I am a born and raised Californian, but I do not consider California my home. I did not find peace or opportunity until I moved to Arizona. Before living in Arizona, I was drifting in a sea of uncertainty, while bouncing from one job to another. I was never satisfied with ‘just getting by.’ I knew that there had to be more to life than just work and sleep. On the verge of giving up, I chanced to see a commercial for a college in Arizona. This sparked my interest in the state that had always been my neighbor. Initially, what prompted me to move here was the relatively inexpensive rent. In California, I was paying $700 a month for a ‘closet’ with a toilet and had reached a point where I was teetering to close to homelessness. Within two months, I had packed my belongings, said goodbye to my family and was on the road to Prescott, Arizona. Every day was a new adventure, which I pursued with passion.
The moment I set foot on Arizonan soil, the compassionate and driven spirit of its inhabitants inspired me. Suddenly I was in a world that was not so concerned with possessions and chasing money to the ends of the earth. Life was about friendships and great memories. The amazing people in Arizona lifted me out of my doldrums and inspired me to desire and to pursue more. In my crusade to be driven and unique, I have met other women such as myself. With my new friends by my side, I dove into college and life with a new fervor that I never knew was possible. I began to consider life in terms of dreams, rather than in terms of dollars, disappointments, and labor. Two years later, I am on the verge of graduating college.
Looking back, I feel awe by the changes I have witnessed in this small, close-knit community. I can recall sitting on the courthouse steps watching the traffic lazily go by as I conversed with strangers about the weather. Today, it seems as if everywhere you go, there is a hoard of traffic going by. So many others have discovered this beautiful town, and yet the integrity of Prescott remains the same. A town that celebrates its similarities while encouraging its uniqueness. I love that on the same weekend, one can find heritage demonstrations, Jazz concerts, craft fairs, and renaissance festivals. Among the people, our differences spark debate, while conflict is resolved with honesty and integrity. These qualities create a greater understanding and commitment among us. With pride, strong feminist ideals, friendship and passion, my circle of friends have created a niche of our own in this community, and feel welcome even among the more conservative members of Prescott. Our town may be growing and changing, but I hope the spirit of its people will never change.