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As I shoulder my bedroom door open, the cardboard box once secure in my hands flops to the ground. The resulting thud echoes off the walls, but my attention has already shifted. I start a calculated walk around the room, taking it in from multiple angles. My bed will go in the far right corner; my desk in the left. I can picture my candle collection stacked upon the not-yet-hung shelves; the distinct perfume of my tea collection will soon give the room a cozier feel. Within seconds, I have identified the ideal nook to tuck my running shoes away. This is the painstaking process of rebuilding a bedroom. This is the eleventh time I have moved; twelve if you count heaving my things across the hall when my sister left for college. Walking into this new space, I can see the pieces of my life finding their new home, just like I will in the coming weeks.
I’ve spent my entire life moving, but no journey across borders changed my perspective as much as moving from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, to Orlando, Florida. When I came to Orlando in January of my 7th grade year, I found myself in an entirely different world – and not just due to the absence of snow. While I didn’t realize it at the time, Lee’s Summit was a very homogeneous town. We all loved Royals games and Banana Coffee from Quick Trip; our free time was spent at the movie theater or the local skating rink. The homogeneity of the town narrowed my perspective, and I grew accustomed to the simple lifestyle I had discovered. When I found myself uprooted and planted in Orlando, I quickly developed a broad, malleable perspective. Without knowing it at first, I also enriched my entire life.
Orlando is a city that satisfies any need for adventure and opportunity. There are countless combinations of thoughts, beliefs, and ideas to be found here – and countless combinations of ways to have fun. In order to enjoy everything O-Town has to offer, I had to learn to open my mind to possibilities again. I wouldn’t have learned that I love to run if I hadn’t participated in one of countless 5ks in the area; I wouldn’t have developed my herbal tea obsession if I hadn’t spontaneously explored a farmer’s market one weekend. Perhaps the most important, I wouldn’t have created the diverse network of friends and peers I have today if I hadn’t opened my mind to the differences which make us all unique.
When surrounded by homogeneity, it’s easy to develop a closed-minded perspective. In many cases, people don’t see this as a problem. For me, however, I’ve learned that the only bad perspective is a stagnant one. I’m happiest when given the opportunity to learn new things and consider different angles. Moving to Orlando was the one event which has allowed me to develop a constantly changing perspective – without heaving another cardboard box across state borders.
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