Thursday, March 22, 2012
Dear Utah: A Letter
So many things to love. I love having the mountains at my back. And not just mountains, but Mountains. I love love love the Shakespeare Festival and chocolate milk from the BYU creamery. I love knowing my way around, knowing where to go for bank and car and doctor and food stuff. I love the HFAC tunnel and remembering how I used to get treats in the vending machines there while my mom was rehearsing for shows. I love driving down University Parkway.
Mostly, though, I have my family here. I love being able to spend time with my siblings. They make me laugh and do things like pronounce fudge 'fud-guh'. And having my mom and dad. They help me when I need it, which mostly involves me being like 'Dad what do I do with my life I need help finding a job' and 'Mom boys and life are dumb right now and I just need to talk to someone who understands things.' I'm becoming more and more okay with the fact that I need this. One might say I can have that wherever I am, but it's not the same thing. Sometimes I feel very twenty-three.
What I'm saying here, Utah, is that despite the large part of me that is desperate to leave, this is why it doesn't make sense for me to do so, at least not right now. It would be too much like running away. I've tried that before. It didn't work. When I have my family and things are going fairly well it doesn't make logical or emotional sense to up and leave for no other reason than just to leave.
Except sometimes leaving sounds so nice. I hate the white-wash. I hate that I get defensive of the white-wash when other people bash it. I hate that you are not New York or Los Angeles or even Las Vegas. I hate that I don't fit the look and personality of the girls that do well here. I hate that I sometimes want to. I hate the weird pressure to be married mixed with boys never asking girls out (unless you're one of the type of girls who do well here) dating thing going on here. I hate the Utah stereotypes. I hate when I fit them. I hate when I don't. I hate that I feel self-conscious and lame and unexciting here, though there's no real reason I should. People are looking and judging way less than I sometimes think they are, I know, but it's still hard not to think it.
And so I'm happy and depressed to be here, and enjoy the time with my family and friends and plan for graduate school somewhere else and try not to feel too terrified about that or frustrated that it is at least a year and a half away and anxious about how to be financially okay and productive and not-lame in the meantime.
I realize that in order to be happy I need to live where and how I live for my own reasons, no matter what other people might think or what I think they might think. That means, at least in part, whatever is most conducive to writing, which is why I'm trying to keep things level for now while I get this book out. One step at a time, I have to tell myself, which is very hard for me. I'm the kind who likes knowing not just the next ten steps, but all the steps. Impossible, of course, but one step at a time is still hard. And the fact that you, Utah, are the most solid and sensible step for right now is an extremely agonizing and frustrating relief.