When people see me in my Class A uniform, or any other uniform, they don’t really see me. They just see the uniform, the shiny buttons and the colorful ribbons. I guess that is the point of wearing a uniform: I am not Jenn when I’m wearing it, I’m a soldier. It’s not supposed to be personal. I am part of a unit, not an individual. But sometimes I want to be an individual. I want to be more than the uniform.
I like being Jenn sometimes. I’ve got my family, I’ve got my friends, and I try to find and shape the time around my job to make a life for myself.
I am the kind of person that needs a hobby. I need something to look forward to, something to do on my off time. Some people play video games, others dominos, others build things, make things, play sports, or cook things. Not me. I wanted something that helped keep me fit but that didn’t feel like PT. I needed something that would get me outdoors and moving around, because being indoors when I don’t have to be makes me a little crazy. It also had to be cheap – I don’t get paid all that much. My hobby also had to be something that I could do no matter where the Army sent me.
Geocaching checked all those boxes and then some. It’s really a great hobby. Just about anybody can do it no matter where you live. You can even go geocache hunting on vacation because there are caches all over the world. Maybe not some of the places the Army might deploy me to, but most of the places the rest of you go.
There’s physical effort involved, which is perfect for me. However, they aren’t all super hard. There’s always terrain descriptions, so you’ll know if it’s uneven, on elevated terrain, or if the cache is on a well-maintained trail. You can hunt by yourself or with friends, which is perfect for me – sometimes when I transfer, I don’t have friends right away, or my friends have different work schedules than I do. And it’s a great thing for just about everyone: you can bring small kids along and some of them are even handicapped accessible. People also bring their dogs sometimes, depending on permissions at the location.
Some caches are challenging mentally. You might have to solve clues spread out over several caches or interpret hints. Some caches even have codes you have to solve! It can be a really fun puzzle!
If you don’t have a hobby, I really think you should get one. I’d offer geocaching as the perfect one to try of course. Remember you’re not just your job either. Take that vacation day and enjoy the outside for once.