I don’t like the idea of putting effort into something that I can’t back out of like the feeling when you parallel park and the cars in front of you and behind you are too close for you to maneuver out of the spot so you have to wait until one of the owners come and move their car, but you don’t know who they are or where they could be so the wait could possibly be hours. Or, when you go through a drive through that’s closed in so if you change your mind you can’t back out, you have to sit there and waste your time until you can drive through. Actually, those are basic commitments that I can live with. The commitments that frighten me the most are the ones that last forever like marriage.
Most people say that the Army is a big commitment, and it is. I was very nervous about joining the Army because I wasn’t sure if I would like it, and the reason that scares people the most is you can’t quit. Most initial enlisted contracts are between three to five years, which is the average time people spend on a job they don’t like, but it is a different feeling when you’re in the Army. You feel different when you choose to stick with a job for a couple of years than being forced to.
Some people would say that I’m in my mid-twenties, and I shouldn’t have to feel obligated to commit to anything. I get that I should explore the world, explore career options, and explore lovers. I have done that. I feel like I’ve had enough of it and I need to start training myself to commitments. I’ve traveled a lot. Not saying that I’m done traveling, but I do want to find a place I call home.
I changed my college major three times before sticking with English. I don’t regret it because its what I like to do, but upon graduation, I did realize the consequences of not having a STEM degree, which is why I joined the Army. I have held six jobs including the Army. Most of them were minimum wage jobs to keep me busy through high school and college. The Army is my first career path, and I’m 99% sure that I will get out once I complete my initial contract.
My leaders want to send me to the promotion board even though I have shown little interest in moving forward to a Noncommissioned Officer. They say it is because they see potential in me, but if I don’t want it for myself, then what anyone else sees in me doesn’t matter. They want to send me to the Green to Gold program so I can become a Commissioned Officer. I have no interest in becoming an officer. I get that it is an easier lifestyle than being enlisted and the pay is twice as much, but becoming an Officer was not my goal when I joined the Army. My goal is to get my master degree in Human Resources which I am enthusiastically pursuing and work in HR as a civilian.
Marriage is my biggest commitment fear because it is a lifetime commitment and if it doesn’t workout, it can cause a lot of emotional and financial stress. I have had a hard time telling my girlfriend how I feel about her. I feel afraid to tell her I love her because I’m scared of my emotions changing. That is why it is important to choose to love someone instead of falling in love. Falling in love is a big attraction when you first meet someone. Men fall in love when they meet a woman who looks like the woman of their dreams, which is why men cheat on beautiful women because when the euphoria of being in love cools down the man will seek something new and exciting to fulfill that in love feeling again.
At the end of the day, I know that I have to put my trust in God in everything. I put my faith in God when I joined the Army, and everything I asked for God gave it to me. A duty station in Hawaii so I never have to worry about doing PT in the cold. I’m in a unit that doesn’t deploy and never goes to the field. I met my girlfriend who is enthusiastic about her relationship with God, educated, great cook, beautiful, and a lot more.
So what I choose to commit to are my goals. I know my leaders want the best for me but what they want for me is all in the Army. I decided I’m not committing twenty years to the Army, and I’m sticking to my guns. As a grown man, I feel like I should not fear marriage. Fear of marital commitment are for whores and the broken hearts. I’m not saying that those who choose not to get married are afraid of it. I’m saying that if I decide not to marry it won’t be because I’m afraid of it and if I choose to marry it won’t be because I’m scared of being single.
We’re all human, so it’s natural to be afraid of things, but don’t let fear be the sole reason for your decisions. Use your intuition, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have faith in all you do.