Life Is One Big Surprise
By Elaura, age 18, California
Life...is full of surprises. You never really know where it will take you, who you will meet, who you will lose. But each and every one of us has to live it the best we can.
My life sure has been full of surprises and mistakes. Looking back at my life I can now smile because my past has made me the person I am today and will continue to make me the person I will become. Life hasn't always been easy for me. I have made many mistakes in life, and I know I will make mistakes in my future, but mistakes are what we really learn from.
For the past two years my life has revolved around my boyfriend. I would always put him first, even in front of my family. I used to think that it's the way it should be. He wasn't a distraction for me in school. But I recently learned that he was a distraction in life. My senior year of high school I didn't really know what my next steps were going to be. I didn't know if I wanted to go to college. I was lost. I had so many opportunities to go to schools outside of my hometown, but I always turned down the idea because I didn't want to be away from my boyfriend. My dream was to be an interior designer. But I didn't pursue it.
It was getting pretty close to graduation and my parents asked me what my next steps were. I had no idea. I was really stressed because I couldn't believe it took me so long to actually think about what I wanted to do. All my other friends had their plans ready; they were leaving for college after graduation. Then one day my dad was joking around, saying that I should join the military. And that's when it hit me. That's what I wanted to do. I don't know how I knew it, but something in my stomach and mind agreed with what my dad said. My dad was surprised that I was taking him seriously. So he and I went down to the recruiter's office that week. The recruiter answered all my questions.
We took the next steps and I went to take my ASVAB. I passed with flying colors. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I was being sworn into the U.S. Air Force. I will never forget the day I swore in. I felt so proud. I was so excited because of all the opportunities I have now. How great and exciting my life will be. Then I found out I was leaving for basic training on January 19th, 2010...which meant only two months left to spend with my boyfriend.
When I told my boyfriend that I was joining it was hard for me because it meant I was leaving him. He didn't understand why I wanted to join and he didn't support my decision. He doesn't want a long distance relationship. You would think that after two years you could get through anything. Well, I guess not. So it was a hard decision for me to make. I had to either choose my future or my boyfriend. It was the most stress I think I have ever been in. It was a hard decision that I had to make. But I decided to do this for myself. So I picked my future, and if he didn't want to support me then I guess it really wasn't meant to be. I still love him and we'll still spend time together before I leave, but we aren't be a couple anymore.
I do not regret my decision because I think that the Air Force really is a great thing for me to do right now, especially in this economy. I encourage those of you who are thinking about it to talk to a recruiter. Don't think that you will automatically go to war, because you won't. Like I said, the Air Force offers so many opportunities for everyone.
I never thought my life would turn out this way. I always thought my life was here in California working and going to school. But it turned out God had a bigger plan for me.
The one thing I do regret is putting my family to the side for my boyfriend. Because even though I wasn't a good daughter or sister they have been by my side supporting me in my decision. And I am very lucky to have my family supporting me. I just wish I had spent more time with them and appreciated them before because now it's too late, and I have very little time at home with them.