Moving On

Nina - Santa Cruz, California
Entered on January 14, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve had the good fortune of being exposed to what some consider a struggle early on in my life. I was six. My family lived in Sun Valley, Idaho, for three years before my parents told me they were separating. They babied me as they told me, but even at that age I could comprehend the situation. As I heard my sisters grow upset over the news, I realized the separation was for the better. My parents decided to move back to California; being divorced in a small town apparently would be a conflict. I knew I would miss my friends and school, but I told myself not to be selfish; life goes on.

My dad moved to West Wood, California, my mom to a suburb of Los Angeles called Calabasas. Seeing my parents together, and the satisfaction that came when they weren’t made it easier for me to be happy for them. After all, it wasn’t my marriage to keep together.

The first year my mom lived in Calabasas, we moved in with her best friend and her family of four girls. So, including the parents: nine girls in one house. I was in third, grade and so was one of the daughters in our new home. Once school started I became ashamed. I would lie to my friends about my house, which made things worse, because when my best friend would invite them over they would find my family there, too. I watched my sisters spin out of control, and the more I saw, the guiltier I felt about acting selfish. Each time those jabs of embarrassment stung, I reminded myself that one day we will have our own house; something will change.

By the time I was in eleventh grade, my mom and dad were back together living in a house of their own. As my parents went to couples therapy and attempted to hold “family meetings” every week, it was clear that no matter the effort some people never change. Every day I walked through the front door, I felt a wave of tension before I reached my bedroom. The constant fighting resulted in my parents battle for the house. They acted like ten-year-olds, screaming at each other from separate rooms. For a year I watched the opposite of what I wanted in my own life, and the negativity grew monotonous.

My mom threatened to pack up and move to Santa Cruz two months before my senior year, and to our surprise my dad just said, “Ok…” Moving never got easier. It became harder. Every time it happened nothing seemed to truly change. This time it wasn’t just a selfless agreement, so another move it was.

Starting over became the customary challenge, but a change was necessary in this routine. My parents figured that dropping everything and moving away from the problem would solve it. But all it brought was a horrible habit I never believed in. Running away.

Looking at situations with compassion and an open mind saved me from my childhood. I believe life isn’t about changing, because some things never do. I believe that in life succeeding is understanding, and acknowledging the problems that face you. My belief is my advice, don’t live fearing tomorrows troubles.