The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Linda’s family moved all over the place during her childhood, and each time felt different emotionally. She was born in Amman, Jordan and they moved to the states just a year after she was born. For the first few years of her life, they lived in Washington Heights. A few years later, they moved to Yorktown, where she spent the majority of her childhood living in a small house with around 20 people, and eventually Gardiner. She still lives in the house in Gardiner and I spent the first 3 months of my life living there until my family moved to our current house.

It was a tough goodbye for Linda. She didn't want to leave her high school friends but was given no choice. Her whole life, she had been raised with her nieces and nephews and she suddenly had to say goodbye. While Yorktown is only about an hour from Gardiner, not waking up every day and going to school together was heartbreaking. Back in Yorktown, everyone thought Linda and her nieces and nephews were all siblings because of how close they were, so it was as if Linda, one of the many “siblings” just packed up and was forced to leave the rest of them.

Things were different for her when she moved. Gardiner, unlike Yorktown, is a very rural area in upstate New York. There was no town to go to on her own, let alone with her nieces and nephews. She no longer saw them every day and this made her feel more alone than she had ever felt in her life. The new house didn’t feel like a home. Linda felt empty most of the time. She was distanced from Saleh because he had to go to work every day, and her mother still didn’t speak any English. Every day of her junior year, she would sit alone in the cafeteria for lunch, thinking back to better days when she and her crew from Yorktown would be up to no good, but that was all in the rearview mirror and there was no chance of turning around.

Linda had nothing to look forward to when it came to school. She didn’t have her license yet, didn’t have any friends and had no desire to do well in her classes. Growing up, her siblings had to hustle in order to keep the family in good financial standing and left no time for being concerned regarding Linda’s grades. At this point in her life, Linda had nothing motivating her. She would often think of what her future would be like, and even thought about how unfair it was that she was left alone while the rest of her siblings when they were her age, were always together. So, Linda continued with her life, hoping something would change for the better as soon as possible. 

Moving

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1988
Gardiner, New York

Linda’s family moved all over the place during her childhood, and each time felt different emotionally. She was born in Amman, Jordan and they moved to the states just a year after she was born. For the first few years of her life, they lived in Washington Heights. A few years later, they moved to Yorktown, where she spent the majority of her childhood living in a small house with around 20 people, and eventually Gardiner. She still lives in the house in Gardiner and I spent the first 3 months of my life living there until my family moved to our current house.

Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by Naseem Jamal on March 13, 2019
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