Imagine, if that is all it took to make my day better, how many times you might have been that person that happened to be wearing the right logo, walking in the right place, at the right time and brought back memories to a passer-by that made them momentarily feel better. It is amazing how connected we all are and don’t even realize it. When you are a military brat, you are constantly moving through webs of connections and weird coincidences that you may, or may not, even realize. But when you move so many times and come into contact with so many different people, your networks span all over the globe. As a military brat, you have a great gift. In that, you have the opportunity to touch many, many lives in a very short period of time.
When you are away from the familiar, seeing something that reminds you of home and pleasant memories is sometimes all you need to boost your spirits. I did not think something as simple as seeing a Purdue hat would have the impact on me that it did, but it really made me happy. (Heck, it inspired this blog!)
I am a believer in angels. Call them whatever you want, but to me there are many angels in our lives that are probably often left unnoticed until we really need them. You may not realize you’ve been designated angel duty for that day, but maybe you smiled at someone walking past and that was really what they needed to lift the cloud above their head. Or maybe you play a bigger role.
I know I go back to my senior year of high school quite often in this blog, but that is because it really had an impact on how I view life (along with the opportunities the year presented). When I was told that we were being stationed in Montana after completing my junior year of high school, I was devastated. I had such great friends in DC, I was captain of the dance team, anchor of the school news, and I had finally gotten used to driving on Route One. I was worried I’d be all alone my senior year, no friends, un-established, and learning how to drive amongst tractors and diesel trucks on icy country roads. But one person really changed my perception of what the coming year would be like.
I had a best friend in sixth and seventh grade, Molly. She was a military brat like me and after seventh grade she moved from Wyoming (where we were at the time) to Alabama. A year later I moved to DC. We lost touch in the transitions and hadn’t heard from each other until four years later when we found out that we would both be back in Montana for our senior year. Boy was she a God-send. That year Molly was my angel. We lived down the street from each other on base, we had two classes together, our lockers were next to each other, and we even sat next to each other at graduation (all by chance… well…and that our last names are close alphabetically). I never told Molly that she really saved my butt that year, and unless she reads this, she may never know. But that is kind of the beauty of being an angel. You touch lives in ways that you are unaware of but someone out there was made better because of you.
It would have been very easy for Molly and I to have been too jaded about moving to get our sorry butts outside and have some good times. In fact, that probably is what I would have done if she hadn’t been there to make me laugh at the situation. But now I have great memories of Tech N9ne concerts and “fry”-days that I will laugh about for years to come.
As you go through your different assignments, whether you are a brat, a spouse or an officer; be cognisant of the impact you can have on other people. But also remember to see the angels in your own life, because otherwise you may never experience the thrill of startling a complete stranger to tell them thank you for choosing that hat to wear today.