RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Beginning anew….

There’s something about being at home. Something about returning to a familiar front door, wiping your feet on the mat and about seeing things about you that are yours. The pictures on the wall, the table, the photos on the mantelpiece.

They all add up to making you feel like you are in a place that is right for you. Making you feel at home. Going away, no matter for how long…well, it’s all in the coming home that lifts you. When you are in the arse end of a crap hole somewhere, soaking wet, stinking, filthy, all you want is to be home.

I have done my time of going away when I was in the service, to nice places (hey! I’m the first one to admit 6 weeks in Vegas wasn’t hell…) as well as less nice (a check point in Afghan where I was crapping in a bag held up by the uprights of a ladder for instance), and the one thing that guides you on…that lifts you to carry on doing it, over and over again is the going home at the end of it.

And tonight, as I write this at 10:21 on New Years Eve, I am glad to be home. My poor wife, is ensconced next door (nearer to the bathroom!) in the spare room feeling absolutely shite. We’ve been away, visiting her mother and the day we arrived she fell ill, with sickness and diarrhoea. With a history – a bad history – of a particular hospital in Liverpool and her condition deteriorating we made a run for home.

And even though I felt bloody awful after spending two nights listening to MrsF retch and vomit my mood was lifted from miserable to content just by entering the front door. And then to make things better…family.

My brother and sister-in-law who live just 30 minutes away then descended after just one quick phone call to help. Help by entertaining my daughter, Lily, and then taking her to their house for the night so I could look after MrsF and get some sleep.

And you realise even more the value of home. The value of family. The worth that people who are important and enrich your life are.

Sod being heroic. Sod all the fighting and the struggling and the service and the duty. Sod all that. All a serviceman who is away thinks of is being home…and the people who are there. Well, all I thought of when I was away, was going home, arriving home, being at home.

The last three months since I stopped working, and the last 20-odd days since I stopped being in the RAF have been strange. I’ve been home. All the time. No thoughts of going away, no sword of Damocles over our heads spelling impending separation, the rest of our lives at home together. And it’s not been easy. Not simple; when you have spent time away from each other it can be difficult being together all the time, and it’s taken time to adjust to a different pace of life.

But it’s also been brilliant. It’s not been the end of something. Yes, my service career has finished and I have left things behind, but that’s not the way I want to be. Instead it’s become the beginning.

I liked being a serviceman, I loved it, but hell, I like being a civvy. And even though I am still not working full time yet, and am awaiting the comfort of a proper pay check coming in, I don’t mind. I might be a little mental still, and have things I still need to work through and adjust to, but I like not having to be in the service any more. I like being me. Not being a Sergeant. Not calling anyone ‘Sir’. Not having to bite my tongue at the inane bullshit of certain Squadron Leaders who clearly only wanted to further their own careers. Of making my own choices of being the master of my own destiny.

And at this time of year when we naturally look back and forward, and make judgements about the past and resolutions for the future I resolve to keep this positivity that all of a sudden has swung over me. To remember the service that I did, and yet to enjoy the life that I have now. The future that I have…the beginning.

Not of a great adventure this time, but of a steady journey. Of a life as a civilian. Of being me.

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15 thoughts on “Beginning anew….

  1. All the same, I and many others would like to say a huge “Thank YOU” for your years of service. God bless you in your new undertakings!!

  2. Am sorry to read that Mrs F is poorly hope she gets better soon, is great that you have family to help out, if only we were all as lucky to have that. A lovely piece about change; we all cope differently with changes in our lives some we handle better than others, you write positively about your changing life and how we can never really understand the hardship of wanting to come home from a place we never wanted to.be.

  3. Sue Huzzey on said:

    Happy new year…what you say rings so true to me, as my husband was made redundant on Aug 31st, and he is home all the time..and it has been difficult. may I wish you and your family a prosperous and healthy year to come.

  4. Anne Richards on said:

    you absolutely put your finger on the priorities in life; the importance of home, family and friends. I wish you and all current and ex servicemen and women a peaceful 2013, a happy family life and a comfortable home to come back to.

  5. I love the way you write. Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope that Mrs. F is on the mend. I like that you see your present as a new beginning. Wishing you and yours a bright and happy future! God bless.

    • Andy S on said:

      Whilst joining civvie street may be an adventure, many of the things such as work ethic you learnt in the RAF will set you in good stead.

      Therefore New Year, New Project, don’t be afraid to make or even renew connections with former colleagues you knew in the RAF who are now in civvie street as well!

      I hope your wife recovers soon and as someone that left the RAF in 1986 and never looked back I wish you all the best on your new journey in 2013.

  6. Russell Samuel on said:

    I wish you and family all the best,for 2013 Once you find work you will be OK.When I left the RAF I did well….Have you considered working in Saudi or else where etc..With the family,of course.I did 3 years in Jeddah,great time.

  7. A lovely article. Happy New Year !! When hubby retired from the RAF in March last year he soon found being home all day, every day was frustrating. Life was extremely difficult as I’m home all day too. He ended up taking a job at Tesco just to get him out of the house. Sorry to hear Mrs F is poorly, I hope she gets better soon. Thank you for your years of service.

  8. Eileen Satchell on said:

    With such a positive outlook you cannot fail. Twenty years ago I had a challenge in my life, but with a positive attitude ended up running my own business. Your writing skills always move me, have you thought about writing a book. I for one would purchase it. Whatever 2013 holds for you I know it will be good. Wishing Mrs F a speedy recovery and wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and successful 2013 x

  9. Paul Tofi on said:

    Hope your good lady recovers soon and that you sort out a full time job of your choosing. The RAF is some 12 years ago for me but it is still a part of me. That said you are right family is what counts. Life will bring many challenges and it is family and friends who help us all to meet them head on. Good luck to you and yours from, I hope, one of the not too bad former Squadron Leaders.

  10. You are so right, family and home 🙂

    With every good wish to you & yours for 2013 x

  11. Galava on said:

    Wishing Mrs F a speedy recovery, and sending you and your family very best wishes for the New Year and the next phase of your life. Thank you for your years of service, for your insights into service life, and for your blog – it’s always a good read. Bright blessings to you.

  12. Reblogged this on Actuaria's Blog and commented:
    A fabulous blog post, says it all xx

  13. KS Rao on said:

    Your 2nd last paragraph, was absolutely right, you are your own now. I too was stranded, when I came out of service some 6 years back. I searched all the known company’s website, there you can see the column called careers, post your resume there. I got the call from Dell, HSBC and genpact, eventually I worked for Dell for 4 years before getting into IT, now I ‘m a Data warehousing professional and the tool is Informatica power center. Be in touch with Sqn Ldr’s who utilized you to the maximum. They can be a good referral for you. But one thing is there, here you will be pushing yourself to achieve the best among co workers. Outside world is not that easy, but don’t worry sincere effort will pay off. It may take some time. Good luck. for more details and help you can contact me on ksrao.mdm@gmail.com or 91+8801803742, …………….Vet Sgt KS Rao(Indian Air Force).

  14. The best New Year resolution I read this year was, “I am just going to be me”! All the best in 2013.

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