Monday, January 13, 2020

OTM 2009 Blog Tour - An Army Brat

CRR Blog Tour – November 2009
Host: Liana Lavarentz Nov.11
lianalaverentz.blogspot.com

[This blog was originally posted at the above link. You can still find it there.]

Permalink to Tour Posts


Hi Liana! It’s great to be here on your blog! Since it’s Veteran’s Day here in the States and since I’ve enjoyed your talks about balance and wellness, I thought I’d incorporate those today.

Let’s start with a quick excerpt from Off The Moon. Here, Ryan is visiting his brother and is followed by a photographer looking for private moments. (slightly edited to maintain PG rating for the blog):


Ryan sighed. “I’m really sorry about this.”

“Not your fault.” Will called the dog back and stroked her to help her calm.

“How is it not my fault?”

His brother shrugged as though photographers hanging around his backyard was an everyday occurrence. “It’s your right to do the job you love. Not your fault the country is star crazy.”

“Not like I haven’t tried to feed into it, though. You know how much time and energy goes into feeding it? To grab as much limelight as possible to help sales? Part of me gets angry when they badger me like this, but then, I’ve never minded when it pay the bills.”

“Part of the job. We all have the right to support our careers. And don’t think I’ve always felt that way. I’ve had my share of being ticked off at the invasion into our lives because of it, but it’s not like we’re not used to being affected so much by a career. We grew up that way. More than most can understand.”

Ryan couldn’t argue that. Growing up a military brat and having to move every couple of years to wherever the Army said, like it or not, leaving friends behind, never with extended family around, hearing all of the political ramblers argue whether their parents were heroes or villains without knowing them and with no idea why they chose that life or what it was actually like on the inside … they were both well used to living on the outskirts of regular society instead of within it.

“You escaped it, though, decided to blend in. My choice shouldn’t affect you and your family.” He kept his eyes in the distance, in case the photographer decided to return.

“It’s not ever possible to not affect those around you with your choices. You know that. And you balance it well – your need with ours. 

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Although he’s known as self-centered and self-serving, Ryan grew up with military parents. He  thinks of his life as growing up on the “outskirts of regular society” and it affects his overall outlook. Part of him resents the moving and he blames his lack of attachment on protecting himself. On the other hand, he has a lot of respect for his parents and the way they taught him to follow rules and to do chores and be a real part of maintaining the household. 

He spends his days doing what he can to grab attention and to perpetuate the rebellious independent wild child image for his career and even tells himself that’s what he is. However, his roots nag at him. During his rebellion and the crazy stunts, the side of him that’s more down-to-earth and family oriented helps to keep him balanced so he doesn’t go too far over the edge. He also does what he can to keep it from bothering his family, and his family in turn, helps to protect his privacy and gives him shelter from the craziness of his job.

I enjoyed playing with the idea of balancing “selfish pop star” with “serving military family.” Anyone who is or has been military or knows service members and their families well knows that “selfish” is the antithesis of what being military means. Although in recent years there has been a surge of support for the military, for too many years before that, they were severely underappreciated and even dealt with a lot of spite. Some sectors of civilian population still treat them that way. The true story of the school child during the first year of the Iraq war who had to sit in class and listen to his teacher talk about how anyone fighting there was “evil” haunted me. It still does. That’s where the hero or villain bit of this excerpt came about.

Ryan is haunted, also, by taunts he heard from the civilian sector as a child. He has trouble relating to anyone outside his career or outside military life because he’s never been part of anything else. His career both avoids and embraces his “outskirt” raising. Being a pop star keeps him outside regular society and he’s comfortable there. Many sides of Ryan conflict, appear to be opposites, but looking close enough, it’s a parallel to military life: fighting for peace, separating from those you love to protect those you don’t know,  vulnerability that creates strength and vice versa. It also balances him so well, he’s able to adapt to whatever situation he’s faced with, no matter how hard it is on him, physically and mentally.

1 comment:

Ignou projects said...

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