When I was twelve, we’d just returned to City X after several years away. ‘We’ is my parents and I.
I turned twelve a few months after the move, actually. My schoolmates marked the day in a fairly different way to my old school – it was very quiet. The other school had done a communal card and gift sort of deal. It was a tiny school so I suppose it made sense.
I resisted, at first.
I didn’t want to return to City X, you see. City X has a fairly large population, intimidating to a girl from a four-figured town population. Later, I’d see how little the small town had prepared me for high school ten months later. For instance, in science, we were asked to diagram a Bunsen burner. Perplexed, I stared at the page. Who was Bunsen, I wondered. What did such a burner do? How did it differ from some other burner? I recall finally admitting defeat, embarrassed to admit I didn’t know.
We still live here – I’m resisting the temptation to make a Shirley Jackson pun – in the same little place. It’s become home over the years, and so has City X.
City X grew on me. At high school I discovered I was good at German and literature-type subjects, regrettably less so in the sciences. I got into university, which I consider to be the best part of moving. The size of City X prepared me for university, and the proximity motivated me to apply in the first place. I’m not quite sure when the city became home again, but it did. Eventually I learned to settle in and be comfortable, yet at the same time uncomfortable – this place has made me push boundaries a few times.
And you know something? I’m glad for it.