In a world that is spinning so fast, there is nothing like a good conversation with an old friend to ground you back into simple life. Are you in for a weekly catch-up among two friends, simply speaking their truth and experiences? Then you’re in for a treat! Christina Paxton sits down with her high school friend, Tim, every Tuesday for a weekly round of sharing their rich experiences in life, the lessons they learned, and their insights into the fast-changing world and its future. In this bite-sized episode, have a taste of what is to come as Tim talks about the events that led to his entering the military to the depression separation he felt later on. Join Christina on this ride every Tuesday with Tim!
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Tuesdays With Tim: Your Weekly Dose Of Conversation Between Two Old Friends
What have you been up to since high school?
We could start at Spring Break of senior year. I was approached by my dad and he said, “Are you going to college? What are you doing?” I said, “I’m going to go to college and play basketball.” I love basketball. I breathe basketball. I still play basketball even though I’ve had six knee surgeries. I was like, “I want to go and play basketball.” I went to ASU, U of A, NAU, which are all the colleges in Arizona. I went to community colleges and showed them all my basketball videos from my junior year when I played on the club team, then in senior year at Apollo where I did get to play and scored a bunch of points. They were like, “You’re good. You’re this, that and the other, but you’re 5’10”. We have somebody that’s 6’5”, 6’6” that’s not as good as you. We’re going to give them the scholarship.”
It’s like a backhanded compliment like, “Yes, you’re good. Maybe on your junior or senior year, you can try out and make JV. Maybe we can get you on the varsity if somebody gets hurt or if they transfer or something like that.” I appreciated the honesty. They were like, “You can probably make the team and have some type of practice player role.” I was like, “No. I’m good with that.” I went to Metro Center, which is our local mall but not anymore. I walked through the doors. I had never thought about the military. I never even considered it. I knew that they came on to our high school during lunch and tried to entice people to come over and sign up or go check them out for an interview or whatever.
Where you used to put your uniform on and go to work, now you don’t have to do anything and just go circles around everybody.
I can’t remember what I went to Metro Center for. I think I was going to the No Fear store to look for a hat or something. Back in 2005, it was the No Fear hat, No Fear shirts were the cool thing. I walked in the entrance that had all four militaries to the right. You had Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. My uncles had served in the Air Force and they lived in Oregon. I didn’t grow up with them so I would be pretty much the first generation. I looked and I was like, “Marine Corps is supposed to be the toughest,” so I walked into the Marine Corps office.
The whole drawdown thing happened after we pulled out of Iraq. They were looking for reasons and I went in there. You have a year to recover from any injury that you have in the Marine Corps, but you can get extensions on that for another six months. I needed a fourth surgery and another six-month extension. They said no. They sent me to a medical board and then I got medically separated and discharged. I was devastated. I loved being in the Corps. It was a passion. I got out, we moved back to Phoenix and got a good job. My parents then got divorced. I was already going through a lot of stuff. It’s hard to describe because I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD. We can do a whole episode on that too.
Yes, we can.
There was a lot of depression with separation anxiety from the Marine Corps. It’s almost the separation depression. That’s all I knew. I wake up, shave my face, put on my uniform, and go to work. Now I wake up and I don’t have to do anything. I wear jeans and a T-shirt to go to work. I’m doing circles around everybody around me. I’m getting promoted. I got promoted to service manager right before I left and all these guys were working for twenty-plus years. I didn’t find happiness in that. When my parents got divorced, that destroyed me. I had all these PTSD flare-ups and bad dreams. I have some friends.
The guilt runs strong. We can talk about PTSD too because I don’t have it but my ex-husband and all that. I went through all that with him. That can be something we can touch base on.
One of my favorite things is being a girl dad. I always wanted a little baby girl. My baby girl is getting older and she’s a jerk. We never get along. It’s this whole thing. I’ve always wanted a son as well. Something like, “Like father, like son.” He is exactly like me. We like the same things, talk the same, and make the same jokes, but it’s like a switch with him. I can snap, look at him, and be like, “Hey.” He’ll be like, “Yes, dad?” He knows that he is messing up and he’ll then correct himself. If I do the same thing with Autumn, I snap and she’ll snap back and be like, “What?” We’ll have a whole episode on that because that’s a pretty lengthy topic of things I’m discovering as a girl dad in 2021.