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Plan A

29 Mar

     In my experience, the first plan a person makes for their life is detailed, scheduled and well thought out – subsequent plan’s provide for a margin of error and flexibility.  I have also noticed the tendency for plan A’s to haunt those who have thrown in the towel (the shoulda, coulda, woulda cycle).       

     Both of these generalizations are accurate for me. Whether out of pain or denial or both, prior to this blog I have not written these events out in a linear fashion.  I have chosen not to censor my emotional reactions too much, ‘toning down’  made me stop writing biographies in the first place – too condensed and one dimensional to be of interest.    

    Plan A spans from 1997 – 2004,but in my memory these years break into four distinct ‘chapters’, so that is how I shall present them to you.       

Part One of Four       

     As a teenager I had two loves:  Acting and America.  I moved from Scotland to the USA when I was 11 and immediately fell in love with the uniqueness of my new home.  I did not discover my true love of acting until 15, thus my first love took precedence.  Throughout high school I discovered that I viewed the world a little differently than those around me.  I thought that I could put this perspective  to use in a life of public service.  Plan A was a career in politics – not as the front man – no, I wished to remain anonymously free of political games, yet still hold a position to improve the lives of Americans.  I was an extremely naïve idealist with a flair for creative problem solving.       

     As with any visible career field, the political world can be cruel to outsiders.  With no convenient nepotism in sight,  I designed a plan to maneuver around forseeable obstacles.  Sadly, the first hurdle I had to face was my gender.  (brief digression to express irritation)  

{[It is pointless to deny that men still have more opportunity than women.  Not because man is woman’s enemy – but because we focus on the differences rather than the commonalities.  Our society still cannot accept that equality is a simple concept.   Procedures designed to simplify result only in further complication.  Everyone is unique, special and insignificant.  Deal with it.]}  

    Attempts to force equal treatment through the legal system have opened doors to women, but they have also opened the door to criticism that women and minorities receive preference regardless of ability.  This criticism is not far from the truth, such preferential treatment is insulting.  I did not want my gender to overshadow my ability – or inability.  I wanted (and still want) to earn and deserve my life, good or bad.     

    I decided the most effective way to overcome this hurdle would be to pursue politics in the tradition ‘man’ way:  military service.  Five months after my eighteenth birthday I entered basic training for the U.S. Navy.  Big ships, big oceans, what’s not to love?  

     I finished my training (in a field I would grow to hate) I was given orders to the American Embassy in Portugal.  At first glance, these orders seem to fit perfectly with my long-term plans – and if it was power and prestige I sought, they would be perfect – I wanted more.  I wanted to go overseas, but I wanted to do it over seas.  I didn’t join the Navy to be on land.  I wanted to be a true sailor.  Plus, sea duty would pre-empt the “she wasn’t really in the Navy” criticism.       

     I requested a change of orders and got exactly what I wanted.  With only a slight delay – five months waiting  for a female billet to open up – I finally made my home on the USS Frank Cable.       

        

The Fighting Frank

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 29, 2010 in Coffee Shop Whore?

 

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2 responses to “Plan A

  1. Fionna Larcom

    April 5, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    I think that I chickened out after this first part. This was the up side… events went down hill from here and I am afraid so did my narrative describing them. I will not delete, that would be cheating, I will expand in similar fashion as ‘East Timor’.

     
  2. Richard W Scott

    April 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Very cool beginning!

     
 
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