Almost 7 years ago I was 18 and just about to graduate from my high school in Dallas. College in Connecticut was a summer away and I was looking forward to wherever life was taking me. For the first time in my life, I was moving away because it was normal- it was what everyone my age (or at least those who’d gone to my school) was supposed to do.
At Thanksgiving, Winter break, and maybe even for a quick weekend, I would return home to my parents, my room, and my cat. Friends and I would rush to our favorite hangout spots and discuss what had changed in our lives and what we were planning to do the next summer. I cannot even describe how happy the thought made me.
By that point in my life I had moved 7 times. That’s three states, two countries (and continents), one apartment, and six houses. Yes I was a bit apprehensive about moving again, but this time it was for me.
How stupid was I to believe that things would be so easy? Once a nomad, always a nomad.
About a week before (or maybe after) my graduation, my father took me to dinner and told me his news. He hated his job. That I knew, but maybe I’d never realized how much. He had been offered a job in London and he was about 99% sure he was going to take it. When would he be going? Oh, probably September, October at the latest. My mom would go over whenever our house in Dallas had sold (which happened to be a year later).
So much for developing any sense of what it’s like to have a geographical home.
Years have gone by and I have, of course, accepted my dad’s decision. Summers were spent doing internships in London instead of catching up with buddies. My resume flourished, my social life dwindled.
I’ve never made the mistake of allowing myself to be so naive as to believe that my parents would remain here forever. But the realization that they’re leaving has caught me yet again.
Here I am, older, (somewhat) more independent, and less than two days from moving away. This is my choice. They can keep the UK, I’ll take the US.
Then tonight, we have dinner. My dad utters the words, “I hope to move back to the US by the end of the year.” This time I’m not bitter, or angry, or horribly sad. This time around I know that my parents’ decision does not signify the end of something like it did in Dallas. London will always be here for me. And not to worry, I will most certainly be back, even if I’ll have to find a new place to stay when I visit (or return to live). I suppose this means I’ll be seeing a bit more of NYC and Colorado in the upcoming years than I had anticipated!