Why its Time to Retire… A Letter to my Future Self.

March 3rd marked the 19 year anniversary of when I joined the military. Just the paperwork portion of it, I didn’t actually go to basic training until a few months later. Every year on that anniversary I usually post a picture on Facebook or something and every year someone whom I’ve served with will jump in and encourage me to stay in longer.

I’m so sick of that.

Of course it happened again this year, and I think that no one believes me because I’ve been saying I wanted to get out for years and I kept re-enlisting. Once I hit the 14 year mark, I knew that I would stay long enough just to get my retirement. I figured if I completed 20 years, I can leave with no regrets because I did enough to finish and if I stayed in any longer than that it would be purely because I wanted to.

But I know me. I know that I will second guess myself half to death and end up staying out of fear (fear of what? I have no clue) and re-enlist again and ending up miserable. So I’m going to write a letter to my future self to remind me of this feeling I’m having right now and I’m going to put a reminder in my phone to check it also.

Dear Pat,

Enough is enough. Twenty years of your life is enough. You’ve been saying for years that you are tired of doing this, and you mean it. You have nothing left to give. The only way I can justify staying is if you’ve found another job that is relevant to your civilian career (which I doubt you’ll do in less than a year). Your back hurts, your knees are getting worse, you never really liked doing push-ups, you HATE running, and the food is terrible. Don’t be afraid to let go, don’t be afraid of the unknown. You have other things you want to do with your life so its time to move on.  You’d be doing a disservice to anyone you’d have to lead or mentor because you know your heart isn’t in it (and lets be real, you don’t even like half the people you work with anyway). You want your weekends back. You want to be able to plan a trip that’s not around their schedule. You actually want to travel to cool places, not middle-of-nowhere Arkansas. You can make extra money doing other things that won’t have you end up in the hospital because you threw your back out again, or because your asthma started acting up. You shouldn’t feel this way about your job. Don’t let anyone else convince you that you need to stay because they chose to stay. There was a time when you loved it, but I think that time has passed and now your heart is pulling your towards something else. If you decide to stay longer than planned stay because you want tostay because you’re happy, not because you feel like you don’t have any other options.  CREATE other options.

Love, Pat

Time to create some options…



Again with this Army %@!#

I’m back at it again with this military stuff. Fourteen days of having to leave the area where I sleep and having to go to another building just to be able to use the shower and restroom (it could be worse, we could be in the field, and I could be doing my business in the woods *shudder*).

I’m not going to say where I am, but will just say I’m not too far from home. I remember two years ago we took a bus from Georgia to Upstate New York, that took 22 hours. Last year was slightly better with a 10-hour bus ride to Arkansas. Even though the drive to New York was hell, the accommodations were pretty awesome: 2-man rooms in a shared suite shared restroom and full kitchen. This place…eh…not so much. But at least we are indoors.

Even though I can’t wait to retire, I really appreciate being in the Army. It has made realize all thing things I take for granted on a daily basis, like indoor plumbing and not having to shower with 10+ other people. I’ve learned a lot being here, especially about myself and the kind of person I can be. I’ve learned to prioritize my life, coordinate, lead, follow, plan for the future, and take my career goals more seriously (in the civilian world as well).

But anyway, I’m here for the next two weeks, which always feels like months to me. I knew that being in the Reserves was the best option for me because even though it is only once a month, the times we train for  3 days instead of 2 I feel like they take forever.  So when we have these 2+ week events, I feel like I’m going to die  (figuratively speaking). I like the people I work with, but after about 4-5 days I get sick of looking at people, and I want to go home. It happens on vacation too. Four days seems to be my max when it comes to being away from home.

I’ll take more pictures while I’m here and post them at later time.


If I’m Cursing, I’m Not Trying to be a Lady

I had military training this past weekend and one of my friends was bothering me. When we arrived to our barracks we had to wait for someone to get keys. A friend of mine walked over to me and said:

“The females have to sleep outside” To which I promptly responded, “Fuck that.”

He laughed and said that he can never quite get used to me cursing because even though he knows that I do, that I don’t look like I do so it always throws him off.

I use profanity and I like to use it quite often. I’ve been doing it (properly) since I was 18. I’ve tried to quit in the past, and even had a swear jar at work for a few months (yes… MONTHS)…twice, but I can never seem to kick the habit completely. Why? I guess because deep down I really don’t want to. One of the biggest annoyances I have about it is that when people turn to me and say, “Its not ladylike”, especially coming from someone in the military, because dude…really? If I’m dropping f-bombs like nobody’s business, the LAST thing I’m trying to do is be a “lady”. I don’t know if I ever really was  one, but that’s another story for another day.


Image credit

Now don’t get me wrong, I do have some self control. I don’t curse around children or my elders (mother-in-law, my father, older family members/friends), professional settings, etc. so its not that I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to express what I’m trying to say without cursing, its just something I choose to do. Its something I like to do. Most of the people in my life curse as well, including some coworkers so I am  almost surrounded by people who are fellow profanity users. Which probably doesn’t help…

I think for me that swearing is one of those things that I will just stop doing when I’m just tired of doing it, like when people smoke for 30 years and then just quit cold turkey and never go back. I think for now I still do it for shock value; I get a kick out of the faces that people make when they hear me curse for the first time…or the 70th (some never really get used to it). I always say that if I had my own kid I would finally quit, but then I think about all my friends who curse their kids out on a regular basis. I mean, I learned profanity from MY parents…so there’s that. Oh well.




Hi, and welcome to my new blog! My name is Patrice, mostly Pat, and on occasion Pat-rice. If any of you have followed me before on Alex’s Next Move, my previous blog, first I wanted to say thanks for staying on this journey with me and I hope I don’t disappoint with my long delays in between classes (again). For those of you that are new, here’s a little about me:

I’m originally from New Jersey, but 3 years ago I relocated to Atlanta with my then fiancé, and now husband Lorenzo. We just recently celebrated our one year anniversary and are looking forward to about 50 more. My first blog talked about my move down to Atlanta, starting my MBA program, finding my way around Atlanta, finding a job, and then another job, when we finally got married, and then our honeymoon.

I love to read, travel, and Facetime with my nieces Jordin and Mya. I like to dab into photography here and there, but I still need lots of work with that. Lorenzo and I are both in the military, we are both reservists in different branches, so I’ll discuss that from time to time as well, but overall I’m just the kind of person who likes to try new things- so we’ll see where that takes me.

I am writing this new blog because I’ve always wanted to be writer, but was too shy to let anyone read what I wrote (needless to say that plan didn’t work out for me at all). So here I am, writing again because one day I’m going to get the inspiration I need to write my next big thing, and I’m not going to be afraid to let anyone see it. I’m glad you’ve decided to take this journey with me so I hope you enjoy what I have to say about marriage, my love/hate relationship with school and military, my product and book reviews, unpopular opinions, my weird sense of humor, and my random rants about things that sometimes piss me off – I’m kidding, but not really.