15 October 2015

breaking up with Utah

I've been thinking about my relationship with Utah in terms of a romantic relationship over the last month or so.

During the summer especially, our relationship status would have been "it's complicated" on Facebook. The relationship was long-term: Tim and I lived in Salt Lake for 5 years, I lived in Provo for 4 years before that, and then I lived in Layton for 8 years before that. The only time I left was for 6 months when I was in Russia, which doesn't even seem like it counts.

And then we broke up.

When I first got out here, I was feeling a little angry and betrayed by Utah. Now I've gotten over that and there are definitely things I miss about it.

It's a little hard for me to pinpoint exactly what was dissatisfying to me about my experience in Salt Lake, but I think it is connected to this idea of community and feeling like it was a struggle to be a part of a community that had any consistency. I am not sure why this is. Maybe it's less to do with the place itself and more to do with me, so it's dumb to look for things to blame Utah for.

I did always feel a little silly about my desire to experience living somewhere else for a little while. There are a lot of people who live in Utah whom I love and who love Utah and have no desire to leave, so why did I? And I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe we'll move back later, but right now I look forward to the prospect of getting to know a new place. I haven't found my place here yet. I mostly feel lost and confused right now.

I do miss shopping at NPS where you could find slightly questionable grocery merchandise at a discount, and I miss shopping at thrift stores where you could add to your book collection for a dollar here and there and buy your children's wardrobe, also a dollar at a time. Apparently I really like at least feeling like I'm saving money. I'm not sure where the weird discount outlets are around here, but I hope there are some. I almost asked someone at a regular grocery store what they do with their less-desirable produce: "I will buy brown bananas for half price!"


rachel said...

I haven't actually been to one since I left the south 10+ years ago, but if they are as I remember, then Aldi is a fun little grocery store that skimps on some things (bring your own bags, for instance) in order to sell their goods at a discounted price. Might be worth checking out!

Heather Burdsal said...

Aldi is a thing in Texas, too. I only shopped there twice, though. I am unwilling to eat brown bananas, even at half price. Be sure to bring a quarter with you so you can unlock a shopping cart.

I feel the same way about Utah. There are things I miss, but on the whole it was time for a split. Though I lived there for 8 years, I never really felt settled. We love Texas, though. I hope you guys end up loving Southern living as much as we do!

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