I have a story to tell. It’s about uncertainty and perseverance. It’s also about love.
From 2014 to 2016, my family was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. My sister and I adored living there. We had a neighborhood full of close friends, an amazing school with great teachers, and a strong sense of belonging. Yet, despite all this goodness, I remember being so excited when we learned we would be moving. It meant hardships, of course, but it also meant a wide-open road of possibilities just waiting to be explored.
Unfortunately, I forgot that roadblocks happen.
My father was stationed in Alabama. We were told housing would not be available for a while and the schools were not very safe, so my mother, sister, and I moved to live as civilians in Lexington, Kentucky. We were an eight-hour drive from my father. As if this distance, finding a house on short notice, and having our goods rerouted wasn't hard enough, school started. My sister was still in elementary school, but I moved on to sixth grade. This meant I was starting middle school with no friends, no sister, no father, and no clue what to do. This was also the first time I lost friends, though we were all still in the same place.
During this difficult time, my family grew closer. My father came to visit as often as he could, and we would all go out to eat or take a walk outside to spend time together. One time he took us to an amusement park for the day! Other family members lived close by, and we all adored every shared moment. Moments that never would have happened had we lived in Alabama.
Personally, saying goodbye to friends is easier than saying goodbye to family. It’s weird because I will definitely see my family again, but friends drift away. I remember being incredibly sad to leave my family and friends in Lexington. People who had been there for me for years, who had seen me grow and encouraged me to keep growing.
I also remember being excited about the next road.
The one I had just traveled was full of pain, loss, and fear, but it had so much love. Love from family, friends, teachers, pets, and strangers on the street. Even myself. Though I think most people do not just love themselves. They find love. They find it in favorite interests, nice people, good books, contemplative walks, and everything else. At least that is what I did. In every bad situation, I remembered the little things I have come to love, and that made it a lot more bearable. Then I got up and started walking the new, beautiful road.