I still remember the time I moved to a town just outside Seattle. High School graduation came to a close, and I spent the last month in Texas saying goodbye to friends I had seen everyday for the past four years. For months, I dreamed of living on my own in Washington. I longed to see the rich rainforests and mountains. I felt like moving would be the start to my life. I didn’t exactly know how to start though. For the last eighteen years of my life, I had lived with my parents.
My parents were supportive of me moving. Although they didn’t like the idea of me living far away, they knew it would be good for me. I decided I would go to UW, but before then I would work and go to a local community college to limit my college debt. When August rolled around, it was time for me to leave Texas. I wouldn’t have family or friends. I didn’t have a job yet, and I signed up for a month to month apartment lease next to the transit center and local bakery. I moved into the micro studio with only two duffle bags and a trunk full of electronics. And by electronics, I mean, mostly the desktop computer me and my dad built together.
Then the job search began. My mom stayed with me through this, which I was grateful for, I don’t think I could have done it without her. After about a month of looking, I was able to snag a part-time job at a Montessori school, a place I would work at for the next four years. My mom left for Texas after I had found the job, and that began my first year living entirely on my own. I made friends with the people I met at the church on top of the hill and used video chat to stay in touch with friends and family back in Texas.
Even the hard days were remarkable. I remember there were days when I would feel lonely or wonder what the heck I was thinking, but then something small would distract me from my thoughts. In the fall, there were mounds of leaves on the sidewalk. One side of the street was yellow, the other was red, and the piles of leaves were like wading through snow. Somehow the trees still had leaves left on them. In winter, when walking the neighborhood streets, you could smell the warm fires as the smoke wafted from the chimneys. All year round, trees, mountains, crisp air.
Eventually, I had to work full time instead of going to community college. Money was tight, and thankfully I was able to move up to full time. So, I spent all day with children. To be honest, I didn’t know a better way to spend my day. It wasn’t until that job that I realized I want children of my own. I never thought it would be possible to love an entire classroom of twenty or more children. Since then, people have teased me for wanting kids. The funny thing is, in High School, while I liked playing with children, I didn’t feel like being a mother was for me. Thanks to my first job, I gained the confidence I needed to open my heart to the idea.
By the time I had begun working full-time, I had already lived in Washington for about three years. I finally had a group of friends. I had a good job. My life had finally come together there. Then I totaled my car, and through that, insurance gave me enough to buy a used one. I found a car for less than the money they gave me, and I realized that between the money from my car and the money I had saved, I had enough for a year at a university many of my friends were going to, BYU Idaho. Again, my parents agreed to help me. School at BYU was far less expensive than school in Washington, which made getting my degree possible.
Now as I finish school, discover the beauties of Idaho and living in a college town. I am creating a plan on where I am going to live. Right now, I don’t exactly know where my home is, Texas, Idaho, and Washington all have a piece of my heart. I would love nothing more than to return to Washington and settle down somewhere in the woods. However, I’ll have to see where life takes me. I still have a year left of college in Idaho, and I hope you will join me in my adventures and feel as at home here as I do.