I remember sitting on the hard

I remember sitting on the hard, cold concrete bench on a cloudy day. My legs dangling as I tried to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich my mom prepared for me that day. My little chubby fingers holding the sandwich weren’t used to cold like this. Back in Arizona, by April, everyone at recess is already running around playing tag or either on the swings. However, in Salt Lake City, some kids dreaded recess because we had to come up with a plan to keep warm. I remember wanting to go back to Page so badly. I liked the red dirt that turned my white socks orange; I didn’t care if my knees were scraped up from falling on the dry bushes and rocks.

At such a young age, I learned the value of being thankful for something. Sitting on the cold concrete bench, my little heart ached to go home, I remember wishing I didn’t take that dry heat for granted. We eventually came back to Arizona after moving from California, Utah, Oklahoma, and so forth. Nevertheless, as a child I knew what the meaning of “there’s no place like home.” Even though in each apartment we lived in, we had the same couches and pictures in the living room, walking outside into a different environment was what made me feel like an outsider.

When we did move back to Arizona, we moved to the Verde Valley. Cottonwood and Page are different, but adjusting to everything didn’t feel as awkward as it did in Los Angeles. I don’t regret the moves across the country, actually I believe being exposed to new cultures and environments is what helped made me become a well-rounded person. However, coming back to Arizona is when I finally bloomed into the young lady that I am today. Sitting on that cold, hard bench, learning to make sushi with my Asian girlfriends, and seeing the ocean for the first time were experiences that were helping me build a strong foundation towards the successful future I had waiting for me in Arizona. There’s just something too, about the people that live in my hometown.