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This I Believe… Gabby Whittington


Everything happens for a reason. You meet the people you meet for a reason. You experience the things you do for a reason. You achieve the things you do for a reason, and the things you don’t achieve also have a reason behind them.
Growing up as an army brat I had to learn this the hard way. I was forced to move repeatedly throughout my childhood and change schools, towns, and houses multiple times. You don’t have the childhood friends most people have had since kindergarten. I don’t really have a hometown. I was always the new kid constantly looking for my place where I belonged.
I remember being affected the most when I was moving my fifth grade year. We were only supposed to be stationed in Chicago for a year but even in that short amount of time I became extremely attached. I had amazing friends, great teachers, and I was excited to participate in everything. I had found my place for the first time and I didn’t want to leave it. But really I just wanted to stay in one place for a long period of time.
After a year we moved, as planned and I was completely crushed. I remember walking out of the school bawling my eyes out, because I didn’t want to be the new kid anymore. I was tired of picking up everything, moving, and starting all over again. I had found the place where I “belonged”, or at least I thought I did. We were being stationed in Virginia for who knows how long and I didn’t care about anything or anyone.
My first day of 6th grade was complete torture. I was the new kid again and starting over again was harder this time than any other time. I didn’t try to talk to people or even deal with the fact that I was stuck here and I couldn’t do anything to change that. I was the weird kid in the back of the class that didn’t speak and that’s where I was comfortable, by myself. I had a few friends, but I wouldn’t allow myself to get close to anyone. I guess I figured what was the point in trying if I was just going to have to move again. I was that kid for three years upset about the stuff I couldn’t change.
It wasn’t until my ninth grade year that I finally realized I needed to get over it and make the most of everything the way it was now. There’s no use being upset over things you can’t change. Growing up an army brat helped my truly find out who I was and helped me to appreciate the opportunities given to me. I am a stronger person because of it, so I believe everything happens for a reason.

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    Jessica TaylorNov 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I can kind of relate to this article because I did not start off in Prince George either. I moved here in third grade and I remember being really mad and upset about leaving behind my old friends and school. Fortunately, I did not move too far so it is easy for me to still keep in touch with my old friends. I cannot imagine what it would be like to move to a different state or a different country though.

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    Diana O.Nov 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I totally understand what you mean Gabby. Everything in life has a reason. It is extremely hard being an army brat. I moved so many times when I was in elementary school that I started to isolate myself to not become attach but then we moved to Germany beginning of my middle school year. I grew attach but had to move to Virginia. Till this day I have not lost contact with my friends from Germany especially with the help of the internet. I finally understood the meaning of every step in life has a reason the summer of 2008 which practically changed my life forever.

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    Raya GirardNov 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Every thing happens for a reason reminds me of the scene in “The Sound of Music”when Maria and the head nun are talking about when God closes one door he opens a window. I think it is best to always have a plan B, just in case plan A doesn’t work out. I hope everything happens for a reason, but just in case it doesn’t I like to have some backup plan waiting for emergencies. I have moved four times because my dad is in the Army, I have met a lot of wonderful people that I will never see again but they made my life better when I knew them.

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    Joshua KentNov 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m a military brat my self one parent retired teh other still active duty. I tarted my freshman year in England where I lved at the time and stayed until the end of my sophomre year. I got ver yattatched and leaving was hard. I was very resentful, until I went out to cross country practice and met Coach Owens and the other team members who really made me feal accepted. Thats when I realized I’ve gotta make the most of the time I have here. Glad I’m not the only one who has realized the impotance of doing that.

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    Unique LarryOct 29, 2010 at 9:18 am

    As a fellow military brat I can honestly say it is an extremely tough thing to deal with. There’s the constant moving, having to find new friends, and losing old friends but you can also look at it this way you get to always see new places and meet new people and learn about different cultures from first hand experience.

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    Rachel WaymackOct 29, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I cannot really relate since i’ve never had to move nearly that many times, but i can imagine how hard it must be to pick up everything and just leave after finally get situated in one place. But i can definitely see that these experiences have shaped who you are and you give a very convincing argument that things happen for a reason.

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    Devan AndrewsOct 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I know how you feel, although in a smaller scale. I grew up here in Prince George, and a few years after my parents divorced I had to move to Chesterfield with my mom. At first, when I moved away, I didn’t really feel much, but gradually, as reality set in that I wouldn’t see my old friends again, I grew sadder and sadder by the day. Eventually, I reconnected with some people back here in PG, and I made the choice to move back here with all my old friends. But during the time I was gone, I slowly gained friends at Chesterfield, and it also made me sad to leave them too. I guess it is not in the same scale as your story, but I can at least identify with loss of friends.

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    shelby reynoldsOct 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I definately can relate. I have moved a total of twelve times growing up as a dependent in the army. Its been tough. I know moving when i was younger was the worst because i was losing my best friends. The last two moves werent as bad. I think i have developed an understanding that they are just people and i can see them again. Now i love moving. Traveling around is something i want to do with my life. I used to wish that i could grow up in one place with the same people my whole child hood but now i wouldnt have it anyother way. It has made me more diverse and cultured.