This I Believe

Emily - Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Entered on May 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in moving on.

When I was five, my mother led me out of our house on Canterbury for the last time. At that age, I had relatively little sense of time, change, and place. However, I still seemed to realize I was leaving, and as I waved goodbye to my grandmother, I had a feeling the much-loved brick building would be gone for quite a while. Still, I climbed into the waiting taxi without fussing, and watched as my early childhood scenery disappeared. Subconsciously, I was moving on.

By the age of six, I was happily living in Tours, France. I had forgotten Canterbury Road, my preschool playmates, and most of the English language. Anyone who asked me to write my name would see me spell it in the French way, “Emilie”, even if it did say “Emily” on my birth certificate. I led a nice, European life, and wanted to keep it that way.

However, since then, I’ve had to start over many times. I moved to Switzerland, and then U.S. Though I only stayed in Switzerland for a few months, by doing so I was forced to leave my life in France behind. I had once again watched through a taxi window as another house, school, and friend were forgotten. And when my father told us we were to leave Switzerland for America, only my mother cried. He said he was sorry, that we would have to begin again, and while I was sad, I was also used to it. We packed our worn suitcases, canceled the payment to the school I was to attend, and though I promised to write to all my friends left behind in Europe, I never did.

Now, I live in a white house, much like the one in France. The style of the rooms remind me of Switzerland. Sometimes I even walk past a picture, or a painting, and I swear I can remember it hanging from the brick walls of my childhood. This white house is not my home: I have had too many of those. It is the place that I live, granted, but when my friends ask me for my address, I sometimes have to think for a minute. After all, a part of me still lives in all the places I’ve been, and where I am now is not where I’ll always be. Someday, I know, 2521 Fairmount Blvd. will not be the place I return to at night. By that time, I will, once again, have moved on.