Ten years ago today, at 20 years-old, I packed up my things, left my mother at the airport, and flew to St. Louis, Missouri. Awaiting in Missouri was not only my wonderful Aunt Laina, but a new life, new friends, and a new Megan. I had no idea what would be waiting for me. I had no idea who I would become. Moving to Missouri has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. It's not that I don't love my hometown of Kent or my home state of Ohio, but in order for me to truly realize my own potential and become the woman I am today, I needed Columbia, Missouri.
I lived in Columbia for five years before relocating to South Carolina. While I lived in Missouri, I experienced every possible emotion that our hearts and minds allow us to feel: fear, anger, disappointment, frustration, hurt, confusion, fatigue, and love. I experienced life and grew from an insecure 20 year-old girl, to a woman and most importantly a mother. When I left Missouri, I left with a three week old baby boy who changed the course of my life and the capacity of my heart. I also met so many good friends that I can't even begin to name. Our dysfunctional lives intertwined and created a pseudo-family for all of us displaced souls. Out of those wonderful friends, I also met my future husband. When we met, I was an annoying server/bartender with a crush on the kitchen manager. Our beginning was non-traditional, dramatic, and confusing, but somehow we have emerged ten years later married, with three beautiful and healthy children, and a pretty happy life. Had I not made the unresearched, completely impromptu decision to move to Missouri, I would not have the husband, kids, and life I have now.
My main purpose to move to Columbia, Missouri was to obtain a degree in meteorology. I did it, but not until I suffered (I say suffer because it was an extremely hard program) through four years at the University of Missouri. Although the degree is completely a calculus-based scientific program, its high expectations and rigorous course work has prepared me for my current study of the law.
I am thankful for my courageous decision, at 20 years-old, to move away my family and friends, my hometown, and what I knew to go on an adventure towards the unknown. I had no idea life was waiting for me and had no idea the significance of my decision; ten years later I do. Without Missouri, I would not have continued my education to receive a Master's degree. I would not be enrolled in law school now. I would not have lived in South Carolina and met my wonderful friends there or began my career in the environmental sector.
Ten years ago, I had no idea. Ten years later, I know.