close to where we lived. Meanwhile, my job was clicking along...fun and frustrating as it was. As time went by, it got more frustrating than fun. I was thinking back to my senior year of high school one day. I was being interviewed for a scholarship. I remember it clearly. I could sense it was the end of the interview. I was getting antsy. Then, the interviewer said, "Ok, one last question. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?" Uhhhhh... what? Look lady, my parents are dairy farmers. We only go far enough to be back for night chores... I don't know.. I don't think about that kind of stuff... but what I really said, "I would love to go to Australia." And then I proceeded to explain about learning about the dairy industry, blah blah blah. Really, I loved watching "The Rescuers Down Under" as a kid, but it worked. I won the money anyway... and since then, I've always kept Australia in the back of my mind.

In college, I had an opportunity to go to NZ for a summer internship. Having already signed on for a local internship, I passed, giving the opportunity to a former roommate, who I believe needed it more than I did at the time.

So anyway, one day, I was having a crap-tacular day at work, so I was thinking about going as far away as possible, and thought about my spur of the moment interview answer. I googled "dairy industry Australia" and after some research, I had myself convinced that I should quit my job and go to New Zealand.

What about the boy?

So I told him one night. Probably after some wine. His reaction: "What about me?" I said he could come with, or he could stay and figure something out. We left it at that. But it always lingered in my mind...

While my career felt like it wasn't going anywhere, our relationship wasn't going so well. He was obviously not happy with school or his career path. We were not happy with our individual lives, which affected our together life.

One night, a couple days before Thanksgiving, shit hit the fan. It was time for a change, or go our separate ways. Neither of us wanted to call it quits. Then he told me he was thinking about joining the military.

So, with one semester left of school, Craig enlisted. And for the first time in over a year, he was happy. And things were different. And our relationship was better.

By February, I had applied for my Visa and looked seriously into NZ. I knew I needed to quit my job. I had no motivation to sell stuff anymore because I knew I had no future there.

On March 17th, 2009, he left for Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. No green beer for you, buddy...

By April, I had quit my job, and made the slow move back to my parent's house. It hit me more than I ever could imagined. The past three months have been rough, no doubt! I've been adjusting to the realization of military life for the next 4+ years and the fear of traveling so far away.

Before I leave on July 24th, most of this will focus on the Army portion and preparing for my trip, and afterward should be all about my NZ adventure. So bare with me!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a College of Ag girl turned Army wife too!

    I have a degree in Horticulture - and I had LOTS of Dairy friends in college! :)