Moving on and out–Throwback Thursdays

Today’s Throwback is about moving away from home.
That was a tough time for me.
In the beginning of 2008, the Marine Corps told my dad he was getting transferred. He had spent 3 tours (and a tour in Iraq) in Virginia, and it was time to move somewhere else. He only had 4 years left until he retired, so we tried every trick in the book to stay. The Marine Corps only said, “Sorry, you’ve been here too long. Bye.” Thus, we knew that summer, we’d be moving to Barstow, California. Blech!!!!
In February 2008, I learned I was accepted to BYU, the only college I had ever wanted to go to. On June 14, 2008, a Friday, I graduated Mountain View High in Stafford, Virginia. On Sat, June 15, my sister Paige got baptized in our church. Sun, June 16th was my mom’s birthday and the day we moved. I spent as much time with my friends that month as possible. I did have quite a few Mormon friends, but either they weren’t going to BYU, or weren’t graduating till next year. Then, all my non-Mormon friends were going to VA universities. I would never see them again.
It took us a couple weeks to move from VA to CA as we stopped in Nauvoo and then visited family in both Idaho and Utah. When we finally got to CA, I didn’t even really want to unpack because I’d be leaving for Provo, Utah in about a month, anyway. I spent the time surfing the web at the public library, making numerous trips to Target with my mom, and running through the desert.
I felt alone. I didn’t have any friends in CA, and that would become a pattern every summer I would go “home.” I wrote this in my journal:
I was gone from everything I held dear to my heart. The colors of Virginia, the forest, the shade, the weather. My job, my coworkers, our jokes, the pizza. My school, the teachers, the classes, the knowing who you are and where you belong. My friends, their support and love. My boy friend, his tender kisses and hugs. Knowing where I was and where I was going in life. Knowing I had a plan for each and everyday, a scheldule to follow. My church, the activities we had, the sleepovers, visits to the D.C. Temple, Sunday school, my friends.
Home is where the heart is. That is true. My belongings may be packed up in boxes, my clothes may be hanging in my sister’s closet, and my body and house may be in California, but I left one thing in Virginia. My heart. I may never physically return to Stafford in my life, but my heart and mind visits every single day. 

I love Stafford and all the friends I left there. If I had a choice, I would move back, but the military is just to powerful to persuade. So yes, I may have left, but I will never forget the wonderful 8 years spent in Stafford, nor will ever call anywhere else (until I get married and have my own family) HOME. That is special and sacred only for Stafford, because “home is where the heart is” and my heart is forever superglued to Virginia.
When I moved into the dorms at BYU, I was excited. I was finally ready to be on my own. I had no doubts that I could do well in college and do well on my own as a grown-up. I made a few friends who I would got to midnight dollar theatre showings and get hotcocoa at Denny’s with on the weekends. I got an awesome job which I kept until November 2013. That job allowed me to make a few friends, have some awesome laughs, great memories, and get good food service experience under my belt. I didn’t travel far–I didn’t have a car. I still went to bed before midnight, got up at 7 and went running. I ate well (lost 18 lbs that year!) and studied well. I was still a good student and a good girl. But, I still missed Virginia. 
After Christmas break, we decided to move me to another on-campus housing complex because rent was cheaper. For the second time within a year, I was displaced again. I made two of the best friends I ever had then, but I still didn’t feel at home. I went home for the summer, only to find out the owner of the house we rented foreclosed…my family was forced to move. 
And so it went throughout my college life–the renters always foreclosed on my family (in the 4 years they lived there, they moved 3 times), I lived in 2 different apartments, each year always with different roommates. Never did I ever feel “at home.”
I still, after 5 years, feel displaced. Even though I am married and we have an apartment, it is still “college housing” because we are still in Provo. It is tiny and cramped. It is as homy as we can make it, but we know it’s temporary until Justin graduates. Maybe that’s why I am so anxious to get out of Provo–not because of the “bubble” and stereotypes, but because I have been in a transition stage for 5 years. I want a house. But more than that, I want a place to call “home.” (I can’t wait till next summer when Justin graduates and we can move!)

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • The moving away from my family and living in the US without them and going to college was extremely hard on me. I spend so many freshman year nights crying as I went to bed because I hated it. Things got a lot better once I got my drivers license and when I started making friends…met Angel and all that stuff…but I still don't feel "at home" where we're living and I doubt I'll ever consider it "home."

    • I was only 10 hours away from my family and they came up often, and an hour away from numerous, numerous relatives, and that did help.

  • I can relate somewhat to your story – we moved from Chapel Hill, NC where I grew up, when I was 10 years old and we left all of our family friends and whatnot… Texas hasn't really felt the same. I have quite a few friends in Provo, some attending BYU – it seems like a lovely place!

    • It is a lovely place, but one I'm aching to get out of.

  • I can relate. After graduating college (in Iowa) I accepted a job and moved to Kansas City. I loved my job, made many great friends, and met my husband there. And then my husbands job forced us to move to SoCal. It's taken three years to feel comfortable here. But, it's not "home." I cannot wait for the day that the government gives us the thumbs up to move back to KC. I miss that place terribly.

    • Where in SoCal do you live? Although my dad worked in Barstow, they lived in Apple Valley (by Victorville).