It All Started When...



I realized I had to get out of San Antonio and as far away from my High School and family drama as soon as possible. I didn’t exactly have your typical High School experience you would imagine a suburban teenage girl would have. See, I had the “bad boy” boyfriend, the lack of “friends” in general, the mother who could see no wrong in her perfect only son but every bit of wrong in me, and oh yes, the whole issue with being a mixed girl in a High School where in order to be considered Latino I had to speak fluent Spanish, in order to be considered African American I had to either be the loudest one in the room, always trying to hit someone, or 50lbs thicker than my boney behind already was. And don’t even get me started with why I couldn’t be considered White (even though every black person in that darn school said I was because I didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of young black women). Needless to say, my High School experience started off wrong because I was a 90lb, light-skin, long-hair, no a**-havin’, un-athletic, nerdy outsider. 


But I’m already getting off track here so lets circle back around.


So why did I do it? Why did I sign away 6 years of my young adult life to play Army? Here’s the short answer – I didn’t exactly have any better options. After getting into a heap of trouble and getting kicked out at, what was I? 15? I spent some time in a foster home not too far from my suburban kingdom. After returning back to the suburbs, after “learning my lesson”, I was yet again, an outsider, but this time it wasn’t with my high school counterparts, it was with – you guess it! My own family. So after being bored with feeling like at any moment I would again be exiled from my own home, I decided it was time to take my life in my own hands. But how could I do this? I was barely 16! The only way I could start off fresh was to run and leave all of my problems behind me. The next day I went to my high school counselor and pitched my idea – I needed to graduate a year early. So I did. I took extra classes and was able to graduate at 17, a whole year early.


My plan seemed to be coming together, now just to go off to college and I would be home free. Then it happened. My parents announced their divorce. Before I could even ask ‘why’ everything had already changed. My sister went to live with my mom, my brother was already living it up in college, and I was left in a house I didn’t even recognize anymore. My OCD of a father, who had always been the strongest and most resilient person I knew had fallen apart. My home had become this cold, dark, dusty shell. My plan changed.  But again, I’m drifting.


Needless to say I was unable to follow my college dream, at least right away. Whelp, Enlistment it is!