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The Journey

Three months ago today I began my journey from Phoenix to Murfreesboro, TN. The feelings of hope, excitement and anticipation for what awaited me left an indelible mark in my memory. I clearly recall the events leading up to my exodus. It was near record heat that day and the air was exceptionally dry despite the monsoon season had officially started.  We hosted our final “ballet pool party” to give the girls the chance to say goodbye. It was a morning of hugs and tears for a group of girls that I have had the privilege to watch grow into beautiful young ladies. I hugged my daughter goodbye as she went with a friend and would follow me out to Tennessee a week later.

I pulled out of my local Starbucks at 1:30pm and hit the road. I was joyously leaving behind the 115 degree days, the dirt, the brown cloud and the hard times. But I was also leaving behind my Friday mornings at Einstein Bagels with Daysi, Ballet Under the Stars with Giselle, coffee dates with Janys, tap class with Starlet, daily walks with Claudio and Keelan and long talks with Lib and her beautiful kids. I formed amazing relationships with amazing people in Phoenix. I had no idea that the strength and love that they gave me would be the foundation in which my life in Tennessee would be built upon. I could not foresee that their influence in my life would be so necessary and so profound from 1600 miles away.

I arrived in Tennessee on Monday, July 20th. My first stop was the local Walmart in Shelbyville. Wherever you go in America, it seems a Walmart can be found. Walking across the parking lot I was acutely aware that I was not like everyone else, yet, I had a strong sense of belonging. Earlier that day as I crossed the Mississippi River, I realized that the 18 years I spent in Phoenix I spent waiting to exhale. I felt as though I was an unwelcomed, overstayed guest in Phoenix. Driving into Tennessee, I finally exhaled: a knowing I was “home”.

The past three months have been nothing shy of a roller coaster. It has been a time of heart break, financial instability, frustration, anger, empathy for my daughter and innumerable changes and upheaval. The one constant, my God, has never left nor been remiss to provide all we needed. Despite the tears that have been shed, I have maintained a peace knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Though I spent time friend-less, money-less, job-less and without our own place, I have had an unwavering joy and genuine happiness. And now, the tide has begun to turn. Though riches have yet to flow through my doors, a regular pay check does. I am beginning to build new friendships and I’m on the path of settling into this new “home”.


  1. Starlet Jackson

    There are many definitions of home. One the I particularly like; An environment offering security and happiness. I pray that TN is that place for you and that you enjoy this journey and all that will come of it!

    • bunheadsquared

      I love that definition of home. It is so much more expansive than the four walls of a dwelling that we refer to as home. Very cool!

  2. Liberty Lanier

    GIRL! You know I miss you. We are miles apart, but I am only a phone call, text, email, FB post away. I love to make you laugh when you are down and being silly like teenage girls. I miss those nonstop, cant breath laughing moments we share. I am always supportive of you and like to add that extra something to your life and how you do the same for me. I know that you are exactly where God wants you to be. Even when we dont know the reason at the moment, I trust his choices for you. I know a lot of great things are on the way to you. I love you Shayna! 8)

    • bunheadsquared

      Love you, too! I can’t wait for you to come and visit. We are going to tear it up! I don’t know if Murfreesboro is ready for us!

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