Growing up, I was the kid with the buzzed hair. I was the kid with the blue liberty spikes. I’d color my hair every color under the sun just because I liked it. I was the kid that got asked if I was gay all the time, or if I realized I was in the “wrong” bathroom. That’s when I realized how mean the world was. I liked my hair short. I liked boy things. So what? I was different. I got teased for being the person I wanted to be, but never once did I do the same in return. Instead, I’d ask if they wanted to sit with me at lunch or come to my house on my birthday.
As I started to get older, kids were still mean, but it seemed that more people saw me for who I was on the inside and started to realize that being different wasn’t bad. I was very involved in sports, band, theater. You name it, I did it. I didn’t really have one set of friends. I wanted to be a friend to everyone, even if they hadn’t shown me that in return, because I knew that the only thing I could control were the things that I CHOSE to do.
I can remember people telling me that the school I was going to was going to be too hard. I received my Bachelor’s Degree when I was 19. I remember Joining the Army at 21 and being told I wasn’t going to make it. I became a Commissioned Officer. I remember starting Nursing School and being told to quit my job because the program was so intense. I worked 3 jobs, was prepping my Unit for a deployment, going through a traumatic breakup, and I not only graduated, but gave the speech on behalf of my class at our pinning ceremony. My point here is YOU are enough. You can be anything YOU want to be.
Shortly after graduating nursing school, right before deploying, I lost my best friend. My grandfather committed suicide. He was in a hospital when he did it too. I had just talked to him two days before he did this. He had decided that he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t in control anymore and he wanted to be free. I have been devastated ever since, and I can remember him telling me that I was amazing no matter what anyone said. He would tell me that I was going to be a Captain and be the best damn one he’d ever seen. Unfortunately, he hasn’t got to see that yet, but today I am out of country. I am taking online classes to further my nursing career and I am also starting my captain’s career course here. I just want to know that I am someone who can save someone else. I want people to know that no matter what you’re going through, you matter. We are all only human and we are all special.
This story was shared by a human named Val