*This is by no means a representation of my entire “forever list.” Failure to mention you here has no correlation with your placement in my world. Many of you are forever in my path and I love you for that! Instead, this is a snippet of how I view it.*
I see no reason to evict anyone from my life. I’m still very close friends with all my; ex-boyfriend’s, ex-husbands, hell, I’m even close with my exes exes. Some of us are still family. That being said, I will always have in the back of my head (at the time) Staff Sergeant Perez and his words of wisdom.
I was 16 and working three jobs. I had recently decided that I would join the military. I was having a very difficult time quitting one of the three jobs. They felt like family there. One of them, John, (who I would later run into in Iraq) first by reputation and then in person had introduced me to the idea of the military. I was terrified of letting them down. Standing there in the Marine Corps recruit station watching Perez place the little red pin dots on everywhere we were located on the map he didn’t even bother looking up at me.
“Black, are you intending these people to be at your funeral?”
“No Staff Sgt.”
“Then who the hell gives a shit? Go quit your job and advance your life.”
I would run into him again a few years later. Our paths would literally cross while running our physical exam in Iraq. We would pause and talk and commiserate because he changed my course. He and I are not close friends. We do not talk. However, if I ran across him tomorrow I would embrace him with open arms. I learned after that that some of these people would indeed be at my funeral. Out of love, out of respect and some even out of loyalty because we would die for each other. But that’s the way the military thinks.
There are three kinds of people in our lives. The first type of person is the person that was destined to be in your path and stay in our path always. The type of person that is going nowhere. Jessica.
Jessica and I started at the beginning as civilians, we transferred into military and we transferred back to civilians. We became; warriors, students, friends and utmost family together. There was a brief time there (read years) that we didn’t speak because of a fall out. But before I left her the last thing I told her was that I will always have her back. When she was ready she should come back. And years later she was and she did. I am not embarrassed to say that she is one of my closest and dearest friends. I am not hesitant to tell you that those years built us into who we are today. She is my forever path.
Then there are the type of people that will be in your life for a brief time not just to create the ripple effect but on a cellular level. That’s my staff Sergeant Perez. My Dirty Bird who made sure that I didn’t just out process but that I pushed for retirement, there in changing everything about my quality-of-life. My division and team guys that opened their minds to me being their hands and feet. Who stood over me in Iraqi cafés scolding me for the relationships and networking I was building. To protect me. To teach me for when they would no longer be present. Those I owe so much to and they’ll never know. Most of whom I no longer speak with but would still die for.
And lastly, this is my most disliked category, those people that were not ever intended for us. We stumble upon them for whatever the reason and have to relinquish them just as quickly so that they can find their first two types of people.
I am the type of person whose unconditional depth of love is inexplicable, like fellow military brethren. I will love you effortlessly and endlessly. And I will always be here when you’re ready to come back just like Jessica. But I also love people enough to step aside when our time is through. That is part of the love right? Being able to walk away even when you want to stay. Just to let them grow.
As always please; like, comment and follow. I want to stay connected with you.