I’m not a blogger, by any means. I’m lazy, I can never think of good content, etc. But my heart is so full of emotions tonight, that I knew I needed to document them. (Seriously, I’m so bad at this that I don’t even know how to add photos – so this is going to be one long and boring read. And I realize most people wouldn’t get this emotional over this kind of thing, so bear with me.)

A year ago tonight, I was packing everything I owned into my little Honda, getting a father’s blessing, laughing until I cried with Kelsey and Heather, then laying in bed wide awake all night with the realization that I was going to be leaving everything I knew the next morning. I think I slept maybe 45 minutes that night, until my alarm went off at 3:45 AM to make my first solo road trip. 11 hours, with all of my belongings, a plethora of mixed CDs from all of my friends, and really no idea of what the next year would bring me, or even the next month. 

People ask me a lot why I moved to Utah, and I don’t really have an answer for them. I usually say something along the lines of “I needed a change of scenery and took a job on a whim, blah blah blah.” I don’t know what lit the fire underneath me to uproot my life and come to this beautiful place, but I know that it has been one of the hardest and best things I’ve ever done.

In the last year, I’ve gained relationships and formed bonds that are stronger than I thought possible. I’ve lost relationships that I didn’t realize weren’t strong enough to weather the distance. I’ve been blessed with friendships that have somehow thrived despite a 601 mile gap.

I learned how to drive in snow, yet never failed to sob every time I had to. (Side note: I never learned to like snow, and I NEVER WILL.)

I gained a knowledge that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely, and that I even enjoy the quiet calm that comes with taking time for myself. I lost the feeling of obligation to always say yes, even when it’s not best for me.

I bought a hedgehog. It’s only been 3 weeks, but he hasn’t died yet. *knock on wood*

I spontaneously sold my car, got my first car loan, bought a manual, and then learned how to drive said manual by cruising around town for 2 days straight. And by cruising, I mean stalling, rolling backwards down hills, and having anxiety attacks. 

I realized exactly how much my family matters to me. *insert Family Matters theme song here.*

In this year away from everything I know and the people that know me the most, I’ve learned who I am. I’ve grown and changed and have found aspects of myself that I have fallen in love with, and allowed myself to let go of some things that were holding me down. I’ve done things that I never thought possible and felt a strong sense of pride in how independent I’ve become. I would be lying if I said I’m not terrified of what the next year will bring. I definitely can’t say that I don’t think almost daily about if and when I should move home. But that being said, I’ve slowly but surely began to understand that it is a blessing to have people to know, love, and miss in both Arizona and Utah. Because of that, I can always call either place home. And that’s a good feeling to have.

Have Utah-versary to me. And I guess Happy 4th of July, too. 



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