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Adventuring and Experiencing: Finding my First Forever Home

Up to this point, a lot of my military life has been centered around unique experiences, most of which are due to constant moving. I have memories with countless different backgrounds, know people from all over the globe, have seen distinctive cultures, and experienced innumerable school systems and styles of teaching. All of these elements have contributed to who I am today.

I am writing this article while sitting at my desk in our first forever home. As a person who has only known moving every few years, a forever home was daunting. I wasn’t expecting it to come so soon - I don’t think anyone in my family was.

In early December of 2021, we visited our future new home for the first time. It was different than I envisioned - but not bad - and unanticipated. Plus, it seemed like this house was a very likely candidate. I felt suddenly thrust into a new environment. I wasn’t ready to give up this lifestyle of living on post and moving often. I wasn’t ready for this next step. I wanted to stay a military teen and keep moving around.

I’ll admit - I cried. I felt like this was the first step in disconnecting from the military. I was selfish. I wanted to see more; I wasn’t ready to settle with only prior experiences. My wonderful family and friends comforted me, but I felt unhappy.

Just to complicate the process even more, no one in my family really agreed on this matter. My dad was all-in. This was the house he’d been looking for. It is perfect for him. My mom was having a really hard time with the matter. She was also unprepared. Moving into a 150 year old house is a huge adjustment - lots needed to be done to make it functional for my family. I saw this as a nice opportunity, but was hesitant. Extremely hesitant.

This move also wasn’t at an optimal time for us. Both my dad and I had one foot stuck in an orthopedic foot (my dad had foot surgery and I broke my foot), it was the middle of the school year, and our neighborhood street was absolutely awesome. Unlike previous duty stations, we felt included and part of something bigger. We knew everyone on the street and had great friends. It wasn’t something any of us wanted to leave.

After some offers, we bought the house. We made the move over winter break. The day we closed on the house (December 20th), my dad went over to start some renovations. We began moving items over a few days later. Two days after Christmas (December 27th), we slept in our new house for the first time. We had guests over New Year’s Eve. It all went really quick. Before winter break, I lived in one house. After winter break, I lived in another. I didn’t have too much time to think.

Now, four months later, I realize my first thoughts about this move were unfounded.

When we were ready to start moving, about a dozen friends came over and helped. They gave at least a whole day of their lives to lug items into a truck or trailer, drive 15 minutes to the new house, unload, drive back to our house, and start again. There was an unbelievable amount of support. I realized just how much the people around us care.

I was worried that I would lose connection with friends on post, but I’ve actually found to be more connected and grateful. I’m grateful for every second I spend with friends - every moment is special. Also, we moved closer to some friends, which is absolutely amazing.

While I was worried about losing experiences, I wasn’t thinking about everything that would come with this house. I now have new, unique memories. Ones of helping around the house - painting walls and trim, learning how to put in flooring, discovering all the history of our house, laying on the plush grass with my dog, and walking around our 4.5 acre property. I am still having the time of my life.

Overall, I was worried about losing the military, but it will never be gone from me. I wasn’t able to focus on what I was gaining - a solid foundation, a wonderful home we can call ours. I’ll still have the old memories, while experiencing new ones everyday.


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