Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NGR: Fundraiser to Help Navy Girlfriend Visit Sailor Overseas! How I'm Preparing.

Mindi is our newest contributor here at Unhinged & Empowered. She is writing a series we are calling the Navy Girlfriend Report or NGR for short. Her reports are meant to give Navy Girlfriends a voice on this blog. They are meant to reveal the successes, failures, and experiences of someone going through this experience for the first time. Finally, they provide insight for Military Wives who read or write here at Unhinged & Empowered, so we can better understand what current Navy Girlfriends and new Navy Wives are going through and provide the support and encouragement they need.

Mindi is 1/6th of the way in to her very first deployment experience . . . let's see how she's managing . . .


By Mindi
A Bonafide Navy Girlfriend
Recently, I was discussing an upcoming burlesque show with one of my fellow burlesque performers. It came up that I had conceived a routine that was about having a Navy Boyfriend far, far away. The conversation rolled into her asking the obligatory questions of where he was, how long, etc. When she asked if I was going to visit him, I spouted off something about hoping to be able to, but the amount of money it would take is ridiculous (approximately $1800 for the airfare alone!), she responded “we should do a fundraiser show for you.” After a few joking-ish comments, I realized that she might be serious, and now… there is a burlesque show being produced in an effort to raise money to get me to see my man!

I’m humbled by the efforts made by several of my dearest friends in the burlesque community who have pulled together to make this show a reality. They are giving me 50% of all ticket sales and have made a pre-registration website for tickets. On the ticketing website, there is even an option for people to separately donate money directly to my Japan fund without buying a ticket!

The advertising image for the show. :)
If you have interest in contributing to this fund, I have posted the link directly below. It would be absolutely fabulous if you lived in/near the Washington, DC area and you wanted to actually check out the show. 

If you come, be sure to say hello, I’d love to meet you! Keep in mind, though, this is a 21 and over event.

ALL TICKETING AND DONATIONS DONE HERE:

Expect follow-up edits declaring what we were able to raise through this event!

How I'm Preparing to Hopefully Visit My Navy Boyfriend
Now all of this gets me to the introspective and helpful portion of this entry… The early stages of mentally preparing to maybe, hopefully, see your Navy Boyfriend at some point during his deployment.

Planning a Trip, Without Getting Your Hopes Up...

I know everyone has a unique situation. This insight may be specifically useful for the folks who have a partner who is based somewhere far away, long-term.  He and I have loosely talked about the possibilities of him being able to get leave and travel back to the states; or my ability to come visit him. From what he has told me, his window of opportunity to travel is incredibly small and won’t arrive until next Christmas. Even if I go to him, he will likely still be working full time at 14-16 hours a day. Maybe he will be able to get a three-day weekend. Then there is the ever-present reality that, even if he isn’t scheduled to be underway for any specific window of time… this could change. Without any notice.

I’ve found myself trying to find a frustrating medium between actively and excitedly planning a trip to see him while also maintaining a realistic view that no matter what I plan, there is always a chance that I won’t actually get to see him. Which, really, is just something else to add to the list of emotions I never thought I would encounter until I got involved in a Navy relationship.

Copyright All rights reserved by jstarrdewar
So far, the tactics I have been using to rationally plan this trip include:

1) When I ask him questions about his underway schedule or ability to acquire leave, I am prepared and am ok (or convince myself that I am, at least!) with the response being “I don’t know and I don’t know when or if I will know”. I also always know that when he actually has an answer, it always comes with the qualifier of “unless something happens”.

2) I check airline ticket sales CONSTANTLY, searching for great deals. I currently am subscribed to both jetsetter.com and airfarewatchdog.com. Both websites send alerts when there are especially low airfare costs. Sometimes they even find deals specific to my departure/arrival cities.

3) I am refusing to allow myself to view the trip’s primary objective to be seeing my Navy Boyfriend. Instead, I keep telling myself that I am traveling to Japan and will be staying in my boyfriend’s house. I will see cool things and meet interesting people. If I see my boyfriend, it will be the cherry on top.

We shall see if I continue to stay fairly calm about all of this. Have any of you traveled far distances to see your Navy Boyfriend at his base? How’d it go? I’m excited to hear your stories!

About Mindi
jaipatoulunivu via flickr cc
I am a 24-year-old Navy Girlfriend who lives in Washington, DC. My background is heavily ingrained in the arts. I have a Bachelor's in Theatre Arts with a focus in technical theatre and management. I perform burlesque as a hobby and have recently started playing with stand-up comedy and figure modeling.
    
I met my Navy Boyfriend last May 2013. In July, he told me that he got orders to Japan starting in late November 2013. In September 2013, we decided to try and "make Japan work." There's a lot of hope in this girl, while also trying to stay grounded in reality. I've got a lot of spunk and have a tendency to be optimistic and honest to a fault.

I will be writing and sharing my entire journey as a Navy Girlfriend experiencing my first deployment here with you on Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives & Navy Girlfriends! 

       Cheers & Glitter!

       -Mindi

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