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This month, on Jan 10th marked exactly eight years since I walked away from the only life I knew. That terrifying day is still as vivid as ever, except there is almost no way to explain what I was feeling while walking on the gravel towards a little town – Blythdale, Mo, where I was finding a ride to take me away. I think part of the reason it’s so hard to tell people what I experienced those first few hours is because I blocked out all the scary thoughts could have possibly tried to make me turn around and go back home.

I didn’t worry about where my next meal would come from.

I didn’t worry what would happen if the lady that was supposed to meet me in town didn’t show up. For all I cared, anyone could have picked me up and I would have trusted them.

I tried hard not to think how my Mom was going to react when she came home and found out I was gone. I still can’t imagine what she felt like. I can’t imagine what my brothers and sisters went through either. The biggest fear I had to overcome was that they would be okay without me. Therefore, I erased all feelings I had on the day I left. If I could have done it any differently, I would have, but I didn’t know how. I have gotten closer to my family since I left, but more in a spiritual way. Does that make sense? No it doesn’t. I don’t know how else to explain it except I just have respect for them and I care a whole bunch about them even though I can’t show it except through letters or when I go visit, but then I can’t express my love too much because they get weirded out by it.

Here are only a few of the things I’ve learned since I left…

1. I quickly learned I should not attempt to stick a metal object into an electrical outlet… luckily I didn’t get electrocuted, but I had multiple people scream bloody murder in attempt to stop me from doing it. I didn’t understand electricity, was just checking it out! Ha
2. I learned that if the GPS says to turn or take an exit… Then TURN! I had an issue where I thought a talking electronic could not possibly know where I wanted to go. Haha. I’ve always ended up being wrong and had to turn around. And I’ve learned I get less headaches if I just follow the GPS instead of trying to argue with it.
3. Do not wave to immature guys while at a stop light. I just meant to be friendly, but they thought I wanted them in my house!! O Lord, when I saw they were following me, I tried to drive faster in hopes of losing them. Instead of calling the cops I went straight home and RAN inside the house and locked all the doors. The guys waited for about 5 minutes before they gave up. Nowadays, whenever I wave at someone on the road, I always make sure they aren’t going to follow me. 🙂
4. I will always lock my vehicle no matter what! Soon after I started driving, someone stole the truck I was using to go to work. It was a disheartening feeling to get off work and walk outside to find the truck gone…purse, money, driver’s license, lipgloss, everything I worked so hard for was gone. But who leaves everything in plain sight for people to see and take anyway??. That would be me! Because I didn’t know people would take what wasn’t theirs. I didn’t see anything like that happen in the Amish. Now I am so paranoid about remembering to lock my car. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat worrying that my brand new car is with some worthless thieves. But I have to trust that God will take care of such people.

There are lots of little things I have learned about the English way of life. I have enjoyed learning them immensely, good and bad, and still learn things on a daily basis. It will never end for me and I would literally try anything atleast once. Some of my favorite things that I have had the opportunity to enjoy over the last eight years… colorful clothes, jewelry, boots, motorcycle rides, traveling, church, running, working, writing, hanging out with nice people, the outdoors, ice cream, ice cream and ice cream 😉 I also love, love, love Starbucks and enchilada’s, maybe not together like that but you know what I mean, Lol

Can’t wait to see what the next eight years will bring, I know it will be greater than the first eight years.

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