Once, I counted how many times I’ve moved in my life.
When I meet new people, one of the first get-to-know you questions they ask is “Where are you from?” And I’m not sure what to say. I was born in Wyoming, have happy memories in Kansas and North Carolina and Illinois and Minnesota, and have enjoyed the last few years in beautiful Iowa. So, usually, I just give up on anything too interesting and settle for “I’m not really ‘from’ any one place.”
I decided I like that answer. Because one of the most important things I have learned in my life is that I do not fit into a mold. I’m not from one place. There’s no one thing or one idea or one aspiration that defines me. I can’t even pick just one favorite color.
Another important lesson I have learned in my life is that nobody fits into a simple mold.
And with these two simple pieces of knowledge, I let my world expand and take shape into something so much better. I learned more about people who were at one point strangers, because I stopped thinking I knew so much about them. I learned more about my closest friends, because I stopped thinking I knew so much about them. I also learned more about myself, and I realized some great strengths and not-so-great (but bearable) weaknesses.
Most importantly, though, I stopped making boundaries for myself. I took a page from my eight-year-old sister’s book and stopped using the word “can’t.”
And this is why you’re reading my first blog entry—the beginning of my year adventure! This year, I go to another country, speak a foreign language, meet many new people, become apart of a community 3,000-plus miles from my current one, and CHANGE.