Not the Toughest but the most Persistent

As a young girl I was told if ever I was scared

Find the toughest looking man in the room – he’ll have muscles and probably facial hair and you’ll know he’s the one because you will quake in fear at the thought of approaching him –

Walk up to this man and ask for his help.

They told the girl afraid to talk to strangers that the only way to be safe is to find a man big enough to save her

Instead of telling her to work out.

Take a defense class.

Learn how to say no.

Learn how to scream.

Learn how to throw a punch with your fist and kill them with your words.

When I was a young girl I learned that not every man was as kind as my dad. I learned that sometimes the man they tell you will save you

Is the man you should be running from.

So now they ask me why I go to the gym if I don’t have interest in losing weight.

They ask me why I frequently brush up on self defense videos and constantly have my dad remind me just where to bring my knee.

When I was a young girl I was told I couldn’t possibly save myself, so find someone bigger than me who can.

I’m going to tell every young girl I can, if ever we’re in the same room and you are scared, come to me. Maybe I can’t take on the man with the muscles and the beard, but I am always going to be the one who tries.

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The Move

A couple of months ago I moved away from home for the first time to move in with my boyfriend, hours away from my hometown. Many people told me I was crazy – I didn’t and still won’t argue that point. Other people told me I was being stupid. Very few supported my decision. That was okay, because in my heart, I knew I was making the right choice. I didn’t need everyone in my life to believe in me – I just needed to believe in me.

Now, two months later, it’s time for me to reflect. Moving was the hardest thing I have done in my short life so far. I still have days when I struggle and I question what I am doing. On these days, I pick up the phone and I call my family, and they remind me that they are my strength. I recognize that I am lucky in this way. When I don’t know if I can hold myself up, I always know that my family will, no matter how far away they are. This is a fact that made moving possible for me.

While moving was hard, it was also a dream come true. After over two years of living long distance in a military relationship, it was easy to believe that we would never get our time to exist in the same zip code for longer than a couple of weeks. Now I get to wake up a majority of my days next to the man that I love. Some days I still have to pinch myself, convince myself that this is my reality.

As with anything in life, moving has had it’s ups and it’s downs. The difficulties that came along with moving in with a man in the military were very well known to me before I made the move, but they still hit me like a ton of bricks. However, I can still say two months later, in the midst of the hardest time since I have moved, that I would not change the decision that I made.

Life is short. I am young. And I am happy.