What is Success in the Army? How can you shape your Surroundings?

Tonight, it is just me and my thoughts on the Army. No drawing.

Sometimes I get uncertain about my progress, although someone recently told me, “Progress is a process.” I want to be competent, to be useful, and I worry that maybe I am just not in spite of my desires, or maybe because of my efforts. Perhaps I am self-defeating in my actions. Perhaps my actions do not echo my desires. Or maybe I am just barely afloat. Maybe I am not anyone’s albatross, but I don’t think I am anyone’s beacon.

Who can tell?

I think about my actions and my reactions, and I wonder if I am not the best for this. Maybe I am a square peg in a round hole, and that is why this seems ill-fitting. It seems to me there is a double life in the Army. Or maybe it’s more than double. Maybe it’s multiverse.

There seems to be no lack of those that in military jargon we would call “shit-bags.”

Yet once in a while someone leaves or exists that so many love and praise. Even if the person they appreciate does not appreciate them.

I am neutral. I am not so foolish as to head over heels fawn over someone who obviously has such distaste for so many. Or who maybe carefully only appreciates one or two people.

And in my neutrality I don’t know. It’s a weird place to be a woman in this organization. How do you get appreciated for competence? How do you rise above being flirted with? How do you rise above being seen a certain way? How do you mesh with men?

But when observing others, if you say straight out what you observe, it’s easy to become a pariah. To be considered an ‘outcast’ or weird, or else quietly shunned. Is it better to be self-aware? Or is it better to swallow the pride and ignore the misdeeds, the shitty egos, the self-importance? Where are the answers? They aren’t just in a book. Sometimes it’s just being able to say what you mean, and sometimes it seems to be all about being evasive.

Watching motivational videos. They say to want success as bad as you want to breathe. They say to do something you’ve never done, you must do things you have never done.

But you need to sleep to be effective.

You need to increase your effort reasonably or you will destroy your body and perhaps your capacity.

They talk about hurting and getting hit, about failure and pain. They don’t talk about the complex social situations in which we find ourselves.

They don’t talk about the people who “achieve” without really deserving it. They don’t address hypocrisy, or cheating, or fate. Chance might make someone totally undeserving somewhat successful. Happenstance could damn someone in this world, with them having never known how they were passed up, simply because they didn’t know the right people, because they weren’t in the right place, at the right time, maybe because they were trying to be at another right place and right time that they thought was the case.

People say it’s about who you know, not what you know. But no one says whether the who that you know, is someone who can be fooled, who doesn’t always correctly evaluate others. Who doesn’t always know.

Perhaps there is no definitive success.

In these videos are many images and public figures who have fallen from grace:  Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Lance Armstrong for example.

Do I want to be them, or people like them exactly? No.

Will I be defined by this world’s definition of success? Or popularity? No.

Will I make mistakes every day? Certainly.

Am I comfortable with me? Actually, yes. I am happy with myself. I am aware of myself.

I am not shrinking so that others don’t feel insecure. I am just, trying to adjust and move forward. Sometimes falling backwards, and sometimes feeling lost. Tonight was one of the nights of introspection. Of trying very hard to pinpoint my emotions, and what their underlying causes are.

It’s not only the Army, these problems are everywhere. I love being a lady and an officer, but I am not sure oftentimes what is the truth. Not everything said can be trusted, but not everything unsaid is not being thought. And the ability to discern actual attitude and thoughts is a difficult task indeed. Especially when the subject matter is probably not half as self-aware or logical as the person writing this blog.

There is a certain freedom in not caring. But when one does not care, there is very little chance of immense success either.

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