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In 1961, Euan Critten Menzies, my father, was born in a small town about fifteen minutes outside of Glasgow, Scotland.  He spent the first fifteen years of his life attending school the same school in this town.  At the young age of sixteen, he finished high school and went off to Glasgow University.  When he lived in Scotland, he spent all of his life in the same home.  He commuted to the University everyday from his home.  He lived with his mother, father, and sister until the age of twenty-one, when he immigrated to the United States.  He did not only move to the United States because he was offered a job here with a great salary, but he also saw the United States as having many more opportunities for him to succeed than Scotland did.

My mother, Janice Mary Keating, was born in 1962.  She spent the beginning of her life in Irvington, NJ.  At the age of nine she moved to Bloomfield, NJ, right next to Brookdale Park.  She walked to school everyday with her two sisters.  She then graduated from Bloomfield High School in the top ten of her class of four hundred students.  She continued on to Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, NJ, where she earned her masters in Economics.  After college, she moved back to her parents’ house and commuted to the city everyday while she was trying to attain her CPA.

In 1988, my parents met on my mom’s first day of work at Citi Bank; my dad was her boss.  They were friends for a year, but then began dating.  In 1990, they moved in together into a small apartment in Central Park South.

My parents got married in 1991.  Immediately following their wedding they moved into a condo in Edgewater, NJ.  I was conceived in the beginning of 1992, and was born in the winter of 1993, two years after my parents moved into their new condo.

Unfortunately, my parents’ marriage did not work out and they filed for divorce in the end of 1993. My father returned to New York City and moved into a one-bedroom apartment in TriBeca.  Together, my mother and I moved into a two family brownstone in Hoboken, NJ.  I was only a year old at the time, but we lived there until a few months after my third birthday.  All I remember about that home was that we had a spiral staircase and that you could see the roof of our building from my mom’s gym.

I lived in two different homes in Hoboken within the first seven years of my life.  The second home was on Bloomfield Street.  It was a four-story brownstone.  I loved that home because it had a backyard, which was the first time I had a backyard to play in, and my best friend from Mustard Seed School lived two houses down from me. The entire time that I lived in Hoboken, I spent almost every weekend with my grandparents and mom in Bloomfield, NJ, which is why I always considered it like a second home.

I met my stepfather, John Cusmai, on my fourth Christmas, right after their first blind date.  Following my sixth birthday was their, they engagement.  They were married in July of 2000.  We lived with him in Nutley, NJ, for three months while our current home, in Montclair, NJ, was under construction.  Although the home in Nutley was small, I did not mind it because there was a toy story right down the street.  Once we were finally settled into our new home and I had started school at Montclair Kimberley Academy, we welcomed by little sister, Cristina, right before my ninth birthday.

In 2000, my father purchased a gated brownstone in New York City.  I remember one day when I visited him he was watching a “friends” dog, who lived in the apartment building down the street.  I met the owner a few weeks later; she is now my stepmother, Bethany Bolling.  They were married in Lake Placid in 2002.  They lived in the brownstone together in New York City for three years.  Then in 2005, my father had to move to Seattle, WA, for his job and moved into a townhouse with my stepmother only a few minutes away from the Space Needle.  They have lived there for six years but recently decided they will be returning to New York City this coming summer.  They just purchased a new brownstone in Greenwich Village, which they will be moving into.

Not only will my father and stepmother be moving back to the east coast this summer, but it will also mark the tenth year that I have lived in my home in Montclair, NJ.  I will be attending Pennsylvania State University this upcoming fall.  I have traveled to many places in the past eighteen years of my life, but I have never lived outside of New Jersey.  I have not experienced many different atmospheres, but I am excited to move out of the state of New Jersey and finally experience something different- even if it is only a short three hours from my home.  My mom has basically lived in the same place her entire life and my father has lived in several different places around the world.  I think if I can find a balance between the two lifestyles I will be happy.  I do not want to live in the same place for the rest of my life, but I do want to have one place that I can always say is my home.

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