It's been just over a year since I ran away from home and joined the Army and I'm still glad I've done so. But putting myself into this very different new role has been a great tool for examination of my past and present life.
I tend to withdraw into an acetic lifestyle now that I'm in service. I follow any rules compulsively and focus mainly on self improvement in my field.
But, more and more I find myself drawn towards my past life as a semi bohemian painter and intellectual (?), Whenever I find an architecture magazine, listen to NPR, or get into a conversation having to do with art or music I'm transported back to life before Army. I had many sleepless nights recently in a war zone after looking through a New York Magazine sent from home wondering who I really am. I love the Army and all the things I'm learning here, but I get angry every time I see a painting on television because I'm not making paintings anymore.
I realize now that if I hope to maintain my sanity throughout this radical upheaval of lifestyle I'm going to have to find some way to reconcile the soldier and the artist. Could it be that I can actually combine self discipline and creativity?
I suppose that a lot of people in their 30's face exactly this crisis, not necessarily with two radically different lifestyles. To transform from the consummate party guy to the concerned husband or father or to change from an intellectual drifter to committed careerist is not all that unusual. I guess it's just time for me to make that transition, only in my own unique way.