Background: This girl was born to very conservative Southern Baptist parents in Alabama. Her dad had a cushy engineering job that made the family well-off, despite the fact that her mom was constantly either pregnant and at home. She could’ve gone to college on her parents’ dime, but it would’ve been under their rules (go to Pensacola or Liberty, only study a field that’s “appropriate” for women like nursing, then get married and start churning out babies).
So she found a way to rebel without losing her family: right after high school, she joined the Army. She knew her conservative parents wouldn’t try to stop her from doing the patriotic thing, she’d be freer on the base than she was at home (the first time she even read “Harry Potter” was at 20 in South Korea, ffs), and she knew the GI bill was waiting for her at the end.
We met at a neighborhood gym, right after she’d been discharged and started community college. I had no idea about her amazing story; I just saw a stunning blonde girl working out next to me, and decided I’d start a conversation. For the next six months I grew immensely as a person, and it’s because of things she taught me. In the end we weren’t compatible, but we parted amicably.
Anyway, I recently reached out to see what’s up, and she told me that she’d been accepted into f**king Yale. I told her that I couldn’t think of anyone who deserved this more, and I meant it 100%. She truly made her own success, and she’s going to do amazing things with this opportunity.