I’ve lived in 5 states and 9 different cities, most since graduating college 12 years ago. With all that moving, it surprises me that Phoenix feels like home, but it does. As I merged onto the 202, seeing Camelback, the Papago Buttes and Tempe coming into view, a warm feeling came over me. At first I wasn’t sure why, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was that feeling of being home.
The decision to leave California wasn’t easy. My husband and I like so many things about California that we didn’t want to give up. But when I received a great job opportunity that would also allow me to focus on completing my PHD, I couldn’t turn it down.
Sure, I had to give up my beaches and ocean views, but Phoenix has things that California doesn’t. My people, for one. I did make new friends in Cali who I will sincerely miss, but it’s just different here. The best way I can articulate it is to say that I think I grew up and became who I am in Phoenix.
I grew and changed everywhere I lived, but I moved to Phoenix, the first time, when I was 23. At 23, I had college under my belt, but I hadn’t really grown up yet. I hadn’t gained any independence from my parents, and I certainly wasn’t an adult in the truest sense of the word.
Moving away from home forced me to rely on myself and develop my independent identity. The six years I lived in Phoenix were the most influential in my personal growth and self-discovery. And the friendships and connections I made the first time around are the real thing.
I am so excited to be back ‘home’, to reconnect with all my people, to learn a new area of expertise in my career field, and to concentrate on finishing my Ph.D. And I won’t mind the lazy afternoons at spring training games, spa days with the girls, or the crisp, clear 70 degree winter days either. I’m home.