top of page

Making the Difference

Connection. Belonging. Stability. These are the buzzwords used to explain the educational childhood of a military brat. We've all heard them time and time again, felt them vibrate through our heads, and tried to calculate a way for it to all fit perfectly - to have the perfect balance. Connection. Belonging. Stability. I can't tell you what they mean to you. But I can say what they mean to me, and how these words have shaped me and my life. So I guess this is how these words, supposedly defining our lives, have actually applied to my own life.

"Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives." - Brené Brown

As military teens you could say we're prone to making fast connections. We don't find difficulty in this, as a consequence of our adaptation to combat loneliness. To feel an inherent relatedness to everyone around, and use this to form bonds. But there's a difference between being able to quickly connect and feeling connected. To feel connected, to me, is to feel belonging. To feel like you know where you are, and know you have a place there. To feel wanted, needed, and desired. This is not what we find with every person, duty station, and circumstance we're in or with. Although some of us are fortunate enough to have grown these relationships in our lives, these two things don't exactly go hand in hand.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." - A.A. Milne

I always thought some perfect change of events (or change in me) would be my answer, not thinking it could be a place. It may sound drastic or cliche, but I truly believe there is a place that happens to have the same foundational virtues, of those I've been searching for. Connection. Belonging. Stability. But honestly, more often than not, it's not a 'perfect change of events'. If anything it's the imperfect. It's having to find who you are and those little moments that help you find it. This is what led to my connection; my belonging.

"If you don't design your own life's plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn

But when that special group comes together, for every individual motivation, to create that unique connection that only a specific environment can provide, it's truly like nothing else. For me, this place is the boarding school I'm at. For you, this might be that sport you hadn't tried before, or your new favorite teacher's classroom, or that one activity that makes it all worthwhile. Maybe it won't be a place, but a little moment that means everything, such as competitions or going on bike rides with your friends. It could be a person, someone who magically gets you, or the people who challenge you.

No matter what it might be, we all have something out there for us. Just keep going and keep your opportunities open, and you'll find it eventually. You don't have to exist in life, waiting to live. For me it's about not waiting, but it's about moving. Ironically, just moving through life and being who you want to be every second will let that moment come. And when it does, it will mean even more, because you made that moment. That moment is you, it's your life, that moment when it all comes together.


bottom of page