Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Letting Utah In.

 {These are thoughts I had on my drive to work this morning.}

I have lived in Utah since 2007.  I moved here to get away from the life I was currently living.  I wasn't happy.  I was in a rut.  I was in a terrible relationship.  I just needed to get away.

Utah seemed like the easiest place to run.  I had been there so many times to visit family.  I had friends who had already moved there for school.  Utah Valley was supposed to be super social and super awesome.

I got here and things didn't really turn around the way that I hoped they would.  In fact, I have spent the most difficult years of my life in Utah.

You know what I found out when I moved to Utah?  It is NOT Washington state.  It is nothing like it.  And I HATED Utah.

{Disclaimer:  I am going to share some of the opinions I developed about Utah, which may offend you if you are born and raised here.  Please do not take offense.  These opinions most likely have nothing to do with you.}

  1. I thought Utah was hideous.  Everything looked dead.
  2. The people.  Oh, the people.  They are self-centered.  I have never experienced so much selfishness.  All anyone cared about was themselves.  They are judgmental.  SO JUDGMENTAL. 
  3. Not only are people self-centered and judgmental, but they are rude.  All of the sudden I experienced people honking car horns and flipping me off and cussing at me and throwing things out their window - all because I wasn't going 15 over the speed limit like everyone else.  Um... what?
  4. I had family here, but it wasn't my immediate family and no one seemed to care that I was here anyway.  Not that I have gone out of my way to visit family, but I have never been invited to a family function.  Ever.  And still feeling like a child, I expected the adults to kind of take me in.  They didn't.  {Not true, Marilyn had me over for Thanksgiving dessert a few years ago, which I loved.  And I had Thanksgiving at Cindy's house once because my dad was in town.}
  5. My friends didn't care that I was here either.  They had their own lives that apparently didn't have room for me.  People that I had known to love me and care about me back home suddenly wouldn't give me the time of day.  In fact, they still don't.  {It's not hard to respond to a message on Facebook or a text when I reach out to you.}

After coming to all of the conclusions listed above; I was miserable.  I HATED UTAH.

Why didn't I move home?  Why didn't I go back to where I was comfortable and where every view was breath-taking and where my friends who really cared were and where my mom and dad and brothers were and where people were nice and accepting and where I knew I belonged?

I was too proud.  I said that I was leaving, I was making this big move to find happiness and get out of my rut.  There was no way that I was going to turn around with my tail tucked between my legs and go home to my mom's house because I had no where else to go.  It wasn't going to happen.  I would rather cry myself to sleep at night with no friends and no money and being terribly unhappy then fail.

That seems so dramatic and I know people wouldn't have seen it as me "failing" the way that I did, but it was honestly how I felt.  I made my bed, I was going to sleep in it.  Even if it was the worst bed EVER.

Now, here I sit.  6 years deep in life as a Utahn.  The 5 hardest years of my life behind me.  I can adjust the list above a little bit.

  1. Utah is beautiful.  It will never compare to my home state, nothing ever will.  But man, Utah has so much of it's own beauty to offer.  Every single day I marvel at the mountains that I am lucky to live under.  And the vast blue sky.  The sky that I used to resent because there weren't trees blocking my view.  It is gorgeous.  Utah has taught me the meaning of "purple mountain majesty" because only here have I actually seen purple mountains against a fiery orange and hot pink sky.
  2. The people.  Oh, the people.  There are still some self-centered people around.  I have learned that those are generally the college students who are actually from all over the country and are still too young to care about anyone but themselves.  And yes, people are very judgmental.  That comes with the religious view that most people here are raised with.  And that's okay.  I am confident enough in my self and my decisions that I really don't care what people may have to say about me.
  3. People are still rude.  I have gotten used to it.  But there are amazingly nice people as well.  They may not stick out as much as the rude people, but they are there.  The people who smile at the grocery store, the people who let you merge without flipping you off, etc. {hah}
  4. I still don't really ever see family.  Ever.  But I do live far away.  And I have developed an awesome relationship with my cousin Bevany and my aunt Lisa.  Getting to know them and have friendships with them has meant everything to me.  And the family that I have now?  The one that I married in to?  They are better than I could have ever dreamed.  I love them and I love how much family means to them.  All of their family.  {But I still miss my own family back in Washington terribly.}
  5. Friends.  Who needs the old ones anyway?  No, but really.  We have grown up and grown apart and we have different lives and that's fine.  I no longer expect friends to put forth any effort.  If I put forth an effort and they respond, that's awesome.  If they put forth an effort, it makes me feel great and I hope they know that I love and appreciate them.  There are still a special few who are around {and by around I mean socially connected!} and they are wonderful.  Plus, I have made new friends.  I have made a couple of friends here in Utah that I can't imagine not knowing.  I am so, so thankful for my close friends that I have made in Utah.  You know who you are.
 Through all of the struggles, all of the times that I thought life couldn't get any worse and I was stuck in UTAH, I really did find happiness.

If I would have moved to Utah I wouldn't have met this girl.

Carissa is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a friend.  She's that "girlfriend you meet in college".  You know, the one that you never lose contact with but that you don't see enough?  That's her.  And though she has many friends in Utah, being a Nephi girl, I do not.  She is one of the best things about Utah.

If I hadn't have moved to Utah I wouldn't have Ayla.
The girl that made me a mama.  She is Utah, through and through.  She even has a bit of a Utah accent, which if you know me, kills me.  I can't imagine life without her and she is most definitely one of the best things {in the history of Utah} to come out of Utah.

And if I hadn't moved to Utah back in 2007 I wouldn't have met Kyle.  My husband.
This guy.  He's the one that ties me down to Utah.  He is my born and raised Utah boy.  He makes me never want to leave.  {Unless he's coming with me, I'm staying put.}  Ayla and I were broken and Kyle was the glue that put us back together.  He fixed us and made us a family.  Kyle represents all things good about Utah.  Absolutely one of the best things about Utah.

If I had never moved to Utah I wouldn't be a part of this.
I cannot believe I could have missed being a part of this.  One of the best things about Utah.

I think it's safe to say that going into 6 years of life in Utah, I am finally letting Utah in.  This is the first year that I have the allergies that everyone has always complained about.  This is the first year that I have been excited about a miserably hot summer.  This is the first year that I am excited about exploring canyons and camping and being outdoors in Utah.  This is the first year that I have been utterly and completely content, no, not just content - HAPPY in Utah.

I will always miss my home state.  Nowhere will ever beat the beauty.  Nowhere will ever make me feel the way that the PNW does.

But Utah makes me happy.  Utah has become a part of me.

'Cause everything it must belong somewhere
Just like the gold around her finger or the silver in his hair
Yeah, everything it must belong somewhere
I know that now, that's why I'm staying here
Oh I know that now, that's why I'm staying here

1 comment:

  1. And now I am crying. You are truly a once in a lifetime kind of friend, too. One of those friends that "knows every gory detail of your life" but still likes you anyway. I am so happy you live here to share your happy life with me, and I'm even more happy that your worst years are over.