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Moving into Maturity
Here we go. This was my first thought as I woke up to one of the biggest days of my life. Moving day. Preparing for this day somehow seemed more significant than preparing for any typical day. It was the last day in my childhood home. For ten years of my early life, I had learned and experienced so much in that house; it would be odd to call anything else home.
As the morning went on, I packed up the last remaining box of my belongings. The house was oddly quiet, but bustling and noisy at the same time. No one was talking, but the rustling of boxes filled the house. Taping up the last box, one silent tear rolled down my cheek. Thousands of questions rolled around in my mind. What will school be like? Will I make good friends? Will I keep in touch with my friends here? I had no idea what the answers to these questions would be, but I knew I had to be strong. Wiping the tear from my cheek, I smiled at the new adventure ahead.
The vibrations of the garage door from under my bedroom rattled me from my thoughts. I walked to my window overlooking the driveway, and peeked out to see a large U-Haul truck pulling in. Wow. This is real. Until this moment, moving had only been a fantasy. As the truck pulled to a stop, I watched my mom walk out to greet my dad. He opened the back of the truck, took a step back to survey the enormity of his task, then turned and walked back into the house.
I was halfway down the stairs when I heard the door close. I greeted my parents, and they asked me how I was doing. I said I was okay. We chatted for a few more minutes, then everyone headed off in different directions, packing every last minute item in the house. A while later, the men from the moving company, Two Men and a Truck, came to help us load the truck. Their unfamiliar faces moved through the house with all our familiar furniture, causing a confusing mixture of conflicting emotions. Before I had time to dwell on the confusion, my best friend and neighbor Kirsten, texted me.
“When do you leave?” was her question to me.
I answered, “l8er, wanna go for a walk?”
Fifteen minutes later, Kirsten was at the bottom of my driveway, and I was walking down towards her. Both of us knew this would be an important turning point in our lives. This was the last time we could escape on an impromptu walk together. We were unusually quiet as we passed my house. My best friend and I were never this awkward when we were together. We both knew our lives would continue on, but we would have to work through them separately. This realization, that I would be losing my best friend, hit me hard. I started to speak, but Kirsten cut me off.
“I’m going to miss you so much,” she said shyly. I agreed, and we walked along in silence again. This silence was less awkward; we both enjoyed each other’s company for the remaining moments we had.
We had looped back along the road and were approaching my driveway, where we would go our separate ways. This split was significant, not only because we were leaving each other, but also because our lives were drastically changing at that moment. She would go straight on ahead with her life, while I would take a sharp turn into something new. We hugged, with tears running down our cheeks. Our shoulders shook as we held back the sobs that would come as soon as we parted.
After what seemed like an eternity, but at the same time just a blink of an eye, Kirsten and I parted. We smiled at each other through our tears and turned away. As we walked our separate ways, both of us looked back and waved one last time. Then I turned around to face my new life.
As I slowly shuffled back up the driveway, I noticed the truck, almost completely full of my family’s possessions. Wow. My mom asked me to help pack up the last random items into our car. After that, I walked into our house for the last time.
I turned the cold knob of the door, and entered the house I had lived in for ten years. For the first time, I didn’t take off my shoes. I slowly stepped through the archway into the kitchen. I had passed under that archway so many times in my lifetime, but the sight I faced that day was drastically different. Everything looked so bare. Our kitchen table, chairs, and rugs, were gone. In the living room, there were no couches, tables, or television. The same realization occurred to me in every room I entered; we were leaving. The last room I went to was my bedroom. Everything resembling me, except the colorful paint on the walls and the smell of my perfume, was gone. I sighed, reminiscing about all the wonderful times I had in my room. I’ll miss you. This last thought lingered as I turned to face my new beginning.
The drive was long. My mom, Amy, drove our car, while my dad, Keith, drove the U-Haul truck. Dane, my younger brother, and I decided to split the trip. Dane would be in the truck for the first three hours, and I would be in the truck for the last three. My mom and I discussed a lot in our three hours together.
“How are you honestly feeling about all of this?” she asked me with concern.
“I really don’t know, Mom,” I answered her. “In some ways I can’t contain my excitement, but in other ways I just want to go back and stay where I’m comfortable.” This was the first time I poured out my feelings. “I’m scared and sad and excited all at the same time.” A new life is filled with so many emotions; it was hard to stay strong. After putting on a strong armor of acceptance for my friends, opening up to my mom was a flood of words and emotions that I couldn’t contain.
“I completely understand, Bear,” my mom comforted me with the nickname from my childhood. “Just promise that you will keep telling Dad and me how you’re feeling. We’re nervous for you and Dane. We want this move to be successful and exciting, but we understand that beginning again can be overwhelming.” She soothed my tears with her words. When the three hours were up, I couldn’t believe how quickly the time had passed.
The drive with my dad was in many ways the same, and in many ways drastically different. I am really close to my dad, and as a result, we talked about many of the same things my mom and I had discussed. On the other hand, my dad is much crazier than my mom, and he lightened the mood by singing along with songs on the radio. I joined in, and we laughed and sang, enjoying each other’s company. Halfway through the drive, a huge rainstorm developed over us. In a car, the wind was strong. In our U-Haul truck, everything was magnified. I was scared. With each gust of wind the truck swayed. The windshield wipers were on full blast, so my dad felt fairly comfortable with driving. I was startled, but he was undaunted. The drive paralleled our moving experience. I was scared and had doubts, but he helped me through it by remaining strong and confident. Eventually, the rain let up, and we were in Minnesota. The sun broke through the clouds.
Finally, after two years of contemplating our move, it was reality. I had matured and was prepared for the challenges ahead. Here we go.