Katherine C.

A New Light

Everyone goes through experiences that have strong effects, for better or worse, and these major life events often stay with you long after they occur. When I was thirteen years old, I went through a completely life-changing experience—moving from Maryland to Massachusetts. Not only did the move affect my place of residence, it also incited a lot of tension and strengthened my relationship with my brother.

I fear change. Anyone who knows me can undoubtedly recognize this simple fact. For as long as I can remember, though, I have preferred things to stay the same just because I like things to stay within my comfort level. Part of the reason for this is because I take a while to get used to things, so I spend a lot of time feeling uncomfortable. When I finally get accustomed to something (as I had in the twelve years I lived there), I hate letting it go. This is not to say that adventure scares me—on the contrary, I thrive on the adrenaline rush of roller-coasters and thrill rides. When my family told me we were moving to Massachusetts, however, I did not look at it as a “new adventure,” despite encouragement from my parents.

Leaving a place you have lived for your entire life—leaving best friends since kindergarten and a city you are in love with—your first reactions are understandably pain, sadness, anger. I can still vividly remember how absolutely shocked I was when my dad told me he had accepted a job in Lexington, Massachusetts and that we would be moving there. It seemed inconceivable how one person could completely change my life, as well as the rest of my family’s. I saw my dad as selfish and uncaring because he uprooted an entire family for his own personal desires. I just couldn’t understand how the rest of my family was so calm about it! Later, I discovered that I had been the last one to know, and my dad had told everyone a few days earlier. Not only did I lose a lot of respect for my dad throughout the whole moving experience; it also became a source of tension in the following year as I tried to adjust to Massachusetts.

The first few weeks after my dad’s “big announcement,” I went through some of the most painful days I had ever been through. Every day felt like the worst day of my life. Nervously dreading an event that was many, many months away, I became enclosed in my own world of misery which, looking back, was essentially false. Although I did not fully embrace the experience, the truth was that I couldn’t help feeling excited as the move drew into the foreground, and I overcame the initial feelings of disappointment. At the time, however, it seemed necessary to feel grief, so I probably acted more depressed than I truly needed to.

My brother was the one who was behind me, 100 percent every day. My friends were supportive in an “expected” type of way, but Matt was unsurpassed because he understood exactly what I was going through. We became the closest we had ever been through relying on each other for support. I will never forget the day my parents told me we were moving, and how my brother sat with me on my bed for at least two hours, as an amazing brother and true friend would, just to let me cry and vent. The compassion he showed for me is even more appreciated as I remember it; he should have been the one bawling, seeing as he was moving right before his senior year. The experience I had here with my brother was one of the first of many more to come. Our brother-sister relationship has evolved as a result of the move, and we now consider each other friends who are able to confide in each other about anything. Many of my friends don’t really understand the relationship that I have with Matt because it isn’t how a normal brother and sister relate to each other. He is one of my best friends, with whom I can talk about absolutely anything, and I mean anything. Some of our weirdest conversations have turned out to be some of the best bonding experiences. Matt has become the “rock I can depend on”—cliché, yes, but completely true to life. The experiences I have shared with him would never have occurred without the tension caused by moving.

I am lucky to have such a strong relationship with my brother, and I am completely aware of this fact. This is why when my brother moved away to college at the beginning of the school year, I was devastated. I was so disappointed that I only got about a year or two with my brother while we were on such good terms. The silver lining is that Matt goes to college at Boston University, so I see him a lot and am able to escape Lexington every once in a while to hang out with him. I also regularly talk to him via phone, email, and instant messaging.

Change is a difficult experience for anyone, and my capacity for change was tested to the limit when I moved from Maryland to Massachusetts. Although extremely difficult at the time, getting through this obstacle was possibly the most rewarding and best thing I could ever have done. During that first summer in Lexington, I changed tremendously; so much so, that when I visit some of my friends in Maryland they can’t recognize who I’ve become. I love when this happens just because it makes me feel like a stronger person for making the most of a troubling experience, adapting, and becoming my own person. Without the move, I can’t even imagine how my life would have been in Maryland. I have met so many incredible people in Massachusetts that I never would have met otherwise, and a lot of them have become better friends than most of my Maryland friends. Coming from someone who fears change, the fact that the move had such a positive outcome can hopefully be an inspiration to those who also have difficulty with new experiences.


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