Wednesday, April 27, 2011

month of the military child

We are in the midst of celebrating the Month of the Military Child. One of the activities our school participated in was to interview any teachers who grew up as military kids. Having a third grader interview me about my life as an Army Brat really made me look back at my life. Growing up in so many towns, posts, and cities, I've lived a different life than most people in this country. Honestly, I hated it back then. Every time I'd finally get situated at school and make some good friends, off we'd go to the next place. Even the places we returned to after several years were like new, as those I had been friends with had moved on as well. Now, though, I see it as an important part of who I am. I feel I'm capable of dealing with change better than many of my counterparts. I might not like it or want to embrace it, but I deal with it and move on. With all the upheaval we've had due to the economy and being laid off, I think it was the constant change growing up that helped me to deal with it this time around. Yes, it was devastating to lose my job. Yes, I hated that we had finally gotten to choose where we wanted to live, and now we had to move across the country, where we didn't know a soul. But, move we did. And it was a lot easier than I had envisioned. Not that I see myself staying in North Carolina forever, as we have bigger and better plans...

A few months ago, I went up to Seattle to visit my best friend. While I was there, I was able to go back to Ft. Lewis, where we were stationed several years ago. I was probably 4 or so when we lived there, and it's the first real home I remember. Not having been back since then, all I had were these pictures in my head: some from pictures I've seen of us living there and others, just foggy memories. Going back was an amazing experience - getting to see the park I remember playing at, hiking the paths I remember walking down with my family when I was younger, visiting the lake where we used to feed the ducks. Even though all the houses basically look the same, I was drawn to the one that was ours for that brief time. It made me realize that, yes, we moved a lot and didn't settle down until I was nearly an adult. Though fleeting, that time was real and it made me who I am today.

Walking down memory lane was an eye-opening experience for me. What can it be for you?

No comments: