Utah

If you leave a place and it calls you home twice, just accept it, and stay.

My favorite thing about first moving to Utah in 2014, was the reactions that people from back home would give me: “oh, how are the Mormons?” with such an exaggerated, disgusted tone, as if you can’t walk two feet in any direction without interacting with them. The smile it brings to my face, in regards to their ignorance that is.

I tried to leave Utah twice for a variety of reasons, mainly ones that I could not take responsibility for and instead displaced it onto the shoulders of other outstanding factors, like Vail Resorts purchasing Park City for example. Giving blame to things that I literally had no control over and yet somehow believed that I was better than them. I kept looking for a way out, a way to get myself further west and hopefully out of the mental bubble I thought existed without me.

Honestly, I let the universe and mountain towns kick my ass into acceptance: stop being such a baby about your situation and just fix it. This is the third time that I’ve come home to Utah but with this time comes humility.

Within 24 hours of being in Salt Lake, a strung out woman with two children in her backseat, car chased me around a block off of 45 South, screaming, “you don’t know me” after I gave her the middle finger for almost rear-ending me at a stop sign. I was so shaken up and quickly realized that I had never truly experienced SLC before now. See, I used to keep to the boundaries of The University of Utah, The Cottonwoods, and Park City, knowing very little about what laid south of 33rd. To top it off, I was incredibly spoiled by Park City, living in a popular mountain town and affording it.

Usually, something like what happened above would send me running for the hills. I give too much credit to my gut though and despite being scared shitless, nothing was telling me that I had made a wrong decision convincing us to move back to SLC. For Chris, his adjustment has been longer and rightfully so: this is home for me, this is new for him.

This weekend, Chris and I packed up the car and headed south on a Friday night. We are both not totally ready to give up our bikes yet, it might have something to do with the fact that we haven’t secured our ski pass for this winter but I think it’s mainly because we didn’t get our fill yet of biking season. Driving down to Moab this weekend put our fears to rest though; elated with gratitude for being less than four hours from a place that we both hold so dearly to our hearts. It’s going to keep us sane.

There is a lingering fear, that one day we won’t call Utah home, and while it’s taken over two years for me to understand that this is where my heart resides, I already miss it.