I often think about the events that lead me to this place. My place is a difficult spot to be, but I am not alone.
My journey starts in a small city just over the Cascade Mountains in Central Washington State. I spent my the entirety of my first 18 years there. Never traveled out of state, never flew on an airplane or spent summers in Hawaii/Mexico like some of my peers. Not that I minded. I was perfectly content to live in my little bubble.
At the dawn of my senior year I began to notice that many of my friends were beginning to map out their futures by applying and getting accepted to colleges. Some had plans to attend the community college. Some had plans to work after high school. This led to confusion on my part. College was not something I foresaw for myself. I felt like I needed a break from everything a higher education and the classroom setting offered.
One of my older cousins was joining the Navy. I didn't know anything about any of the military branches at that point. Clueless was the way I would describe it. It seemed exotic, in a way. It seemed heroic. I imagined her on the deck of an aircraft carrier walking around like Amelia Earhart, a woman in history I had always been fascinated with.
Somehow, word got back to the local recruiter and before I even knew what was really going on, a Navy recruiter named Shawn had called to arrange a visit to my house to meet me.
To Be Continued!