Moving seven times is the charm

My favorite show to watch as a kid was “Recess.”

The cartoon was based around a group of kids – Spinelli, T.J., Gus and more – who played together but ended up getting into more trouble than they should have.

One character stuck out to me: Gus. He moved around a lot because his dad was in the military and it seemed like he didn't know how to have fun.

I too have moved around a lot, but I still had fun as a kid.

My dad is not in the military. He is a chemical engineer who has been relocated several times.

For me, moving around has been a rollercoaster ride.

I was born in Syracuse and lived there for 10 months before moving to Columbus, Ohio. I lived there for five years before moving to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Three years in Michigan were followed by four years in Memphis. Following that I lived in New Jersey for two years and Illinois for three years afterward.

Finally, once I graduated from high school, my family and I moved here to Buffalo.

I get asked a lot of questions because I am always the new kid.

“Is your dad in the military?” “What state did you like the most?” “Is it hard to just get up and move?”

Generally, most of their questions are pretty easy to answer. No, my dad is not in the military and I liked all the states, even though I am partial to Illinois because I have a lot family and friends from there.

The hardest question to answer, however, is if I have a hard time just getting up and moving.

The answer is, it depends.

Moving from Syracuse and Ohio isn’t something I can remember, so I can just omit that. Michigan was a difficult move because I had to see my best friend cry.

Moving from Tennessee was difficult because I thought it would be the last time we would ever move.

New Jersey was difficult in the sense that I had to leave my family behind; they literally lived in the neighborhood behind us. It wasn’t difficult at the same time because we only lived there for two years and weren't really rooted in anything.

Illinois, though, was the hardest move because I had a lifetime of memories there.

I used to go to Chicago and Western Springs for Christmas as a kid. My grandma used to let me watch shows like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” on CBS every year.

There, I would visit my parents’ friends downtown and get to see my aunt, uncle and cousins as well. So when I moved to Illinois and had to leave again, I was really sad.

Moving, however, isn't all sad.

The best part about moving is the fact that you can start over and have a clean slate.

At one of my schools, there was this student in my class who tormented me every day. So when I found out that the student was going to be in my class the following year, I was petrified. The amazing thing is, when I got home, my parents said that they had news to tell me.

They said our whole family was moving to Tennessee because my dad got a new job. I think they were expecting me to be sad, but I was overjoyed. I never had to see that kid in my class again.

Moving is also amazing because you get to have so many different experiences.

When I lived in Tennessee, I did everything under the sun. I went to the arcade, go-cart racing, dance recitals, a basketball game and even to the rodeo. Not to mention, I went to some amazing birthday parties.

When I was in middle school, my friend invited me to her Twilight themed party. You heard me right – Twilight themed.

The thing about moving is that you can’t help but take a piece of each place with you.

Michigan gave me the ability to make new friends and be in a variety of activities. Tennessee taught me to say ma' am and sir, which I still do on the phone sometimes.

New Jersey apparently provided me with an accent, or at least that’s what my dad says. Illinois gave me an appreciation for different cultures and customs because I was exposed to so many.

People can say what they want about people who move, but I will tell you one thing: I wouldn't change it for the world.

Catherine Campbell is a staff writer and can be reached at