Hello! My name is Lauryn and my blog home is over at LauReality. I want to thank 20-Something Bloggers for giving me the chance to discover a whole new network of bloggers! I've enjoyed checking out Ashley's adorable page and all of her wonderful commenters!
Reading about Ashley and her Air Force hubby reminded me of my own personal experience with that branch of the military. The Air Force has always been my favorite of the armed services. They're the ones I've learned the most about and actually had some interaction with, and who doesn't look good in those Blues? In all honesty, the reason for my military favoritism has to do with my high school boyfriend and the fact that he joined the Air Force after graduation.
Being the naive, yet supportive high school girlfriend that I was, I made sure I had the hats, the sweatshirts, the coffee mugs, the bumper stickers... I even considered going to college in Colorado to be near him at the Air Force Academy. Thankfully I came to my senses and realized that our relationship was not the stuff of great romance, but rather the stuff of kids who knew very little about life. We learned a lot from each other, but eventually we parted ways. Our relationship may not have moved any mountains, but it's what has happened since we broke up that has really stuck with me.
While we were together this boyfriend (let's call him Bob) had only planned to take a few classes at a community college and become a mechanic. He was a talented athlete who had lots of interests, but no one had ever given him the motivation to reach for those goals and he struggled quite a bit academically. Throughout our relationship I had always encouraged Bob to go after those more lofty aspirations and to apply to some good schools. As he neared graduation, he was being pursued by several incredible schools. I kept encouraging him. Heck, I even helped him write his admissions essays (remember the part where I mentioned being naive? yeah).
Bob went on to do great things. He eventually ended up at the University of Michigan, with his tuition being paid for by the Air Force. He's watching his professional dreams come true, and I'm very happy for him. For years after we separated he's told me that if it weren't for my support and encouragement, he would still be living in our hometown fixing cars. I honestly couldn't be happier for all that he's accomplished. He deserves happiness as much as anyone, but I also can't help but notice the irony.
According to him, because of my encouragement Bob graduated from one of the best schools in the country. And yet here I am unsure that I'll be able to find a job, wondering how I'll ever repay my student loans. Note to 17-year-old self: Apparently writing kick ass essays for someone else does little to further one's own career.
Whenever I think of the Air Force, I'm reminded of a time in my life when I was less concerned with asking questions and more focused on creating opportunity. In the end, you never know what kind of lasting impression a person will have on you. We really can't discount any of the relationships that come our way, because there's no way of knowing what direction your life will take for having walked alongside them. When it comes to life and love and learning, the sky's the limit!