Monday, October 27, 2014

There's a Great Big World Out There

This past Saturday night, I put on the charming movie, Lady and the Tramp, for some darling little girls who visited our house. They had never seen the movie before and were enthralled. Yay! I was so happy to watch Lady and the Tramp again (only portions, not all of it), as it's been a while since I've enjoyed one of Disney's classics!

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for church, I was struck by the thought that came to me as I remembered one of my favorite Lady and the Tramp lines: Tramp said to Lady, "Look, there's a great big hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. Where two dogs can find adventure and excitement. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences? And it's all ours for the taking, Pidge. It's all ours."

My mind wandered and I had such fun reminiscing about all of my adventures outside the Utah bubble. I've had some amazingly grand times in our unfenced world!

Growing up, my parents took my siblings and I on vacations quite frequently. We didn't have a lot in terms of worldly wealth, but my parents definitely made the necessary sacrifices to make sure we had great memories traveling beautiful North America together.

In my late teenage years, my dad took each of us individually on some really amazing adventures to Europe—thanks to his involvement in the advertising industry. I will cherish those lovely moments forever!

When I was 18, I headed to Michigan to be a nanny for a year. Wow, I grew up so much during that time! I gained so many new experiences that totally helped shape who I am today.

As I continued reminiscing, I experienced a flash flood of all the moves Greg and I have made as a married couple with our darling children. We've been through so much together!

Due to what I've written previously on this blog (and my private blog), some readers might think my family has had only negative experiences with all of our moves. But that's not entirely correct. We've had some pretty incredible experiences with all of our moves! Yes, there's a great big world out there!

As I thought about all of my family's moves, my heart swelled because I have much to be thankful for! I'm truly grateful my children have been able to live their lives (at least what they remember) in four major US cities. We've lived in more cities, but their memories of them are spotty. Every city we've lived in has felt different. I mean, for the most part, people are similar. People are people wherever you go, but the culture in every city and neighborhood we've lived in has definitely not been the same. I'm also very happy my children have known life in different climates, too. Oh, our world is so marvelous!

Colorado has the bluest sky and the best weather of any state I've ever lived in. Colorado's weather is mostly pleasant and you can really do anything outside that you want. It was rare that bad weather would last longer than a few days, it seemed to always be changing. Although Colorado was the driest state we've ever experienced (it made my hair too flat), I really loved the fact that mold hardly ever grew anywhere—not even in our showers! Yay!

Utah has the prettiest and puffiest clouds I've ever seen. My kids frequently hear me gush about how much I love them! I especially love how they hang over the mountains east of our house. I'm always enthralled by them. And Utah has the best snow ever. Hands down. No other city's/state's/country's snow will ever compare with Utah's snow!! Of all the places we've lived, I like the way the four seasons run their course in Utah. Maybe that's because I grew up here, and consistency feels good to the soul? I'm guessing that would be a yes for me. :)

Realistically, I wasn't fond of Texas' climate. I hated the intense heat and the stickiness that accompanied it. Taking two showers a day became the norm in our house during the summer. I did, however, love the wind in Texas, for it helps make the heat and humidity more tolerable. Speaking of humidity, I had the best hair of my life while living in Texas! As I've said before, I miss my lovely Texas hair! Also, Texas' rain and thunderstorms cannot be beat! Oh, my soul aches for a good Texas rain/thunderstorm!!

Yes, when I think of all the beauty our world has to offer, I'm so grateful my children have been exposed to three distinct areas of the country. I know, Utah and Colorado seem very similar, but they felt completely different to me! I'm so thankful my children have been able to see life outside the Utah bubble, for I truly believe it expands their view of the world. I think their understanding of three separate states helps them see that life is bigger than they are. I hope the knowledge they've gained through all of our moves helps them not become self-centered—because they know how massive our world is, and that it's truly not about them.

All of our moving experiences have helped my children understand that there are many new friends to be made! Yes, we cherish those friendships we've established over the years, but there's nothing to prevent my children from saying, "Hi, I'm ______. How are you today?" Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the friends we've made (and as we've moved-on, people don't always keep in touch with us), but I love that my kids know that they can absolutely make new friends anywhere because they've made good friends before!

Because of our moving experiences, I love watching my children not get caught up in all of the social pettiness that pervades schools, churches and other social atmospheres. When I was growing up, I totally got caught up in that yucky social pettiness in my schools, ward (church), and neighborhood because I didn't know anything different than my life in small-town Utah. Compared to what I know now, the world of my youth was very small. I feel I suffered socially because of my lack of worldly experience. I know I can't go back to my childhood, but I wish I would have had something to compare my social experiences to—like living in another city/state—for I feel I would have dealt much better with the social sadness I endured.

I love that because my children were essentially forced to make new friends over and over with each of our moves, they truly aren't bothered at all by the bad/hard/frustrating social aspects of life. They are sure of themselves because they know there's a great big world out there, and any social problem they encounter is merely temporary—it's not the end of their world! :) Knowing what I know from my childhood/teenage years, I'm so grateful my children don't engage in society's nonsense! It's seriously such a relief that my babies have progressed so much farther than I did at their age. Yippee!

If I had my wish, everyone would move to a new city at least once while growing up, for I feel it would help them understand that life is so much bigger than what they've experienced so far! I also wish every adult would move from the city of their youth for at least three years—again so they could experience something different than what they've been used to their entire life.

And to anyone who thinks that vacations are enough of a change, well, let me tell you, they're not!!! Yes, vacations can change your outlook on life for several weeks after you come home, but they're not life-changing to the extent that uprooting your entire life and moving to a new city is. I'm just sayin'! :)

I know I'm a bit repetitive today, but I just can't get over it: I'm truly so grateful for the knowledge and experiences I've gained through moving so many times. Our lovely world has taught my family and I so very many good things!

P.S. If you ever need some ideas on moving, check out my series DIY Moving Tips by Adrie. I genuinely hope I can help someone with what I've learned!

2 comments:

  1. Great post, Adrie! I'd never thought about the idea that our moves have helped our children let go of the social junk at school and at church.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I know you understand moving well. While I'm sorry for all of your family's upheaval, I'm glad to have a friend who understands all the effort and change that goes into frequently moving. I'm very interested to see how our darling children view all of this when they're adults! :)

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