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Memories are the greatest thing to take with you - they don't take up space, or need to be packed

11 years ago today, my family and I moved from New Jersey to begin a new chapter in Leesburg, Virginia. Having lived our whole lives in New Jersey, this was a difficult move for everyone, and I remember my thoughts being along the lines of, “What have I done? I just moved away from family, friends, and familiarity. Oh, and there’s no beach here!” As time went on, however, a shift in my mindset as well as new friends and new experiences came along that made me believe that this move was the correct decision.

I can now say with full confidence that moving to Virginia over a decade ago was the best decision we could have made for the development of our family unit. The memories the five of us have made here, ranging from household traditions such as movie nights and burgers, to community traditions such as Jingle Jam, parades, and annual festivals, will be forever cherished in our hearts.

Though I, and I believe I can speak for the rest of my family, will miss everything about Virginia (well, not including Route 15 traffic), we are excited for all that the future holds. This is not a goodbye, because the memories will always be there, and the influence of these years always present within us. We are turning a new page in our story, but we will not forget the pages before - as they gave us the knowledge and power to go on, to arrive at this point.

I never would have thought, at the initial stages of our move, that I would come to appreciate our time here so greatly. It is time, however, to take on some new experiences and make new memories, because as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

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