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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

02.06.2006

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keep the change 
by Ashlin Salisbury |
1 2 3 
continued from page 1

For me even more than most kids, change seemed to define my life from an early age. When I was 6 years old, my parents divorced. My dad moved to a different place on the outskirts of Salem, Oregon, and we (my sister, my mother and I) stayed in our old house. We split vacations and holidays, birthdays and weekends between the two houses until I was 11. Our parents thought changing this back and forth every year would be fairer to them. At first this was difficult for my sister and me, but we quickly began to see the benefits of having two of everything. Aside from celebrating holidays and birthdays twice a year, these events changed for us in a different way as well; one year we would be with my dad for Thanksgiving and with mom for Christmas. The next year it was vice versa.

When I was going into the 5th grade, we moved three hours away, setting up temporary house in a two-bedroom apartment near the high school while we waited to find a long-term place. Nearly three months later we found our home and moved in. With a new neighborhood and a new school, I found myself faced with the biggest change of all: being in a place where no one knew me, I had to start from scratch. But, being a resilient kid, I managed to scrape by and find some great friends in no time. Change, I discovered, wasn't such a scary thing after all. It was a good lesson to learn: after 7th grade, my mom and step-dad left for Portland to be with his mother, and my sister and I went to live with our dad. One year later he remarried and we packed up again.

The summer before my junior year, I moved back in with my mom. By then she and my step-dad had moved to Sisters, in Central Oregon. I decided to just start fresh, in every sense. As my mom was a stylist, I had her cut my hair to within an inch of my scalp, and then bleached it blonde. I started over at a new school where I didn't know anyone, yet again. This was roughly the fourth time I had started over, reinvented myself, changed. With each move I made, I was able to become whoever I wanted to be. Didn't like my style from the last place? Not a problem. No one knew me, so I could start fresh, change to be whomever and whatever I could think up. Two years later I graduated and moved to Eugene to begin life at the University of Oregon.

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