When I was born, my parents took me home to their on-campus apartment at Utah State University, right in the heart of Cache Valley, Utah. For all but six months of my twenty years of life, this valley has been my beautiful home, little sprinkles of Brittney reaching from the Idaho border in the north to Sardine Canyon in the south. Now an adult and as old as my mother was when she had me, I have chosen to move out of house but not out of home, my current apartment just a few blocks from the cinderblock walls that held my first days of life.
I love Utah, and I especially love my valley. While I believe in loving people more than places, I can easily see myself staying here for the rest of my life. I’ve even driven through my hometown cemetery with an eye on open plots the way other people look at online dating profiles. I’m not ignorant—I have traveled literally across the United States from East to West coasts and spent a significant amount of time in South America. I know the world is full of wondrous beauties, and I plan to see many more, but Cache Valley will always reign as queen in my heart. I can’t imagine any other place being as safe and gorgeous as here. I could go jogging alone as a young teenage girl, I know all the back roads, and these mountains are so impressed on my heart that I feel claustrophobic in flat landscapes. There are so many reasons I love living here.
And there is one glaring reason that I do not.
If someone is not Mormon (or Latter-Day Saint) in Utah’s very Mormon culture, most people will immediately fall into one of two modes: Panic or Conversion.
Neither of which modes an ex-Mormon appreciates.
This blog is about me, the girl who tried and tried but never got it right and has finally found the words for why. This is a little shot of what it’s like living as an outsider in your own home and community, what I understand and what I absolutely know. It’s neither a grounds for telling me I’m going to Hell nor an opportunity for you to reach out for a lost sheep (I’m very much a person, thank you), so if these are your gut reactions, by all means stop here.
This blog is also an irreverent celebration of coffee mugs, because hell, what is life without a cool mug and some spite.