Let me explain. After running around the track for many months I began to divide up the people I would see into different groups; the slow non-competing, the competitors, and the motivators. The slow non-competing group are usually first-time runners or old professors getting in an afternoon workout. These are the people that take their time and don’t care that people are passing them. Then, there are the competitors. These are the people that when their pace matches yours, they speed up just so they can pass you and get far ahead. Not to stereotype, but you can usually spot these people by their cut-off tanks and perfectly shaped muscles. The motivators are the people that when your pace matches up with theirs, you run together for some time, and then eventually one of you gets ahead. They are always nearby though, pushing you to keep going because if you stop, you will loose sight of them and loose some confidence and motivation.
As a military brat, the friends you come across can also be divided into these same three categories. There are the friends you pass by, the friends that pass you by, and the friends that always stay in sight. The slow non-competing group of runners are your short-term friends. As bad as it sounds, these are the people you become friends with even though you won’t stay friends long, because you’re moving in a year anyway. But for the time, you like their presence because they make you feel comfortable. Eventually, you will keep running ahead and they will not feel the need to keep up.
The competitors are like the first people you meet when you move somewhere new. I always noticed that when I was the new girl in school, the extremely outgoing people would be the first ones to welcome me. They would usually be the ones that did not stick around long, after my newness wore off. They already have their core group and are not looking to add new people to it, but they want to check you out to see what kind of new competition they have. Don’t buy into it.
Then, there are the motivators. These are the loyal friends, the ones you hold on to. These are the people that match their pace with yours and stick with you. Eventually, your paces will change and one will move ahead, but you always keep them in sight. These are rare friends that teach you true loyalty.
Just yesterday, I was packing my stuff up in my room to get ready to move back to college. I found a bag in my closet that had some folders in it. Each folder was devoted to a different friend and it held all of the letters they sent me. Some of these letters go all the way back to 2003, when I lived in Alabama. My friend Lauren and I were pen pals all the way until 2006 (I think that’s impressive for a kid). I have folders from Theresa Stoeker, McKenzie Long, Megan Olson, and pretty much every single one of my friends from West Potomac: Rachelle, Dani, Nicki, Laura-Paige, Julia, Catherine, Isabelle, and Charlotte. I just had to mention all of you guys because when I was looking through them yesterday, it made me think of this blog and how fitting it is that this is the topic for this week. Even though we’ve all grown up and moved on, you guys were my motivators for such a long time.
The most important part about a motivator, is they get you through some rough transitions. When we moved, I always pulled out those letters and read them, it reminded me that even though I didn’t know anyone yet, there was still the opportunity to meet new friends like the ones I had before. And for the time being, I still had my old friend’s support to get me through.
It may sound super corny, but if you’ve gone through it, hopefully you know what I mean. As military brats, we are fiercely loyal to our motivators because they keep us going. But at the same time, we learn to un-attach ourselves to the competitors and the short-term friends because they eventually wear you out.
Now, for some pictures I un-earthed in my closet yesterday that deserve some attention. Here’s to you, motivators!
In my efforts to keep up with the times, I made an instagram. If you haven’t already, go on and like it @themilitarybratblog post a picture of you and your childhood best friend with a #motivator and make sure to tag the blog. Thank you for your support!