From a very young age I will always remember moving around a lot. My father worked for Union Pacific and my mother was a housewife. My family lived in one house for a maximum of about three years. When my parents decided to get divorced, the moving increased. Ive learned one thing from being dragged across the country though, and that is wherever you go, there is always something to learn from the situation and the place that you lived in, when you look back at it.
I was born in Rawlins, Wyoming on March 8th, 1980. We only lived in Rawlins for about two years before moving to Idaho Falls. Many people think that others cant remember things when they are very young, but there is something that I remember. Since my father worked for the railroad, he would go to the bar and hang out with the guys and down a few beers. This always worried my mom. I loved it because that meant that she would wake me up at about midnight every night and load me into the family bug and head to the bars trying to find him. When she finally did find him, they would argue about dad not coming home, and it ended up that we would go home without him. There was one exception. One night, when I was two, my mom and dad both came out and got in the car. That night will always be imprinted in my mind because that is one of the few times that my dad acted like a father and put me to bed and read me a story.
All the times my mom and I got in the car, I thought that it was just a game. I got to ride in the car. After all the pointless trips to the bars to try to get my dad to come back, I learned that it takes just one time to make a difference. My mom was happy that my dad was home, and I was happy to spend a little time with him. After that, the time I was able to spend with my dad slowly faded into almost nothing.
We moved to Idaho Falls when I was about three. When my dad was transferred to Idaho Falls, it was only a matter of time before my parents decided to go their separate ways. My brother had just arrived into our family. My mom got a job at the local bank and my dad started working seven days a week. After about a six months, my parents decided to divorce, because they couldnt get along. My dad moved out and my mom found her future 2nd husband. The time that I was allotted to spend with my dad by the court was seldom. At the time, I just took it for granted. We would spend one weekend a month doing father and son things. The best weekend was the weekend before my dad moved to Stockon, California and we went to Salt Lake City. We stayed at the Little America, and went to Lagoon. When I wasnt around my dad, I was miserable. I didnt understand why parents didnt live together anymore. What kid would understand? I didnt want to be different from the other kids in preschool.
I just laugh when I think about my fears of being different. That was the first time being different really affected me. I take it as a learning experience that helped me as times went on. It finally clicked that, no matter how subtle, everyone is different and no one should try to hide who they are. It also taught me that family is family, no matter how far away they live from me. They are in your heart not just living with you. Another lesson in Idaho Falls was that the memories of good times could help pull you through the worst times in your life, no matter how long they last. This last lesson helped me when I moved to Boise with my mom, her new husband, and my brother.
We moved to Boise when I was four. I started kindergarten, and felt like a stranger. All my friends lived in Idaho Falls, and I hated my step-dad. We moved three times in five years, because he couldnt hold down a job and caused problems with all of our neighbors. Not to be specific, but he was very abusive to the entire family in almost every conceivable definition of abuse. When we lived in Boise, my brother and I would see our dad about twice a year for a grand total of about one-week.That was my escape from the wrath of my moms second husband.
When I was in fourth grade, I couldnt take it anymore and tried to commit suicide. No one understood what I was going through. Of course that put me into therapy and I hated every minute of it. But my psychiatrist taught me two important things. One, over time things can get better, if you let them. Two, no one can hurt you unless you let them.After another year of marriage, my moms second husband went off the deep end and at that point my mom filed for divorce. I was very upset with my mom for making us stay in that situation, but after I let my anger out, I found that things do get better. They may not be perfect, but things can definitely be improved.
After about a year of the single life, my mom found her third husband and things started to go down hill again. Fortunately my dad decided to move back to his hometown in Kansas and I decided that it would be for the best if I followed suit and moved with him. Things were fairly tumultuous with my mom and I. We both decided that this might be for the best. Two days before eighth grade I loaded all my stuff and moved back to Marysville, Kansas.
Once again I was the new kid. No one talked to me and I was fine with that, I really didnt want to get involved with any of the rednecks. It took a couple of weeks and soon I opened up. I stayed in Marysville, until the day I graduated. Living in a town of 3,500 people took a little adjusting. Once I did adjust, I learned two things that I feel will help me for the rest of my life in every way.
I learned that no one should judge another without getting to know the person first. Many people had me pegged for a big city boy who could care less for others. That wasnt farther from the truth. I really find that I care about others a great deal. For people to treat me like a cold and heartless statue really hurt me. I am guilty of doing this as well, but if I hadnt gotten over it, I would have missed one of the best friendships I have.
The other thing that I learned was that family isnt blood. Family is the people around you and they support your decisions, and family helps you when you need it. I have a very large family. I had several teachers and mothers adopt as their own. I had friends take me in as a brother. Friendship really is a strong extension of family. It gives me such confidence to know that I have a support group outside of my bloodlines.
No matter where you go, or what you do, you will always learn something. No matter where you are, the situation will teach you something new and useful, if you look for it. I feel I have learned so many important things by moving that if I didnt move, I would be no where near the person I am today.