Why I'm Coming Out of the Provo Closet

Ah. Where do I start?
Provo. Let’s start there.

8 years it’s been. 8 long years since my family upped from our previous residence in Schertz, Texas (yes, it’s really called “Schertz”) and settled in Provo, Utah, or “Mormonland” as my elementary friends so lovingly referred to it when I told them across the lunch table where I was moving to at the end of the school year. When I moved to Provo, I struggled to make friends. Seventh and eighth grade didn’t really treat me well and people weren’t as welcoming as I thought they should be. You see, life prior to Utah was a constant transition. Each town my family had relocated to was used to the fact that you would have different best friends each year. Families moved after 3 years and that was life. Being the “new kid” in school didn’t last very long as you weren’t the only one. Plus, the next year there would be a whole new herd of "new kids" to welcome in anyways. Change was normal. Change was good.

But not in Provo, Utah. People have lived here for who knows how many years in the same house their parents lived and graduated from the same high school their parents did. It’s nice and lovely and sweet and all and it gives you the home town feel without being the small town where a Walmart does not exist. And trust me- that’s a thing; Walmart caused a revolution in Schertz. Living in this bubble for the first few years consequently proved difficult. It took me a lot longer than I expected to get a good, solid and welcoming group of friends. But even they had their ignorant moments. It frustrated me how I could not get them to kindly remember that “No, I was not in Mrs. So and So’s class in elementary school and I do not want to go visit her because believe it or not, even though I live in Provo, I didn't go to elementary school here and wasn't best friends with you since kindergarten.” *gasps for breath*
And that ticked me off as well. I couldn't say I was friends with someone since kindergarten because all my kindergarten friends were long gone and I hadn't talked to them since, well, kindergarten. Looking back now I guess that meant I just fit in so well to their group and I should have been flattered. But such is life. I grew up and got over myself, I graduated from high school, and now I go to college here. I’m happy, I'm healthy, and I love where I live.

All this I’ve mentioned so far culminated into the love-hate relationship I’ve had with Provo from the beginning. Reference this past blog post here and you can experience and understand my initial frustration beginning college in the heart of Provo. Oh and did I mention it was the same place I’d already been living for 6 years previous? The point I'm trying to make here is that after those 8 long years, the “love” portion of that relationship is finally beginning to overcome the “hate”. I’ve finally accepted it all and seen the beauty Provo not only has, but is. I know it still has its frustrating moments where, with this many members of the LDS faith concentrated so closely, you’re bound to have judgmental and negative experiences, but I choose to look at the positive experiences I’ve had. And I’ve had a lot.

So yes, I have finally begun to say and admit that I am from Provo. I guess you could say that I’m coming out of the Provo closet. I knew I was when my brother started adamantly insisting that he hated Provo and wanted to get out as soon as possible because it sucked. After he said this, I actually got offended and realized that it hurt me when he talked bad about Provo. So to all you haters out there- fine! Hate away! I can't stop you. Complain about the culture, the construction (I'll join you there), the crazy college students, the drivers, but personally I believe you, my friend, are the one making it worse. 

Sometimes I get a little stir crazy and want out. Like right now for example. Out of Provo is alllllllll I want to be at the moment. I can’t wait to travel the country and have new experiences like my family once did in the Air Force. In a sense, I feel a lot like Rapunzel. Which is good because usually I hate her and do not relate to her in the slightest, but in this moment I'm finding some common ground.

I know that one day when I will inevitably leave, excited and anxious to finally depart,

 I will look back and wonder why I ever wanted to leave in the first place.

Because Provo is home. And I don’t think that will ever change.