Cardboard Boxes

It seemed like it was any other day. The sun still rose in the East and set in the West. It really was just like any other day, that is until the movers arrived at the front door. Stacks of boxes, packing tape, and markers littered the living room, the place where we once used to talk and laugh as a family.

Another three years has come and gone, in the blink of an eye. Anyone in the military community knew what it meant when three years had gone by in a single place. It was time for your family to pack up and move out to wherever they wanted to send you this time. You would think that doing this so many times, you would eventually get used to it. That eventually, it would just become a part of the life that you’re living. I’d be lying if I said that it got easier, because it never did. You would finally settle down, get used to the new neighborhood that you lived in, and get to know the kids and teachers at your new school. As soon as you felt like you fit in with everything, the military would uproot you and your family and make you start all over. Growing it, it seemed like some sick game that they kept playing so that you’d never really be able to call a place home.

Now I know that I said that it never got easier as the number of times you have to move increased. You do, however, pick up some tricks along the way that make it easier to cope with. Now these may not be the tricks that you would think someone would come up with, something good that would make the whole process easier. Yes, they were good and helped cope with everything, but probably not in the way that you would think someone would want to cope with this. The first of these was to never get attached to anyone that you met. I learned to just see people as something temporary, someone that I would have to interact with for a few years before I was forced to pack up and move to another place and never have to deal with them again. Looking back at this, I realize that maybe this was something that should have been reevaluated by my older self. Although I have a much steadier place of living, not having to worry about moving every three years, I still interact with people in the same way. I’m so used to the process and socialization that it’s just something that comes easily to me. I try to befriend others, in a way where I know that I could actually have a lasting relationship with this person, but it always seems that I end up reverting to my old ways. Drawing back into myself for the fear that I’m going to get attached to someone and then be forced to never interact with them again.

Maybe I’m just a born introvert, refusing to go out of my way to socialize with others or do anything that might draw attention to me. Maybe the lessons that I taught myself growing up just happened to shape me this way. One thing I know for sure is that whenever those people showed up at the door, I knew that it had to all be reset again. My friends, school, places that I’d go to, and the place that I had called home for the last few years, and they were all going to be replaced.


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