Some of you may know this, others may not.
When I was seventeen, I moved across the country, away from my parents. Away from my friends. Away from a life that I knew for six years. Those years that molded who I am today.
Was I afraid? Absolutely.
But I knew the change would make me happy and that California was where I belonged.
|Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio|
Sure, it had it's good times and the state is beautiful. But, at the same time, I don't like feeling hot and sticky in the summer or freezing in the winter. I don't like having to drive twenty minutes to the nearest Walmart or over an hour to get to an airport.
My home life was not the greatest either. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and wouldn't trade them for the world, but my parents have a very low income, which caused a lot of stress for everyone.
With my parents always working, I was forced to act as the "mother figure" for my siblings. I cooked dinner often, made sure everyone's homework was done and cleaned the house. This resulted in my brother resenting me and now our relationship is not the greatest, even though it is getting better.
|San Francisco, California|
One day, my grandparents asked me if I would consider moving in with them. Not because they knew how I was feeling, nobody did. They just knew that I wanted to be a marine biologist and you can't really go to school for that in the Midwest. That plan didn't happen, but that's a different story.
The distinctive moment when my life took a turn was on July 20, 2013, when I stepped off of a plane in San Francisco and smelled the California air for the first time in years.
I miss my family so much, but I don't regret my decision in the slightest.