Many people call the place they grew up home. I do not have a home in that sense; my family has moved once every few years for my whole life. However, every time I move, I feel stronger, like a better person than when I arrived. I believe in the power of change.
I have often been told before a move “change is good,” but who really looks forward to all-encompassing change? I am always afraid that I won’t be able to make friends, or the other kids will pick on me, or I’ll be forced to take classes I absolutely hate. I like order and regularity, not the randomness of moving, but in the back of my mind I always think it is going to help me.
When I was five years old, I moved to a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although the five years I spent there were not among the best of my life, they still made me a better person. I spent four years in elementary school sitting in an old wooden desk while the teacher went hoarse yelling at the other kids to sit down and behave, or almost falling asleep while the teacher taught material I already taught myself. When I joined a basketball team in a YMCA recreational league, I was designated as the benchwarmer. I was isolated by the community, so I learned to entertain myself. Living there taught me how to deal with unfriendly people.
After five years in Louisiana, I moved to Colorado. I actually liked school when the teachers were teaching new material. This, in turn, made other kids mock me for being weird, liking school! Now, I had to learn to deal with other kids. I never quite fit in, but it really didn’t matter. Two years later, I moved back to Missouri.
Now I find myself in Wichita, Kansas. I have tried many things here that I never tried anywhere else. I didn’t have to change, but I wanted to. I’ll try something new in a new place. After all, doing the same activities doesn’t mean they will give the same experience. I just wonder what life will throw my way next.
I have been asked if I would rather have grown up in one town. Most certainly not! Change is opportunity, a clean slate that I can write whatever I want on. I have never been unable to adapt to living in a new place. I hope that everyone has an opportunity to move sometime in order to see what a fresh start really is. Although it can be fearsome, change really is for the better.
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