A New Beginning:  My Move to the Big City
by Wendy Wuchnick-Gibbs

As I watched him walk away that Thursday afternoon in February, dressed in his well-worn jeans and his favorite dark blue sweatshirt pushed up to his elbows, only then did it hit me. I was on my own and about ready to embark on a whole new chapter in my life. My dad, who had driven the almost 1,300 miles from Ohio to Houston with me, was on his way back to the only place I had ever known. My new home was now an exciting city with millions of people of all ethnicities and cultures; what an eye-opener for someone who had grown up in a cookie-cutter community with the proverbial two and a half kids and a dog. The white fence was optional.

I remember thinking as the moving van pulled up with my belongings that there was no going back, figuratively and literally. Consciously deciding to move away from my family and friends was liberating and scary and inviting all at the same time. I was ready to navigate and control my life’s autobiography. Exciting as it was to be on my own there was also a tiny flicker of fear on that day in 2005.

That tiny sputter of fear that I felt on move-in day was nothing compared to the huge tidal wave of fright that I felt a few months later as the imminent threat of Hurricane Rita was upon the city of Houston. As instructed, I evacuated with millions of other Houstonians hoping to flee the devastation of the storm. In the end, the hurricane did not arrive as expected and I made it through my first test of the unknown. There will still be “unknowns” to tackle but never regrets for the place I now call home.

IMAGE: Houston, Texas, postcard available at zazzle.com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wendy Wuchnick-Gibbs is a stay-at-home mom who loves date nights with her husband John and cuddling with her daughter, Lillian. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at her daughter’s school, reading, and visiting with family and friends. Originally, from a small town in Ohio, she now calls Houston home. The inspiration for her writing was her Grandma Ellen’s advice to write about what you know.