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Fearless Friendships

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Written by
Lucia Johnson

Losing Her

I had a friend for three years, which is an eternity for a military kid. She was my next-door neighbor at Fort Polk, Louisiana. And if you are unlucky enough to have lived there, you know that having a best friend is very helpful to surviving swampy Louisiana! After we lived in Louisiana, we both moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania and lived a house away from each other. We were both thrilled that we would get to spend another year together! Everything was amazing until my best friend got moved to Mississippi while I had to stay in Pennsylvania. Everything was different when she left. I didn’t have a book buddy; I didn’t have my fellow Harry Potter fan or my inflatable pool swimming partner. But, most of all, I didn’t have a best friend.

"I decided to not make any friends and just start over in our next duty station. It was only one year anyway, and I had my books with me. . . . As the year dragged on . . . I started to realize that I had made a terrible mistake." @iwillwaitvsp Click To Tweet

The Big Decision

We only had one year left in PA, and I made a decision that I thought was best for me. I decided to not make any friends and just start over in our next duty station. It was only one year anyway, and I had my books with me. I would be fine. The start of the year went smoothly. I stayed up in my room and read my books and went to the barn to ride and do my chores. I had a great community at the barn, but I didn’t have my one person. School started, and I thought I could just be quiet and invisible. The first day, so many girls came up to me to talk, but I just kept shutting them down. As the year dragged on, I started to look around at everyone else. Everyone had someone, and I started to realize that I had made a terrible mistake.

Regret with a New Side of Sunshine

I would sit at lunch alone and notice the groups of kids laughing together, and I knew that, if I had just opened up a little, I could be laughing with them. Every day, I would come home and hole up in my room to read. Unfortunately, my window gave me a perfect view of the field where kids my age would play volleyball and have picnics, and I started longing to go out there with them. I told myself it was too late to make friends, but now I know it’s never too late to make a friend because, one day at lunch, a girl came to my table. Apparently she had been sitting alone all year too, and she lived on the same street as me! Over time, we became good friends, but then it was time to move. If I had just acted quicker, we could have been best friends all year.

So now I am at West Point, our new duty station. I have learned my lesson, and I am ready to put myself out there. Now I know that a friend makes everything better, and, even if it is just for one year, it is always worth it!


Tags :
Friendship,Military Children,Military Family,Military Kids,Military Moving
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4 Responses

  1. Hi Lucia! That is so special, and you have learned that important lesson early! So brave of you not only to put yourself out there, but also to share your story, which you do so eloquently! Bravo! Have you ever thought of becoming a writer?
    Rosalie Mills (I first met your folks years ago at Ft. Bragg before you were born when my son Jason and your dad had just come home from deployment, and have enjoyed watching you and your siblings grow up through FB)

  2. Air Force Brat here, real friends make you life so much better. I still remember my best friend from Travis AFB.
    Your writing is poignant and heart felt. It comes through very clearly

  3. That was a wise decision that Lucia made. She may be able to contact those friends again down the road or keep up with them on Facetime or Zoom.

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