When I found out I was going to be leaving, I thought about who I would tell and who I wouldn’t tell. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to decide who knows what. Some friends like to talk, and gossip is prevalent as teenagers struggle to keep secrets from those closest to them. Of course, those closest to them are their friends, while those closest to me are my dog and my journal. Eventually, I came to terms with moving- I can’t do anything about it, so I should just accept it and move on- and I came to terms with everyone knowing about it- secrets are hard to keep, and it’s not like this one is of national security. However, there is one thing I still haven’t come to terms with: the things people ask me. I’ve decided to take it respond to some of these comments and questions.
First, people often ask me, “isn’t it hard to move so often?” The answer is yes and no. It’s always hard to be uprooted from where you live. It takes so long to build a life somewhere, and it’s hard to leave a lasting impact on other people and the community. On the other hand, my dad being in the military has given me, despite all of the negatives, at least one gift: a fresh start. Every time I move, I have the opportunity to “edit” myself. I can make an effort to be happier and free of the influence of people’s opinions. I get to strip away all of the qualities that I have solely because I was afraid to stand up against people’s opinions, and what is left is the essence of me in its purest, rawest form. That purity doesn't always stay for long, but it gives me enough time to shape my life the way I wish it had been before. So, yes and no.
Next, people ask me about my previous moves. I try not to have to explain what life was like in Hawaii or Alaska because that only ends in people saying things that aren’t true, or asking ridiculous questions. It feels awkward to explain that moose are deadly and that Hawaii isn’t the paradise people believe it is. Sometimes, I’m called a liar, and I think that’s because we really only believe what we experience. For all I know, China and Russia are made up by the government, as I’ve never been there and can’t prove their existence. So whatever I’ve experienced, by going against what people know, is assumed to be a lie. I never slept in an igloo or rode a polar bear to school, and I know that people ask me that as a joke, but that doesn’t make it any less awkward. I’ve never understood why teenagers find it funny to say something that they know isn’t true, just because they can.
Worst of all, people ask me if there is anyone I’ll miss once I’m gone. That always makes me wonder if people truly believe that I am so far alienated from everyone else that I don’t have anyone I care about. I have friends, teachers, crushes, classmates, and neighbors that I care about, but I guess that moving so often has made it easier for me to put on a poker face and pretend that it isn’t awful to leave everyone you know behind and start a new life again. Of course, I will miss people- lots of people. That’s just the cold, hard truth. I guess I just wrote this to remind you that it’s really important to tell people when they matter to you because you never know if you are going to be saying goodbye to those very same people soon.