There is something to be said about knowing where you came from, where you grew up, where you feel a sense of belonging. Moving around a few times when I was growing up was both a blessing and a curse, but never once did I feel like it hindered me in any way. Sure when my dad told me I would be moving my junior year in high school I threw a fit that ended somewhere with “I am not going,” but in the end, I always sort of loved moving. Getting to go to a new place where no one knows you and completely getting a fresh start is something that people barely get to experience once in their lives, and I was fortunate enough to get it several times. Consequently I probably learned to avoid my problems and run from most of issues, but I cherished getting to reinvent myself with each new school I attended, forgetting those things that I didn’t want to share anymore and holding on to the characteristics that I loved about myself and wanted others to see most.
When my parents told me I was moving to Texas, I (in my typical dramatic fashion) thought my whole world was ending. Little did I know that I would come to absolutely adore the “middle of nowhere, piece of crap” town that I so maturely called Fairview when we first decided to live there and that the thought of leaving it behind, much like I left so many other cities behind, is a little bit heartbreaking these days. Leaving Phoenix I told myself I would never find another home. I loved my high school, my friends, my life in Ahwatukee, and I strongly believed that it would always be home for me to return to. And now three years later I can’t even imagine going back there. Returning to Arizona for Easter break is exciting, but not because I am going “home.” I am ecstatic to see my grandparents and Aunt’s family because it has been far too long, but when it comes to the actual physical place of Phoenix, I really have no ties anymore. I can’t even picture myself as a student here, even though it really wasn’t that long ago. I know that is how it is supposed to go. I grew up, I moved on and that’s normal… people move on. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t absolutely terrify me, especially with the upcoming move away from Texas.
I never want to forget who I was in Texas. I never want to forget the people I loved, the people that came into my life and changed every single bit of me and who I am. I know I am equipped with so many memories, some so vivid it feels like just yesterday I was experiencing all of them, but I also know that at one point in my life I felt that way about Arizona, and with that probably about New Jersey as well. I’m scared that one day I will wake up and when someone asks me where I’m from my go to answer isn’t going to be Dallas. And I am scared that I won’t feel that sense of belonging, of being from somewhere and being able to call it home again. Once again I am faced with all these conflicting emotions about moving and getting a fresh start because I know there are a lot of things that I would love to escape from Texas. It would be so nice to be able to walk into a new kitchen and not be struck by the vivid memory of me sitting on the kitchen counter crying to my mom as I told her that Anna passed away. I would love to be able to drive into my garage and not think about the night before I left for Marquette, saying goodbye to my best friend and other half, and knowing that him and I would never share the same relationship no matter how hard we tried. There are so many bad memories scattered all throughout town and constantly waiting to pull me back to that moment in time that I would love to not to have to be constantly reminded of. But what if by not having those constant reminders, I forget who I have become because of all the things I have been through? I like to think that I am a better person because I knew Anna, because I loved Kyle, and because of everything that happened in Texas, and I don’t want time or distance to change that.
Hopefully in time I figure out how to hold onto memories without letting them run my life, but still allowing them to continue to help make me a better person. I am going to miss Texas with every part of me, but I know there are better things out there for my family and for myself. Deep down, I know Philadelphia is going to be a wonderful new adventure for the Haus and that everything is gong to work out. I know that because I can look around at my family and we are all living proof. We’ve done this before and it is going to be no different this time. Just because I can’t pinpoint one specific place where I grew up and there may not be one house that I can say was home, I know I have been incredibly blessed because my family was the only home I ever needed. Together we have been able to figure it out before and there is really no question that we will be able to do it again no matter how scared or sad we are.