I dreamed last night that I was considering a stint in the army for a specific sum of money. I would be sent to a foreign county for six months. In my quest for adventure, I thought of the danger of a solo mission and felt high enough on life to go through with it. The truth is there was only one time in my life when I considered a military life and I was 14 at the time.
Army recruiters came to my high school and I signed up to listen to their presentation on a bus parked outside the school. It was fascinating. We were given literature, which I took a look at. At the time, they had strict weight and height requirements for men and women. Disappointed, I saw that I was not only too short to join the army, I was too fat to be in the military. Crushed, I moved on to babysitting and considered the Peace Corp instead, which I never did because I went to university.
In retrospect, I would have loved everything there was to learn in the military and the opportunity to travel? Count me in. However, me with a gun? Run for cover. I shot a musket at camp but let’s say I didn’t even come close to hitting the target. I’m definitely not known for my stamina either. And did I mention that I’m flat-footed? And mentally ill? A terrible candidate for the army and I’m still 5 foot and a couple of pounds overweight.
I wrote the poem below for anyone who has ever had a dream and being overweight has overshadowed the achievement of that dream. However big you are, know that you are not alone and that there are opportunities everywhere. Maybe, like me, you aren’t the best candidate for the army but there is the Peace Corp and AmeriCorp for civilians who want to serve their communities. Of course, you could always work for a non-profit or a government agency that serves veterans. Just don’t be afraid to dream.
Forever and a Day
She wasn’t hungry but a spoonful
of peanut butter found its way
into her gut followed by a banana.
Dreams of serving in the army
squashed by three hundred numbers
no bathroom scale handled.
Her plump kitty rolled and purred
over the family quilt, another
thing handed down from woman
to woman, like weight, heavy
and hard to shake down.