I wrote this months ago and never posted it. Enjoy a little bit about my 26 (almost 27) years of existence.
When people learn that I have lived in many places, usually the first question is, "Why?" I never really have a good answer for that, but just as some cannot imagine moving from their lifelong hometown, I cannot imagine living in one place for my entire life. Each move, in my mind, reflects a different time of life. In each place there are vivid memories that mark my time there and now looking back, I see that each stage molded me and taught me.
The place of my birth. Although I hardly remember anything from this city, I love it. All I can go on is memories heard from my parents, but I know I would have loved this place (I mean, look at it!). Can a birthplace really shape you? Probably not. But it was here that I learned to walk and to talk (with a high-pitched southern accent) - two very important motor skills.
The memories here are a bit more vivid; very much like 30-second video clips. I remember my babysitter. I remember our church and preschool. I remember when we got into a little car accident. Here, I probably developed my love for dogs; I even remember dog-sitting for somebody's dog (Bear, I believe was his name). As a preschool-aged child, I don't remember what the weather was like or what stores they had in town. I don't recall my bedroom or any other room in the house. Instead I remember specific events that must have had an impact on my little mind.
Kernersville, North Carolina - 1 year
We lived here only a year. Thus, I only have polaroid snapshots of this home. I remember the street we lived on and learning to ride my bike. I remember thinking that our neighbor was such a big kid (like 4th grade). I remember bits and pieces about kindergarten. I remember lying about when I got in trouble at school. And, of course, I remember the neighborhood dog, Jake, that would come and play fetch with us.
When people ask me where I grew up, this is immediately where my mind goes. Some of the happiest times of my life took place in this super small town. There isn't much I don't remember about Findley Lake. To this day, I could drive you to many of my favorite spots even though we moved away well before I could ever drive. I learned to swim, in a lake. I rode my bike, everywhere. I. was. a. kid. No worries. Little responsibility. Lots of fun. Somedays it seems like my life in Findley Lake was just a movie or a book that I read - it was that good. I dream of taking Hubs to visit this special place someday.
Actually looking back, this was also a good place to grow up and probably where I did most of my growing up. I got a great education and had some wonderful experiences. I learned to work and make money. I learned to drive, I graduated (twice), and I had many of those "first" experiences. Lots of life lessons and lots of godly instruction. But, I was never content here. I moved away, on my own, after 9 years. I was always looking for the first chance to move away and change my life. And, so I did.
Lincoln, Nebraska - 5 years
Who doesn't have a special place in their heart for their college town? It's the same way for me. I moved to Lincoln without knowing another person. I moved in with people that I didn't know. I planned to stay for 2 years. Max. It was a new experience and I was excited to be in an environment of learning. I had always loved school and this was no exception.
Mainly, though, this is where I met my dear Hubs, fell in love and we had a blast. We got married and still had a blast throughout four trying years of dental school. I loved my job and our friends. It was in Nebraska that I really became an adult, being on my own and learning responsibility. I know I will always love to go back and reminisce.
I said I'd never do it. But, I came back. It was different this time. I came back to a place where I had kept in touch with no one. I came back when my parents had moved away. I came back married and we met new people. People who only know me as my married name. It's actually even been fun to see people that know me by my maiden name too, but there are 2 things that have made this hot, ucky, dry, yellow town home. The first is our church. I completely believe that your church is your extended family and I feel that way for sure. We are both learning and growing so much here, providing great foundations for whatever life brings us next. The second is our friendships. We have such wonderful friends that took us in immediately. I have learned that if you have a great church family and great friends, you care less about what the town look like.
I've loved moving around. It has taught me to make friends pretty fast. It has taught me to be ready and willing to go wherever God leads. And it has given me so many great memories and experiences. Really, I don't care as much where we are anymore. I am at home when I am with Hubs and that is all that matters.