One of my very best friends in the world, Maria, went into the Navy last year, and left for her officer training in August. (I wrote about it then) From that time - we haven't spoken - as she was not really in complete control of her life or surroundings while in training. In honor of the fact that her birthday was a couple of days ago, and I finally was able to talk to her again last night... I'm going to dedicate today's post to her...
She has now graduated from her initial training program, and is beginning her second phase of training in Georgia.
Maria and I met in January of 1998, we were in the same economics class at A&M - and hit it off instantly. We were practically inseparable from the moment we met... she grew up as a military child, and always expressed an interest in going into the military at some point. During our two years, in college together... we really bonded, and even developed our own way of talking to each other. (John always can tell if I'm on the phone with her. HA!) We haven't always agreed on everything... which is normal... and even almost lost our friendship over my dating John in the beginning. When I first met John, I had come off of a string of not so healthy relationships, and had declared that I was going to focus on my career and not worry about men for a few years... well little did I know that the man of my dreams was about to come back into my life for the third time. (It really was the charm)
Maria and I had planned on both setting up our post-college lives together, I think in Dallas... and wanted to have the "Ally McBeal" set up... don't ask me what that means now, but it was a popular show back then... and there was something that appealed to us about their lifestyle. Then I went and met John, and everything changed... it was a hard transition for us, but with a little time, distance, and maturity - we only struggled with it for a couple of months.
Maria was one of my bridesmaids, and was wonderful that entire time... she was my rock during an emotionally packed weekend. She even got a kick out of being the one to drive me to each event... we spent my final night as a single girl together in a suite with my sister-in-law, and we really had a great time...
She even came to stay with me one summer while she was interning in Houston... and we completely enjoyed spending so much time together - but it didn't work out for her on the job front in Houston. So she started her corporate career in San Antonio... a string of a couple of bad job experiences, and she was back in school getting her MBA. From there - she announced that she was joining the Navy. It was a little shocking because, her dad is a retired colonel from the Air Force and I had always thought she'd go into the Air Force when the military career came back around.
I still get nervous thinking that she might land herself in a combat zone at some point throughout her career, but I am so incredibly proud of her. She has a drive and courage that I've always admired. Whether she's upset, and yelling a someone in spanish/english... or enjoying a great night out with the girls... I've enjoyed every minute of being her friend.
As you can tell - I have a very special place in my heart for Maria, and I couldn't be more thrilled to have reconnected with her! It was funny - last night she said that it was so nice to have a friend that after not talking for 5 months... you can just pick back up with like no time has passed at all. I completely agree... but hope that it's only a couple of weeks or so before we talk again!