Autobiography in Transit

Prompt: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others".


“Where are you from?” The girl, seated to my left, looks my way intently.

I barely look up, refusing to make eye contact, allowing the pronounced seconds to tick by awkwardly. The question hangs heavy in the air.

“Texas....” I finally mutter, voice softer than necessary.

“Oh… why’d you move here?”

The the words leaving my mouth lay themselves out and form a repeated, worn-out answer. The scenario plays itself out over and over again - resembling a memorized routine. It’s happened many times in the past, maybe it will again.

“My dad’s job...”

If there were any added sentiments on the tip of my tongue they dissolve quickly, lost in the dizzying ringing of the morning school bell. The end of the brief exchange marks the start of another dreaded year of a new school, new teachers, new friends, “new beginnings”.

It takes a solid three years of not moving out of a neighborhood to convince me - my family - that we were destined to find ourselves settling in suburban Illinois. There is nothing special about the relatively small town, situated away from the acres of Illinois farmland and towards the bustling city of Chicago, not quite close enough to be within city limits. It isn’t quiet by any means, but quieter than it had been living...

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