We’re moving to Utah. It only took us about 3 months, but we’ve 100% decided and now we’re looking at moving trucks, apartment listings, and job opportunities for yours truly.
How do I feel about it? Pretty good, but you might want to check back with me in five minutes. My feelings on the matter range from “yay!” to “wtf?” and I can’t really give you a good prediction about which emotion is coming next. There are some huge pros to moving to Utah, which include being closer to my family and old friends (obviously) as well as having the opportunity to experience living out west for the first time (again) through Kyle. He’s never seen most of the landmarks and national parks that I take for granted and a lot of the things I did in my childhood are completely foreign to him. So, that will be fun.
There are a lot of cons to moving out to Utah, though. The huge ones are that we’ll be moving away from Kyle’s family and taking a chance on employment since we’re only 90% sure that Kyle can transfer and I’m 30% sure that I’ll be able to find employment quickly, given the economy. I’m really good at what I do, but my work has a lot to do with local programs and personal connections, so moving across the country means that I’ll have to leave most of that behind. I’m not opposed to working at Starbucks to make ends meet in the meantime, but it is a little hard to be walking out on a job that I positively love, especially when jobs are so scarce these days.
The other thing that has me worried is that I don’t know how Kyle will handle Utah. He’s looking forward to spending more time with my family and exploring the southwest with me, but I don’t know how to prepare him for the culture shock. There’s a major culture shock when you spend time in Utah after being gone for a while. I don’t think I would have thought much of it if Kyle had moved to Utah while I was still living there, but now that I’ve been out of Utah for a while I can see a huge difference. We’ve been living practically on campus at Ohio State for the last four years and there’s always a late night party or a happy hour event going on. I’m going to have to get Kyle used to campfire barbecues and potluck suppers.
If you haven’t lived in Utah, it’s easy to make assumptions about life there. Last week, we had our monthly book club meeting and the book of the month was “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith” by Jon Krakauer. I love the book and think it was incredibly well done, but it paints a rather confusing picture of what life in Utah must be like. The line between Mormons and Mormon Fundamentalists is blurry and the book club talk often turned to questions about how weird it must have been growing up around people who are LDS.
On the one hand, I believe that 90% of the assumptions made about life in Utah (and Mormons in particular) are false. On the other hand, it is pretty weird that my friends can’t see R rated movies and it is pretty weird that they’re working on storing a year’s worth of food so they can be ready for the second coming or whatever else they may need it for. So it’s hard to give answers when people ask about how odd Utah is. I’d like to say that it’s just like any other place in the country, but the honest truth is that living in Utah is kind of bizarre.
I think Kyle will handle it just fine, but there’s definitely going to be a period of adjustment. I don’t even know what he’s going to do when he sees the prices at the state liquor store. I also don’t know how to explain to him that the city practically shuts down on Sunday. I do, however, believe that a pile of casseroles for friendly neighbors will win him over, so I’ve been trying to look for apartments/townhomes/houses in neighborhoods that look like they are filled with casseroles.
So yes, I’m excited to be moving to Utah. Slightly apprehensive, more-than-slightly stressed out, but quite excited…