Military life can be an amazing adventure, when one is young and does not have a lot of responsibilities. Newly married and having the whole world in front of you. My parents were Navy, from before mom married dad , he enlisted before that. So it was nothing for us to travel from Virginia to Kentucky several times a year. Mom did it for years alone, with 3 girls, as in long before I existed just so you know. It had settled somewhat when I appeared. We moved back to Kentucky when I was about 3 or so. I started head start here and continued until 4th grade. At which point my whole life turned upside down. My parents divorced, my dad got the house we lived in and my mom and I, though surrounded by her family, had to move. With no job opportunities here she packed up and moved back to Virginia, with me, the only child left in the nest. Before I reached high school I had already attended 6 different schools, simply because we moved and it put me in a different area. In high school I moved in my junior year back to Kentucky. I thought it would be great because I would be rejoining kids that I started school with. Unlike the hustle of big city life there is only one high school in my small area in Kentucky. Most kids start school together in one of 3 elementary schools * 2 now* one middle school and one high school. I knew all of them, and their families, it should be like coming home. But it wasn’t.
I was different. I wasn’t the blond haired little girl they started school with so many years ago. Though I felt like a country girl in my heart, my city living had a major effect on me. My clothes, my hair, my makeup, all different. The school system I came from was way ahead of this one, so in my junior year, when most kids still needed 8 credits to graduate, I needed 2 and a half. Schedules were expected, Ralph Bailey for American History in senior year, Mrs. Maze for English Literature senior year, you get the drift. There was a set pattern for who you had in what year. Imagine their surprise when I was put in American History in my junior year, that is where I lacked my half credit. Though my English was also only needing one credit they decided to hold that till my senior year. Meaning when everyone else had 6 guaranteed classes their senior year I had ONE. Everything else was electives. Seriously. So when everyone would discuss homework or class topics I couldn’t even talk to them, because I didn’t have any of the same teachers in my junior year and only one in my senior. Oh I had a couple of classes that had other seniors, but only because they were advanced courses and the only thing left for me to take, just to literally fill the day in school. Otherwise I would have been in a math and English class and then study hall all day. When they would complain about Ralph Bailey and ask me what I thought about the class that day I could only say well I don’t have Ralph. That was all it took to remind them I was different now. I had been out of the loop too long. I knew nothing of mudding or field parties. I didn’t hunt nor did I have any desire to, I did not look good in John Deere Green. But I was interesting to the boys. I had lived in the city after all. I was more advanced than these country girls, dressed different, talked funny. So I got dates, and fights from girls who had their eye on that boy, who suddenly had his eye on me. I could not win. By my senior year end things had settled and I fit in more, but I know I felt like it was never going to get any better. Now I have lived here long enough that most people forget that I didn’t for several years. I graduated with them so that is all that matters.
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