Home > Reclassification, The Journey, This and That > The End of Act One

The End of Act One

I am officially no longer in the Air Force. As of December 27th I have been honorably discharged from the Air Force. I was “in” for a total of 7 months and 9 days…that’s pretty surreal. I was able to live my lifelong dream since age seven for a whole 7 months and 9 days. Nothing about my active duty career was awe-inspiring to me, nothing really ground breaking or changing of the world. I did a month of flight school (it sucked) I did six weeks at Air Space Basic Course (probably the highlight of the entire 7 month career) and I worked a gate checking IDs for four months. There’s nothing glorious to any of that, I didn’t change the world, I didn’t change anyone’s life. It was all extremely lackluster. Given all the potential I thought I could have in the Air Force, all the big things I thought I could do, all the stuff I could influence…and here I am no longer a member of the military. It’s hard to comprehend, hard to deal with, and most of all it sucks. But it’s a new chapter in my life, or as I like to call it the end of “act one.” I learned tons from all my training programs and lessons from the Air Force and ROTC. I’ve met some awesome people, had some great times, and saw quite a few places.  Most of all the Air Force and ROTC has made me who I am today, and without all of that I would be a totally different person. It sucks I couldn’t have a twenty year career or something in the Air Force, but God and life have a different path for me.

So what happens next? That’s what most people ask me…Well my plan A is joining the FBI either as an Intel Analyst or Special Agent. I’m moving to Lubbock, TX in a matter of like 3 days. My girlfriend currently lives there, so that’s one reason, but I also want to apply to the FBI via the Dallas Field Office given I have a contact there. When applying for a Special Agent position you go through the Field Office you reside in., thus Lubbock works out perfectly. I’ve also been living my life in the past fifteen years (since I’ve wanted to join the Air Force) so concentrated on the future and the end goal of finally being in the Air Force. I’m tired of living life like that, tired of letting the good moments of the present go…I want to live my life in the moment, live each day to the fullest and see what doors open for me as I go along. I’m kind of a new man, with nothing really holding me back, and thus I’m going to take full advantage of it.

Plan B is some other type of Intel agency or government related agency. Most of these require me to probably be in Washington DC. Something like the Secret Service, CIA, DIA, and other agencies.

Plan C is to join the Air Guard. Given my experience with the Air Force this is why it’s the last option. I want to do some type of government service but I’d rather explore the civilian sector first and put my clearances to good use. The Air Guard would also be much easier for me to get into, as I am already an officer, and already have a lot of training. This is also only a part time job, and it’s hard to get a “full time guard slot.” This is more so a backup backup plan…but it’s of course an option.

Regardless of what I end up doing, I know I’ll find out what will make me happy. I didn’t enjoy flying (for work, I still want to go back and get my private) so I took the known risk (which we were told was quite small) that I would not be retained in the Air Force. I’m now living with that decision, and would still do it again if I was in the same position even today. You have to follow your heart if it’s telling you that something isn’t right. This required me to walk away from something I had planned for, for over 15 years. It’s hard to deal with the fact your heart isn’t in something you thought you always wanted to do…but the fact is there is no “lets give this a whirl” until the stage I was in at IFS in which I figured out it wasn’t my path. I’m now moving forward into a new Act of my life.

I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I’m going to ensure I live it to the fullest. This means more trips to places I want to go, more time with those I love…more phone calls to people I need to talk to more. Life is too short, I’m going to grab it by the horns and enjoy the ride. So here is to following your heart, following that voice inside your head when you know something isn’t right. Following your true calling even when it means leaving behind something you always planned on. Because in life, plans change, things change, people change, places change. Life is full of twist and turns and it’s not about the destination, but about the journey. For the first portion of my life I was so focused on my destination, and not on the journey. Now I’m going to enjoy the journey, until I arrive at my destination…whenever that may be. Because we don’t really know when that time of meeting our final destination is, and I don’t want to get there with some regret of something I didn’t do, something I didn’t try. So here is to Act 2 of my life. Let’s enjoy the ride.

Lastly, given this is the end to my Air Force career, it is only fitting that this be my last post in the blog of “airfocelt.” If you still want to keep up with my “journey of life” then head on over to michaelmerlinus.wordpress.com I’ll be updating it on stuff from here on out.

To all my readers, whomever and wherever you are, thank you. Thanks for reading, thanks for taking the time out of your crazy crazy lives to read about what a 23 year old guy is trying to do. It really means a lot. I know a lot more people read this than I ever thought would. I’ve got family reading and staying up to date that I never thought would even touch a computer. I’ve got friends I haven’t spoken to in years using it to stay up to date, and I’ve got people that I knew would always read it. Regardless of who you are, thank you for your support. Thank you for your inspirations, your words of encouragement, and the pats on the back when things didn’t work out how I had planned. But my head is held higher than ever, my sight is set on the horizon…and without such supportive friends and family I couldn’t have been so positive about all of this. I owe you all more than words can express. Thank you.

2d Lt Michael Hart

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