Country Crossing

Keegan - Durango, Colorado
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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I believe in change. It’s what change does that makes you yourself; it’s also what makes you different from everyone else in the world. This time it was a move, not just a move but, a big move. It seems like no big deal because people move all the time, except this time, its me. It was good and bad. I got to see another part of the world at the cost of missing half my family. I saw different lifestyles, cultures, and economical differences outside of Durango. Even though I was only there for seven months, I thought it was going to be longer, so I adapted to my new life and learning.

It started with news from my mother. She had come over to my dad’s house and was talking to him and my stepmother in the living room. I was off in my own room playing video games when they called me. As it was I came to them thinking about how to get past the level I was stuck on in Star Wars until my dad asked me to sit down in a hushed voice. Something was wrong, I could tell by the shocked expression strewn across their faces. My mom explained to me that it was too expensive to live in Durango and that she wanted to move back east. Her sister had just bought a new house that could fit two families in it and would be done with renovations by the time we got out there. It was only temporary for about a year or so and it would be wonderful to see that side of the family more often. I understood her urge to see the last loving bit of her family, in which she had seen only a few times since we moved west. She had also wanted to go back to college and become a nurse, having that as a dream job. They explained to me what was going to happen in bits and parts having to pause to remove snot from their nose or dry their face with a tissue. My dad and stepmother had disagreed with my mom’s decision and were going to argue against her in court. I, myself, was brought to tears and did not know how to react other then being fearful and confused of what was to come next.

Decisions are hard to make with even choices, for example, mom or dad. I had to make up my mind by the time of the hearing. This would all have been easier if I was five because at that age I picked favorites. So I spent all this time thinking about making a decision for something that my choice did not matter because in the end, the judge did not need to talk to me. The plan was set: my mom had won.

I packed my things saying “Next time I see you we will be across the country.” All our boxes were packed into a Uhaul with a Canadian license plate, except for a few that went in the bed of our truck. It felt like the longest drive of my life, but that is still untested. Three days traveling through states unfamiliar to me. Finally we reached my cousin’s house in Fayetteville, North Carolina late at night. The house we were planning on moving into was not finished and the house they were in currently was not ready for us either. We ended up sleeping in a hotel yet again. The next day some friends of my uncle that lived near by helped us unload our belongings into one of the storage buildings that he owned, which unfortunately they stayed the whole time we were there. Make shift beds were made for us in each of my cousin’s rooms.

School did not start for me until later so most of the time during the day my cousins and I would be forced to help my uncle finish the house, doing small, annoying chores that we all loathed and avoided doing. Other times I got to just hang out with my cousin Steven who was my age, and we would play video games or other random activities that involved miscellaneous toys in his room. My uncle worked long hours of physical labor and was always tired and grumpy by the time he got home from a long day of work, so I had no room to complain. Everybody had worse tasks to do then me or at least the same. Whining was not an option. By the time school was started my mom, my sister, and I had beds of our own in the same rooms. My mom was working a nice job in the same office as my aunt, who was a lawyer and earned a good salary for her work. The school had its own soccer team and band, both extra curricular activities I do, which was harder with the East coast climate because it was so humid. I went to a private Christian school which was a little different view of things then before for me. Back home I would go to church with my mom every now and then and never with my dad. I felt more religious in a way, with school chapel every Monday and church every Sunday, not to mention Bible class every day. School was taught differently there because more things were prevented that were considered inappropriate or unholy. In English, one of the books I grew up reading, Harry Potter, was banned. I did not always agree with the way I was taught, but somehow it all worked for me.

Around Christmas time I was able to go back to my dad in Colorado for two weeks. It went by fast and before I knew it I was back on a plane as an “unaccompanied minor”. Nothing much had changed back with my mom except I found a new hobby. For Christmas my cousin had received a Nerf Dart Tag set, which had mini dart guns with laser pointers. Every night after we finished our homework, and it was dark, we would play in the yard with the pointers for a couple hours. It lasted until our neighbors, who complained about the laser lights, yelled at us. Another good thing that happened was a school field trip was coming up to the big Renascence Festival in Charlotte. On the drive, I saw lots of poor homeless people on the side of the road asking for help, for money, for food, and for anything. Sometimes in town I would see people living in, well remnants of homes, in the dirt, people sleeping behind the grocery store. There were diverse cultures I was a witness to such as African American people instead of Latino or Native American people than what I was used to in Durango. The new house was still not complete and by the time it was finished months later, my mom had planned to return to Colorado and live in Mancos. The humidity was getting to her asthma and she was getting sick all the time. Financially, she was better and we would only have to live in Mancos for a year or so. As for going back to collage, she never got there.

Looking back now I want to say I have matured more (not so much physically or by age) but mentally. I feel that I have learned about what goes on in the world, and how to cope with different situations, and possibly my religious beliefs, even though I don’t always agree with all of it. I was more self-centered before the move, always thinking about myself, whining when I got interrupted from a video game or any other activity. Being picky with my food and tasks, complaining about what I did not have, this move made me respect what I have. Change is good sometimes; even though it may seem bad, it helps. You learn from change, it spices up your life and it makes you different. In this, I believe.