Dear AZ

In February of 2010, I met you for the first time.
You were warm, and outgoing.
I was nervous, like the first day of kindergarten.
I packed my 1992 Jeep Cherokee in August of 2010 and drove to you, because you had the resources I desired; a college degree in Dance, and an endless summer.
I learned how to be a student, I learned how to be a teacher.
I learned who would be me, how to be me, and that I could change who me could be.
I fell in love, and out of it.
I made lasting friendships, I nourished standing friendships so that they would last.
I got angry. I laughed, I cried. I danced. Oh boy, did I dance!
Never have I seen so much dance, and I danced. Yes, I danced more and more, because your people danced.
Your people showed me what it’s like to belong, to have culture, to build culture.
Your people embraced diversity as a bonding agent, not a barrier.
I saw 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 beneath the heat of your never-ending sun.
I watched lives shift, I felt lives split.
I made life new, and it’s all thanks to you.

 

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