I remember the day it happened clearly. Mom sat us down in our room (newly painted bright/amazing pink), and explained the situation to us.
We were losing our home. This home had meant so much to me even before we moved in- first it was Papa's house, then Nana's, then ours. What would I do now? I'd practically grown up there, and had made my absolute best friends in that ward, and to lose it all was crushing to me. I sat there, crying silently, watching my world slowly turn to dust (no, I am not exaggerating- try uprooting yourself when you are only 14. It. Stinks.), and wondering how in the world I would tell Kaitlyn- I'd already told her about moving to Utah about a year ago (it turned out to be a false alarm, but still- so, so painful), how could I tell her we were really doing it this time?
I prayed so much those months. I prayed that we'd be able to stay, and finally, that I would be able to be comforted and accept this new change. The comfort happened almost instantaneously, while the acceptance took its time.
Then one day, we found a house in Gilbert that was right within our budget! We took a family drive to see it, and it was positively HUGE. We got super excited, and then, two days later, we found out it was a complete sham. We were crazy grateful that we didn't lose that money, and soon moved on.
Then we found a house for realz. It was about fifteen minutes away, give or take a couple, and while it was a little smaller, it was otherwise perfect. The family rejoiced. I panicked.
It was all too real now. One night, Mom and Dad took me to see the new house, and I refused to look, because then it would be concrete, real. They made me go out of the car, and still I refused. Dad even went as far to lift me up to peek into a window, and I STILL refused to look. This couldn't be happening to me! I wouldn't let it!
We started to paint, and made my new room purple (against my will- it was Geneal's turn to pick the color, apparently), which, while I didn't love it, was a pleasant change from the gramma blue color it'd been. Seriously guys. That blue made me feel like I was in a mental hospital.
Then we started moving things. It started with my side table, then my clothes, and soon, everything else. We were living in a skeleton house, and it hurt me so much, I couldn't stand it. The night before we moved, I slept pressed against the wall as if staying by there would give the house a piece of myself to remember.
Moving day came, and while everyone else went to the house to load things, I stayed at home in my beautiful pink room as long as I could, trying to soak it all in. I still have pictures on my phone of my favorite pink wall, with a vinyl outline of a chandelier. I LOVED that room because it was so "me"- bright, fun, energetic, and above all, PINK. I cried a little bit, but mostly I was just numb.
When we arrived at the new house, I still felt numb, but I needed to move my things in my room. The only thing that saved me that night was the Seussical cast party (you blessed thing, you), and then I was able to sleep in my new room and have my thoughts to myself.
The next day was a Sunday, and I was scared stiff. I couldn't possibly do this without Kaitlyn- what if they all hated me? Or worse- politely ignored me? What was I to do now? I braved my way to church, and it was marvelous. I wasn't shy, I made some friends, and above all, I felt included!
The next week was better, and since then it's just built up from there, and I feel so loved.
The first few weeks (and months) of this new neighborhood, I escaped periodically and just walked. Walked the greenbelt, walked around the houses, just... Walked to clear my head. And that is the only thing that kept me sane, I'm sure of it.
So a year later.... It's been full of trials and hard times, but you know what? It's been worth it. I'm looking forward to another year here in this little house with a greenbelt and a lovely ward.