*I wrote this post over a year ago. I never published it, until now... 

There are so many times in this life when people ask, “Why Vegas?” People always want to know why I‘m here and why have I stayed so long? Most importantly they ask, “When are you moving home?”

I am here to tell you that I have lived in Vegas for 9 years, and in those 9 years I have finally learned exactly WHY. I was sent here on a journey, on a path that I didn’t even know where it ended. What I thought I was coming to Vegas for became something unexpected, and can never be replaced. I came here with my heart on my sleeve, doing what I thought was the right thing at the genius age of 20. Now, turning 30, I really, honestly believe that I made the right choice to pack up everything I own in a van and move across the county.

Moving meant that I left everything I know: my house, my family, my friends, the only place that I had every lived. It meant that I would only see my family when I was able to fly home and visit or they would come to see me. It meant that I would miss family birthday parties, the kids’ soccer games, and family dinners. Do I sit here and say that I don’t miss that? NO, I miss it all the time. I wish that I was there for every little thing that my family did together, but I can’t be and thank goodness for technology.

I have learned that I was sent here to make me the person that I have become. The most important thing that I have become in Vegas was a Mother. It’s the hardest thing that I have ever become, and at times I’m sure I’m screwing it all up. Then I have a conversation with the best kid that I could have ever had and I think. If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have him.  He has made me complete. He has made me stronger than I ever thought possible, braver that I have ever been, and he has made me reach higher than I ever believed I could reach.

I have learned that I was sent here to work in the trenches. To be the best teacher that I can be, to have to dig deep and work hard to do what’s best for kids, not what’s easiest for me. I am their role model, I am their teacher, I am their future. Without me they don’t succeed, without me who know where they would be. I honestly feel like each class has been sent to me for a different reason. My first group was amazing, yet taught me the trials and tribulations of being baptized by fire. The groups in between had their ups and downs but through it all I did what’s best for them and they became amazing kids who worked their tails off. This groups today, I’ve had for almost 40 days and I want to die thinking about 140 more with them, but they are mind for a reason. They were brought to me for a reason. I am their teacher and I have learned to do what’s best for them and that’s what Vegas has taught me.

I have learned that I was sent here for the people that Vegas has brought in my life. Will they every replace my family, absolutely not; but I couldn’t ask for a better group of individuals in my life. These individuals each bring out a side of me that I never knew I had. They have been there for me in my darkest of dark. They have wiped my sad tears and laughed until we had happy ones. They have been my rock to lean on and my pillow to melt in. Without them I wouldn’t have made it in Vegas. Every single person in my life has been sent here for a reason. I’m so grateful for every single one of them.

So when people as Why? This answer is simple, this is my home right now. This place has made me into the adult I have become. I have built a life here that I love with people who are near and dear to my heart. Would I love to come home? Yes. Is it time? No. I’m still growing and I’m ok with that because I love the person that I have become. I’ve learned to be me, the best me I can be, and right now that me, is in Vegas.

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