Sunday, February 6, 2011

Living in a Military Family – Making Friends, By Tajiana Beard, Age 11

It was the end of the 2008 calendar and the middle of the school year. I was in a new community and felt scared walking into my new class. I knew nobody and had no friends. I kept telling myself not to be scared and that it will be okay. As the day went on, I made more friends and I wasn't nervous anymore. I ended up having a nice teacher and great friends. I might have had a great school, but I just didn't feel safe at home. I liked the house, but for some reason, at night time I just couldn't sleep. I think it's because I didn't feel safe. I was just so used to my old house and my old room. For a while, I hardly slept at all. Sometimes I would just sleep on the couch.

Living in a new house wasn't the worst challenge. The hardest thing was getting to know the people in my neighborhood. At first, everyone was staring at me and I could hear people giggle at me when I walked by. Now, I have lots of friends. I actually made friends really fast, but I was just so scared. I usually am not shy, but I didn't know anybody. I started playing outside a lot and made lots of friends. I was still the new girl at school and everybody stared at me. I wanted to move back to my old school where everybody knew me.

This year, I had a new girl in my class. She was really quiet and I knew she felt like I had last year, so I started to talk to her. Her name is Payton, and now she's one of my friends. When I met her, I knew I wasn't the only one who has been the new girl who knew nobody.

Right now, everything's fine with me. For example, I have lots of friends. However, when I move again, all of this is going to start all over. I do love moving, but I hate leaving my school because I usually leave in the middle of the school year. I totally hate the thought of leaving my friends because I will miss them so much.

There is one thing that is good about moving. The good thing for me is getting to see all the different cultures because they're so cool and different and unique. Right now, I live in Japan and I love it. It is so beautiful, especially the seawall, because the waves are so cool. I love swimming in the ocean because it feels so good. The hiking trails are so beautiful, too, because of the awesome view. This is the first country out of the United States that I have ever lived in and that I have ever even visited. It's kind of weird that it's the only country that I have been to because I am in a military family.

I love it in Japan, but I miss my family and friends back home so much. I still talk to my friends in Texas and my family in Nebraska almost every day. I either email them or I call them on my Vonage phone (that I love). They always ask me when I am coming back to Texas and I always have to tell them "not for a very long time.” It was really hard on me to leave all of my friends behind. I have lots of friends here, but I will always remember my friends in Texas and they will always have a special place in my heart and mind. When I move away from Okinawa, I will make sure to stay in touch with my friends because I want to remember them just like I remember my friends from Texas.

When I first moved here, the only place I really found to make friends was at the Kadena Youth Center. Most people were really nice there and I always had fun. I joined clubs and helped the community by picking up trash and by doing lots of different other things. Almost everyday after school, I would walk to the Youth Center with my friends and sometimes we would stop by the Non-Commissioned Officers’ Club on the way and get a snack. I really love going to the Youth Center because I could have fun and hang out with my friends. It was also great because my mom couldn't pick me up after school, so I had somewhere to go and I didn't have to be home alone.

Being in a Military family can be really hard, but when you have friends, it makes it way better. If I didn't have friends, I don't know what I would do. I am going to have to leave my friends, but I know that when I move again, there will be new people there, and most of all, there will be new friends and a chance to make many new memories.

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Julie Rahm

Mindset means everything. And no one knows this better than Julie Rahm, aka America's Mindset Mechanic. A former naval physicist, Julie applies physics to the energy of human thought and the results thoughts create. As a military daughter, spouse and mother-in-law she has experienced the challenges of deployment separations, frequent moves and telecommuting careers while remaining happy and achieving her dreams. With her passion and people-loving style, Julie has provided the metaphorical tools for thousands of people to bridge the gap between their thoughts and their lives. Julie Rahm, M.S., is a certified Frame of Mind Coach who has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts, including The Phil Knight Show and ABC affiliates. She hosts The Mindset Mechanic LIVE on Saturdays and Sundays on FM107.1 WTKF and AM1240 WJNC in Eastern NC. Her weekly column The Mindset Mechanic appears in The Pamlico News. She has been quoted in numerous newspapers, and on the web at and Julie is an inspirational keynote speaker conveying life lessons through a blend of intuitive success strategies, enlightened wisdom, humor and fun. She is the Champion of Military Kids around the World. Julie's latest book is Volume I of Military Kids Speak.

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