I called Santa Barbara, California my home for 15 years. I feel blessed to have been raised in such a beautiful destination. However, it was time for my parents to move on, now that they are empty nesters. They moved to sunny Arizona and are so happy, which makes me happy. I visited their new home over spring break and I absolutely loved everything about the town and the new house.
The women in my family always joke that we have gypsy blood in us because moving around does not faze us. We don’t necessarily build large attachments to the places we live. I call my home ‘home’ because of the people that are present, not because of the geographical location.
But as time goes on, it occurs more and more to me how strange it is that I don’t know when I will be back in Santa Barbara. This was where I had all of my big life moments up until college. It’s where I found my passion for dance and musical theatre, where I went to school, where I made good decisions, and where I also made some not-so-good decisions (which I learned from).
Most importantly, it was where I met my best friends, people that I still keep in contact with almost every single day. Growing up, the people you surround yourself with have an extremely large impact on the person you become. These girls have always been there for me, through the ups and downs of growing up, and especially through high school. The more months that have passed since my parents moved, the more I realize how sad it is that I have no idea when I will be seeing these people again.
However, I remind myself that we are now twenty-year-olds, and while we are still young, we are becoming adults and have to move on with our lives. We can’t all just stay in the same town our whole lives and expect nothing to change. My friends are working on islands, studying abroad, and following their dreams to internships in other states. I am so incredibly proud of them for doing what makes them happy and for becoming women I admire.
With my parents’ move, I got caught up in this bubble where only what is happening in my life exists. I thought about how I’m going to move to Arizona after college, and how my friends would stay in the place I always called home. But I realize that this is not true. All of my best friends from home are also moving on, just in their own ways.
With this realization, I feel so at ease. My parents moving to a new state, and my move there after college, doesn’t seem so scary anymore, because I know it is part of life and growing up. You meet people, you spend some amazing times together, and life may then bring you to another location away from those people. We need to savor the moments in between.
I am so lucky I was able to meet and spend so many amazing moments with my girl friends back home, and I am so excited to see where this next chapter takes us all in our lives. We may go in different directions, but we will always find a home with one another.