Friday, May 18, 2007

Phoenix


Phoenix
Originally uploaded by Eric Vondy.

Back Home....

Something I have discovered making these little trips back and forth to Utah;

When I was a little girl growing up in rural Idaho there were a lot of things to love about where I grew up. But I never thought I would live there when I got older. I can't really explain why because everyone else I knew thought that they WOULD live there forever. And maybe that was why, maybe that affected me somehow and I resisted it. I always imagined I would live in Utah - Salt Lake specifically. I would marry a boy from Utah or I would move there on my own.

Now this may have been because of the limited experience and travel I had done in my young life. We had been to California but it never occured to me to move there. The only other big city we had visited was Seattle - and I thought it was so lovely and green and wonderful too - but it never occured to me that I would move their either. Probably because the only people I ever knew who moved away usually moved to...well, really just to Utah. So that is what I always imagined. So when I eventually did move to Utah and later to Salt Lake, this was no surprise, it was what I had imagined all along. (I realize there are current parables to this idea of this now infamous book "the secret", which frankly, I take some issues with, but that's an entirely different blog...)

Later, when Kirk got admitted to a lot of good East Coast schools and we took a trip back there - I almost had a panic attack imagining living in DC and going to Georgetown or in NY and going to Columbia. I had a 2 year old by then and I just couldn't picture it. I'm sure I could have done it but UVA in bucollic Charlottesville seemed a more sane option at the time. But even that required some anti-anxiety medication for me to actually get moved.

Because this threw my whole lifes plan into a tailspin. MY plan was that we would always live in Utah on a tree lined street in Salt Lake and maybe live in the avenues or Sugarhouse or maybe the University area, end of story. I would be a few hours away from my mom and close to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole still...all the things I missed about living in Idaho. Why on earth would we move?

And I really KNEW why - I knew it was an opportunity too good to pass up, but it did not fit within the parameters of the schema I had built my identity on.

Fast forward - at some point after law school (and living in Virginia was so lovely in so many ways but we did miss the West. I missed the sky and I missed the attitude of the West) we moved to Arizona. Honestly, at the time, I wasn't sure if this was a permanent move or a stopping off point. For years when we would visit family back in Utah and Idaho I would imagine that maybe, someday, Kirk would get a job back in Salt Lake again and everything would be back to "normal" and this would all just be a fun little experiment we tried.

But months turned into years and an associates job at a big law firm turned into a career at a firm where he is a partner and we started building a life. And a big part of that life honestly had to do with the Stake where we live - a certain kinship we felt for those we got to know here. In a way so many people became like extended family to us. And I grew in love with the sunsets. And the architecture. And the heat (okay don't ask me if I still love it on August 16th but mostly, I still do love it). The summers spent almost entirely in the pool. Lots of bar b que'd food. Driving with the top down. So many, many, things. The diversity of central phoenix, both in terms of the people, the places, the things, EVERYTHING. I really love it. I've even learned to grow to love the desert itself.

I love our old house. I love that we turned our old house into something different than what it was that made it functional for us but it's still charming to me. I even love that it's not that big. Really.

So this is home now. And when I am in Utah - even this time of year, when it's all turning so lovely and green but it isn't quite as hot as here and you can drive around with your windows rolled down - well, this would be the time of year when normally I would have entertained those thoughts of moving back. But i don't. It's not home anymore. And somehow it can't quite compare to what I love about Phoenix.

1 comment:

CaliZona said...

Well said! You are officially Arizona-proud. Phoenix rules!

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