I’m so happy to introduce fantastic guest blogger Kimberly Zook, here to discuss managing the dual identities of mother and creative within U.S. military culture. Kimberly is a military wife, mother of three daughters, a scientist, and a writer. She earned an MS in Biology and an MA in Secondary Education before returning to her childhood dream of being a full-time writer. She is the author of two award-winning short stories and writes young adult novels that delve into science and history. Check out her website at http://kimzook.com/.
Between Zero and One: An Infinite Number of Moments
By Kimberly Zook
Road trips aren’t long enough to count from zero to one. Yet by the time my daughters get to 0.00000399, I’m ready to yell ONE! And most likely, they will counter with “Are we there yet?” And I’m shouting “Look at those cows!” but their eyes are already hypnotized by their iPads. And so it goes on repeat.
All of us wish to get from Point A to Point B as soon as possible. Marriage to children. Toothfairy to braces. Swimming lessons to college scholarship. And along the way, it’s easy to let all those in-between moments vanish into forgotten memories. The ones that we later miss the most when we see a mother cuddling her newborn or hear a child giggling from a father’s tickles.
Sometimes it’s all we can do to remember the big points in our life.
The biggest zero to one moment in my life was going from being single to becoming a two—my husband and me, the first extension of my heart beating outside my body.
I’d been living in a tropical rainforest. Alone, in a hut with no indoor plumbing or electricity for a couple of years. I had roommates of a kind: scorpions, tarantulas, snakes, army ants, rats, and whatever else cared to crawl into my hut each night. It was, by far, the absolute best place I’ve ever lived. There I discovered what it’s like to live with a sixth sense while surrounded by nature. Such a brief moment in my life that has felt infinite ever since.
Then I met my husband, an officer in the U.S. Navy. In one big leap, I went from pursuing a doctorate in biology and living in the rainforest to waving good-bye to his ship and residing in a high-rise outside of Tokyo, Japan. I no longer had to step into the rainforest when ‘nature called.’ Our toilet seat in our Japanese apartment heated up! Before, I woke to the grunts of howler monkeys, milked cows, cooked on a wood-burning stove and spent the day searching for medicinal plants. Suddenly I was surrounded by a dazzle of lights and noises, cars parked on Ferris wheels inside buildings, and riding bullet trains to Buddhist temples. I was a Mrs., a military dependent, that person waving to the ship. An infinite amount of numbers between my zero and one.