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Birds of Paradise

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

Military life for me is a blessing and a curse. I love seeing new places and meeting new people, but I hate leaving my friends, having to “prove” myself, and starting over time and time again.

I have only lived on base one time. Living on base is a totally different experience than what I am used to; it allows for some more freedom than I normally would have. Having to be extra careful of who is watching when you are with your friends is a little nerve wracking sometimes. I have not had the opportunity to live overseas, but I do hope to experience the world one day.

Military life has always been rough on me, but it has taught me many things. It has taught me how to be strong and to persevere when things get hard. For that, I am very grateful.

I like to think I am a fairly positive person, so I am going to talk about the fun things I have done. I remember in North Carolina we would eat honeysuckles in my neighbor's backyard, just joke, and have a lot of fun. For those of you who have never tried a honeysuckle, it is a flower that has a sweet nectar you can eat when you pull the middle of it out. If you want to experience something new that doesn’t hurt you, I would recommend trying honeysuckles. It may seem odd, but you can make some nice memories.

I am fortunate enough to have my father only deploy twice within my lifetime. Both deployments were when I was young; he had to go for 12 months, and then for 15 months. I still remember the days he had to deploy, even though I was so young. I remember that we would get up early; my mom and I would drive my father to the airport. We would go as far as we could and watch him board the plane. After that, my mom and I would sit in the parking lot for a few minutes, and my mom would cry. I just remember having to be strong, trying to help. The older I got, the more it hit me: the possibilities of what could happen when my dad deployed.

Whenever my dad would come back home for his one to two week break, he would bring me back a stuffed animal. I remember two big-eyed turtle stuffed animals. They were red-pink and purple. I had one already from a trip with my grandparents to a pier, so my dad decided to continue my collection. To this day, I still treasure anything my dad brings back. The things I have gotten from other countries just makes me want to go more. I have currency, dolls, clothes, and even a Coke bottle. It amazes me to see the different currencies, and it reminds me that an entire world is out there to experience; I am not alone.

Then comes California. Where I lived was not as sunny as many believe. We lived in Monterey Bay, and it was pretty cold there. It would be in the low 30s℉ when I would go to school in the morning. Did that stop my best friend and I from wearing dresses? No, it did not. Were we cold and regretting our choices? Slightly.

My school, like many in California, had no hallways. This was a precaution for earthquakes. The school was fairly old, so that may be why there were no hallways. When my family and I went to the open house, I remember being a little confused as to why there were no hallways, but I adjusted quickly. I also remember that every Thursday, we would have to run a mile. I don’t mean to brag, but I was totally the fastest girl. I am still proud of my mile time to this day. I can by no means run a mile that fast anymore, but it is still an achievement I hold.

There is also Fisherman’s Wharf, which was a fun spot to go to, as well as the San Juan Baptista mission. The San Juan Baptista is especially cool because you can stand on the San Andreas Fault. It was super cool, and I remember a shop that sold different rocks and gems.

When we moved to Georgia, I was more excited than scared. In the end, I had a great time there. I had a major setback that I pushed through, and I can’t thank the military community enough for being there when I needed them. We lived near Savannah, Georgia, and I had some of the most fun I have ever had in that area. It was filled with history that just made me like the subject more. I love looking at old restored houses and architecture. I like being able to see a glimpse of the past and how people managed their lives.

There is this shop in downtown Savannah near the river; it is kind of in an alleyway. It sells little beaded animals and a lot of touristy things, but it always brought a smile to my face when they had these shaped graphite pencils. They would be shaped as all sorts of things; a whale, bamboo, a feather, a seashell, anything you can name having to do with nature and the beach. I don’t remember what it is called, but if you can find it, let me know your opinion.

There was also a college nearby that I visited for choir, which was a cool experience. They offer ghost tours downtown for any of you adventurous folk; you get to ride in a hearse.

Now, we move on to where I am now. Sierra Vista, Arizona; what a wonderful place. (That was sarcasm, by the way) The town isn’t bad, there just isn’t much to do, unless you travel about an hour north. I went to my first Comic-Con, and then my next two. The first year here, we went to one an hour north, in Tucson. My second one (from last year) was in Phoenix, Arizona, and my friend and I went as Todoroki and Deku from My Hero Academia. It was super fun (with that being my first time cosplaying), and we totally got lots of fan art. (I am a huge nerd of all sorts; I play D&D, and my current character is a meme. What do you expect of me?) The most recent one I went to was my local one, where there was an amazing group of people doing old renaissance-based things. I always have had fun at these events, and I recommend it to everyone. They have people there who cosplay as princesses, anime characters, TV show characters, video game characters, and pretty much anything you can think of.

Obviously, we had to go to the Grand Canyon, and that was a lot of fun. I remember staying in an AirBnB in the mountains, and it had a balcony. I remember going outside and just looking up at the stars, because you could see them clear as day, with little light pollution.

The base here sits kind of at the bottom of a mountain, so it is much cooler than Phoenix. There are plenty of places to hike if you like doing that, same thing with camping. There are no fireworks allowed on the Fourth of July, but there is a hill we like to go up called Star Hill. It is called Star Hill because of the giant star at the top lit by a bunch of lightbulbs. From there, we can see fireworks from about four or five cities, and it really is amazing.

Our historical homes on post are also very interesting to look at. There is only one time a year you can do it, and I finally got to do it this year. My favorite one (probably everyone's favorite one), is the old hospital, because there are rumors of a ghost or two living there.

Some friends and I helped fix one of the signs on post, and we all had too much fun doing it.

This place might not be the flashiest or most interesting town, but that makes you get creative with how to have fun.

I can’t wait to move again and see what adventures continue to unfold. Have a wonderful day everyone, and remember that I, and everyone on this blog, is here if you need a friend. You are never alone. With that note, I will leave you with this; Birds of Paradise are said to represent joyfulness, so step forward in your adventures with joy.

Aurevoire mes chéries,

-Artistic Starmaker


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