Start in Kingsville, Texas on a long ago October 1st
Then 18 months later move to Oklahoma City to be near your mother’s family.
Then a couple months after you turn 8, move to an entirely different place and suffer culture shock in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
Learn to speak with a new accent and use different slang, learn to love snow but you stay there for a short time and when you are 11 and finally fit in, you move to Denver,CO.
While you live there you go to 5 schools in 3 years and live a middle class life right smack in the center of the wealthy. It’s the first time you understand that some people have opportunities you’ll never have. You really never get settled. Then halfway through 9th grade at the age of 14 you move further west to Las Vegas, NV.
Now the above photo doesn’t represent what Las Vegas looked like when I moved there. It was a town of just 300,000 and not 2 million. You live a fairly normal life despite what people had predicted. You learn The Strip is the adult equivalent of Walt Disney World and if you lived in Orlando you wouldn’t go every weekend. You live here 8.5 years, go to high school, graduate college and then marry a man you barely know because you feel in your heart this will never be home. So you marry and move to Cedar Falls/Waterloo, IA.
You are surprised that you suffer from homesickness since Las Vegas never really felt like home. You have culture shock again. You adjust to the sub-zero temperatures after having lived in the desert. You’re disappointed that your new husband is totally so self-focused he doesn’t hear the sadness in your voice. You wonder if you made a mistake but you won’t admit it or accept failure. Then you get a job, get pregnant, and five days after you have your baby you move to Davenport, IA for your husband’s new job.
It’s known as the quad cities because two Iowa cities meet two Illinois cities at the shore of the grand Mississippi River. You know no one. Your husband travels and then leaves and goes to Texas for a new job a mere 8 months later. Alone you pack up and drive with your 11 month old to Irving, TX.
You remember the awe you felt when you saw the Cowboy stadium. You remember the hope you had in your heart that here your husband would be more in tune with you and connect on a deeper emotional level. 1 year later you buy your first home in Lewisville, TX. Then 5 years later you buyer a bigger home for your expanded family of 4.
Again your heart is full of hope that now things will change. Life is full with love for your children, your friends but there is still a misconnect with your husband. You ignore the signs. You try to fix it. And you wonder where it is that you belong. Are you a misfit like your husband seems to believe? Is there a place for you? Would your husband ever love only you and be faithful? You are here for 28 years and build a life then your husband’s secrets become too much to bear and he leaves you. He doesn’t want to change or stop drinking or give up erotic massage parlors and prostitutes and porn and peeping tom activities. He finds a younger woman and pretends that his family doesn’t exist. Your daughters are grown. You are left alone and forced to start again. But where do you go? Where do you belong? You go to Austin, TX with no idea if this is the place but you try to find the hope for happiness that was lost so long ago.
Will Austin be the bridge to my future? Is there happiness on the other side? I don’t know. I’m still on the journey.
8 thoughts on “A Map as my Muse”
Very interesting life so far. Good luck in the future, you deserve a great rest of your life.
Wow, you have been in a lot of awesome places! 🙂 Good luck on your continuous journey! 🙂
Hi Dede, I lived in Kingsville through middle school and high school- high-tailed it out of there and lived in Austin for almost 6 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Austin and miss it. We have family in many of the places you’ve lived. Your story breaks my heart, but at the same time, completely inspires because you have true strength and character! I commend you with the highest respect for your endurance and for writing about your life so transparently.
HUGS! from a stranger who can identify with your journey,
I hope you can find a place you can truly call home, a place where you can be happy and feel settled, knowing you can leave for travels but always return!
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Wow. Your post sums up most of the places you’ve been to. It’s really cool. 😀
Those are only the places I’ve lived. I’ve been to places all over the world.
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Nice. That’s really amazing. You’re quiet an adventurer! I want to do that soon, travel the world!