ghostly polaroid view from my apartment sometime at the beginning of 2011
Now that I am post initial-USC-acceptance-excitement, I am having somewhat of a breakdown. I've struggled through living in Salt Lake City for two years now, and a big part of me was convinced that this is where I would do my PhD. I think I prepared for that option to such an extent that the idea of leaving feels like a severe intrusion upon my plans, even though leaving is exactly what I wanted.
When I moved here in August of 2010, I was nothing. I had nothing. I left everything back in Colorado with no intention of returning to my former self or my former life. I lost friends to falling outs, to death, and to ambivalence. I lost more in that first semester than I'd ever lost before. I blamed Utah for that, even though it doubtless would have happened wherever I ended up. But Utah was an easy target with it's weirder than anything landscape and social atmosphere and general aesthetic. I've fought this state since before I ever set foot in it, but now that I'm leaving, I'm realizing how important this place has been in drastically changing my life for the better. The most important challenges I've overcome, I've overcome in Utah. Moving here, and everything that accompanied that, is the best thing I ever did for myself. This place will probably end up having been the most important place in my life. Even though I need to leave for so many reasons related to my wellbeing and my career, I'm not going without a lot of heartbreak.
I have so many incredible memories of Salt Lake City and my program and my friends. I won't lose those memories, but I will lose their context. In this past month, I really have solidified a home for myself here. I found doctors and restaurants and bars and a yoga studio and a veterinarian and everything a person needs to live comfortably in a sort-of-city. And now I'm moving to Los Angeles where I will again, for the fourth time in my 23 years, start my life over. As excited as I am, I am also exhausted and sad. I have three weeks left in Utah before I leave it likely for forever. I may visit, but I doubt I'll ever have reason to live here again. It hasn't been perfect, but it's been life changing. And this is going to be no where near as easy as I expected it to be.