I’ve officially been blogging now for 3 weeks, YAY! (release the confetti and balloons). It’s been fun and I’m learning a lot, and still have more to learn, but I wanted to take a break from the book posts and share about me. This is the post I’ve been dreading the most. Any sort of introductory or bio writing I ever do makes me incredibly anxious. It’s as if I’ve completely forgotten everything about myself and have to come up with something on the spot, which leads to endlessly staring at the computer screen waiting for something to pop into my head. But I’m here and I’m doing it! Hold tight and bear with me, I’m excited to share and have you get to know me.
My name is Bethany, I’m 24 years old and live in Florida with my husband and our beautiful baby girl. I’m a huge book lover, coffee drinker, maybe a little too obsessed with true crime, and a self-proclaimed nerd (I have the Star Wars tattoo to prove it). I’m someone that loves sitting at home with my family doing nothing, but also can’t wait to go out and explore something new. I like to be optimistic, have a positive outlook on life and be willing to take on anything that is thrown my way. However, I also desperately need to have a schedule and know whats going on. But this isn’t the person I’ve always been.
I want to share a story about why I believe books play such a huge role in my life. Growing up, I was a military brat turned non-military brat but continued to live as a military brat on and off again. Does that make sense? That’s okay, I’ll explain.
I was born on a little island in Japan called Okinawa. I was the first born to a couple who were just barely 20 years old, in a new and foreign country. My parents were high school sweethearts who married soon after graduation and right before my dad was to be off to basic training for the Air Force. After a little while, my parents made Japan home for sometime. Another baby joined our little family, my brother, and we lived in Okinawa for a short period of time until a family tragedy moved our family back to the states. Unfortunately for my dad, the Air Force was no longer a career we could pursue with this move.
Military brats are defined as the children of parents who serve in any branch of the military and, in my opinion, are moved constantly around the world and see that as normal. To a lot of kids in this situation, I truly believe that they don’t mind the moving and the changing of schools. They seek that new adventure and love meeting new people, because it comes so naturally overtime the more it is done.
Although my dad was no longer in the Air Force, it was like the military mentality was still engraved into our family. We picked up and moved a lot. Over the course of my school career, I attended six elementary schools, one middle school, two high schools, and two colleges. While living with my parents we lived in fifteen different houses. Now, I know that may not seem so bad to some people, but for someone like me, someone who was shy and anxious and lacked the ability to make friends, it was rough.
Don’t get me wrong, I had some friends growing up, but a part of me almost knew to not get attached because we would most likely just get up and leave again. It gave me a bad attitude and look on life. I told myself I was going to hate my new school, or hate my new life and never make friends before I even gave myself the opportunity to even try. A lot of days after school, I would spend my evenings sitting at home reading. It was Junie B. Jones that started my love of collecting books at a young age. I don’t remember exactly when books and reading became a big part of my life, but one specific memory has stuck with me and allowed my love for books to really bloom.
My dad had gotten back into the Air Force as a full-time Reservist and we had moved on base in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I was to move there with my family from Tampa and transfer to my new high school in the middle of my freshmen year. Along with the bad attitude came anger and hate towards this move (sorry mom and dad). But one of my first memories on that base was discovering the library. Again, I wasn’t interested in starting over and having to make friends. In my mind, I had already decided for myself that I was bound to be miserable in this new place. But I found comfort in that base library.
I was fourteen and walking was my main source of transportation. The base library wasn’t too far away, so I took on the Florida heat and went on to explore the books. I spent a lot of time there and I believe my love and appreciation for libraries started with this specific one. I would walk there from our base housing maybe once or twice a week to visit and browse. I discovered the YA genre section and told myself that I would start on one side of the shelf and just go down the row and see how many books I could read. When I was in this library, I forgot about the rest of the world. The sadness I was feeling and the crude events happening in my life at the time. It was a place where I had an enormous amount of material to indulge myself into, explore new lands and characters, and be someone besides Bethany for at least a little bit.
Since then, books have been in my life and play a significant role in shaping me into the person that I am now. One can learn a lot about themselves, the world, society, and even who you may want to be just by picking up a good book. I appreciate what books and literature have done for me so much. My love for books led me to my husband. And I hope my love for books shines bright enough for my daughter to see it and she’ll discover that love as well.
And yes, I have moved again and again and again. Even after moving out of my parents house and being on my own, I moved ten more times. I guess it’s who I am now and honestly, I enjoy the change of scenery and the opportunity to be somewhere new. I have to credit all my moving throughout my life to shaping me into the person I am today. I see the appeal, mom and dad.