The Life Left Behind: A Memoir

March 30, 2018
By MaxGidley BRONZE, Alpharetta, Georgia
MaxGidley BRONZE, Alpharetta, Georgia
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I had been living in a small house in the Arizona suburbs for 12 years. It was a very nice neighborhood, shaped like a grid, with sidewalks so you could ride your bike or play tag with your friends. There was a park within walking distance, which contained a grass field so large that you could run for a million miles, never reaching the end. Even in the desert, there were heaps of trees that you could climb and various types of cacti, all with their own unique shapes and colors, that had needles so sharp, you could prick yourself with only the lightest of touch. These characteristics had shaped me into the person I was, and was a great aspect of the life that I knew in Arizona. My friends that I had obtained from years ago were here, along with the little elementary school, where I went to for all seven grades, kindergarten through sixth.

When the trees were blooming in the spring of 2014, my parents explained to my brother and I that we would be departing our small house in Arizona and going to the south, to the state of Georgia because on the account of my dad’s job. I was completely devastated when I heard this; I stood there, speechless, with no movement in my entire body, except quite possibly a tear forming in one of my eyes. I would lose all my friends and I would have to go to a brand-new school with brand new students and brand-new teachers. I would be leaving my entire life behind. These thoughts permeated in my head for the longest time, all the way through until we would inevitably leave. The days kept narrowing and narrowing. Starting a month before we would leave, we packed our personal belongings. Ultimately, a few days after my sixth-grade year had concluded, we left the house, and for me at the time, I would be leaving the only life I even knew.

It was an extensive drive to Georgia. My head was resting on the window, full of emotion, pondering about the new life to come.  I just want to go back home. I just want to go back to my old friends and old school and old life. Please, just let us buy the house again, turn the car around, and go back home. I’ll do anything. We passed through various areas, some with nothing in sight for miles, and some with towering skyscrapers that seemed to kiss the clouds. We stopped at numerous motels on the way, and despite talking to my family or watching a movie, I was a living statue: stripped of any movement, yet full of thoughts of the move. Please can we go home. I just want to go home. Please turn around. I just want to go home. Please take me back to my old friends and my old school and my old neighborhood and my old life. I just want to go home.

We arrived at the house about a week after we left our past one. It was significantly larger than the old one, with two stories and four bedrooms. Yet that, at the time, didn’t matter to me; I still missed my old life. I already hate this place. A few days later, the moving truck arrived with our stuff, and we spent most of that summer unpacking. The neighbors brought treats to our door, being very welcoming to us, but I was still oblivious to these kind gestures, still in the grieving process.

The summer was close to ending. I was dreading to go to a new school, and I wanted to resist, but I inevitably knew that I had to go. Please don’t make me go to this new school. No one will talk to me and none of my old friends will be there. Looking back on that 7th grade year, it was probably one of the toughest times in my entire life. I was not bullied being the new kid, and people did try to talk to me and make friends, whom I am still very grateful for, but for most of that year, I still felt very alone and like an outcast.

As time went on, I began at enjoy Georgia more and more, and began to think less about the life that I left behind, and more the new life that I was developing for myself. Time seemed to grow exponentially, as I finished the very emotionally difficult seventh grade year, and then I was done with eight grade and moving on to high school. Before I knew it, I was quite pleased with my “new life”, as I had an abundance of friends and began to quite enjoy school. I had gradually evolved from hating and grieving because of the move to quite liking the new setting of my life.

Looking back on this, moving does not seem like a very emotional time, compared to other terrible occurrences that can happen during one’s life, such as deaths in the family or illnesses. For me, however, nothing this portentous had ever happened in my life, and it came striking right towards me. I am now fifteen, and have been living in Georgia for almost four years now. All I can say is, that for any difficult time or situation, any situation at all, there is always hope. After this move, and all the hardships and emotions that came with it, I can truly say that things will work out in the end.

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