Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chapter 24: Leaving Utah, the Finale

It was 2008, I had just gotten out of a messy breakup and had lost all hope for man. Not mankind. Man. I had transferred from BYU to UVU for culinary school, then dropped out of culinary school, realizing that I wasn't ready to give up quality family time (nights, weekends and holidays) for a job. I had moved back to California from living in Utah for 2 years and prepared to serve a mission. I had written a letter to myself vowing that I would never return to live in Utah again, that I was crazy if I thought I was going to, and that I would stay in California after my mission.

I don't remember how soon, I think it was within the first week or two that I was serving in the Missionary Training Center that I had realized that I would probably be returning to Utah. I had made, what I didn't realize then, a great friend in my district named Hunt. Well, her first name is Kim, but for over 2 years I had the habit of calling her by her last name. Anyways, while she served in her chuchie mission of Oakland California, doing her personal and companionship studies on the beach, I was in Paraguay dripping with sweat and convincing myself to eat endless amounts of pasta, bread, and mystery meat. We remained semi-frequent pen-pals and concluded that we would room together in Provo once we both returned. Yes, after all the promises I made to myself I would never return... I returned.

That's when I began rooming with these crazy cats. On the left is Amanda, Hunt's sister, and we have Hunt in the middle. It wouldn't be too long before I got these girls drinking diet coke like it was going out of style. I had great roommates, I was living in a beautiful condo in Provo, but something was missing. This would be my third year in total living in Provo, and as much I as have enjoyed my stay there... I felt it would be soon for my time to leave. I've always wanted to live in Salt Lake at some point, and felt like this was the opportune moment to do so. Where would I go to school? ... Where every BYU fan dreads to go. The University of Utah.  

I don't have a picture of just the four of us, but let me point out the AWESOME girls that had posted a room available online that I moved in with. Top row, third (Val) and fifth (Ali) from the right, and bottom row, first on the left (Jessie). I honestly couldn't have asked for better roommates. One more thing I also promised myself, I would never share a room again after my mission. Well, for some reason I made an exception for this apartment and I am SO GLAD that I did because I got to meet and live with such AMAZING girls. All returned missionaries, all so much fun to be around. It was seriously such a great blessing to move in with complete strangers and have them be that awesome. The Lord was looking out for all of us!
Now, even though I moved to Salt Lake, I couldn't lose contact with my old roommates in Provo. One day, on a stake activity going White Water Rafting, I decided that in order to appreciate nature more, I was going to go sky diving. (Hey the guy giving the devotional said we needed to appreciate nature more...) I had never had felt the need to go, but this Friday I felt it and Monday I had rounded up Amanda from Provo to come with me skydiving in Tooele the summer of 2011. What a spontaneous and fun thing for us to do! People dream about doing this... and we just did it. It was on my flight from NYC to Virginia that I was going to take Auntie Mame's words and put them into action, "Life is a banquet and most people are starving themselves to death. Live! Live! Live!" Once I decided I wanted to skydive, I made it happen. This set the stage for the upcoming year I was to be in Utah. Nothing was going to stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

At the end of the summer, everyone had moved out of the apartment (they had lived there for a while...) and I moved in right next door. Since then, I had been blessed to have more awesome roommates. The Lord really looked out for me my second time around in Utah.

I had the opportunity to leave Utah this past winter and spend it in D.C. Though the opportunity was once in a lifetime, I decided to turn it down because (and I couldn't believe that I was saying this) I felt, believed, and wanted to stay in Utah my last semester of college. And the Lord blessed me with a very tame winter for being obedient (at least, this is what I'd like to believe!) And what a great semester it was.

It comes as a shock to many that such a huge BYU fan would be working with the Utah Athletics Marketing Department. I also worked on campus as a security officer in the main campus library (yeah, a 5' 2" security guard.) I had people betting against me, literally. I made bets with people that by the time I graduated, I would still be a BYU fan, while they bet against my ability to restrain my baptism by fire. I did it, I graduated a loyal and true fan to the Y. But I really did enjoy my time working for the marketing department for University of Utah athletics and the Marriott Library. I made some really good friends. The people there were so great, so friendly and I learned so much from them. Working on the inside gave me a completely different perspective of people at the U. There are definitely two types, but that's another story. I do not regret the decision I made to not move to DC just because I learned so much and made so many amazing friends.

Moral of the long blog post (which, in reality, if you made it this far you are just amazing), I don't regret my decision to move back to Utah one bit. My second time around was much better than the first (though, I still had a GREAT times my freshman year at BYU). It's like you're driving on a road in an unknown territory with a map your drew yourself. You have a desired destination, but your map just isn't getting you there. Your GPS is trying to direct you another direction, but you don't want to follow the GPS. You've already drew your map with a shortcut and are on your way. But the dang australian GPS voice (hey, you're the one that set her to have an australian accent) keeps telling you to turn around. You finally give in, reluctantly, only to find that not only did the GPS take you to your desired destination, but showed you some really great places to eat, places to shop and unreal views along the way.

The Lord knows what he's doing when he gives promptings that may or may not be aligned with the desires of our hearts. The question is, are we going to allow him to take the wheel?

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