Sunday, August 14, 2011

I knew I shoulda taken that left at Albuquerque!

When I moved to New Mexico, believe it or not, one of my first concerns was I didn't know how to spell the name of the city I was moving to.

It's A-L-B-U-Q-U-E-R-Q-U-E. I pronounced it as "Al-boo-qwair-qway" in my head when I first learned how to spell it. Other than that, I had absolutely no feelings about Albuquerque. I remember a few obscure reference to the city in a Bugs Bunny cartoon as featured here:

Driving from the humid and green state of Nebraska to the dry desolation of New Mexico was a shock to my senses. Where in the world was I being taken? I was waiting to pass a sign on the side of the road that said, "TURN BACK NOW. ABANDON ALL HOPE." 

I had lived in Omaha for 13 years, as long as I could remember and I was leaving my home and friends to move across the country my senior year of high school. Things could have been really bad. In fact, it probably should have been a much worse. I feel like I cheated the system and skipped all of the bad parts as seen in most movies like where the new student sits alone at a lunch table and then escapes into the bathroom to cry in a stall. I never did that. I can thank joining band for most of that because I feel like I had an entire circle of people ready to welcome me when I moved in. It was just so easy to find people to connect with. I am incredibly blessed.

There are a lot of great things about Albuquerque. I was introduced to the wondrous green chile which I grew to love. I saw the most incredible sunsets and lived next to stunning mountains. I fell into a magnificent ward who took me in and made me a part of their family. I met some of my best friends, people I cannot imagine my life without today. I grew up a lot that year and figured out a huge lesson: home is not a place or a fixed location; it is where you are surrounded by people you love and they love you in return. 

Omaha is my home. 
Albuquerque is my home. 
Provo is my home.


Audrey said...

Okay, first off. Your title made me laugh for forever because I grew up with loony tunes, and that's one of the best things. EVER. And I'm sooo excited your back in UTAH!!!! PARTY!! SOON!

Rachel Bailey said...

Absolutely! When are you back?