Wednesday, June 22, 2005

east coast represent

I grew up in New York. That's cool...right? Depends. To be from Jamestown is not cool. To be from Busti is worse. But to be from New York...that's something else. I will say that I haven't always corrected people when they ask questions such as, "Could you see the Statue of Liberty from your bedroom?" I haven't always told them that I'm about a 6-hour drive from New York City, or that I've only been to the city once, and that was exactly a week before I moved to Utah. Or that I'm so far out in the country that the speed limit outside of my house is 55 mph. Or that across the road - not even a street - from my house is a cow pasture. Why would I do that?

As recently as a few years ago, I referred to my trips to New York as "going home". This confused even Darin; in planning, I'd refer to home and he wouldn't realize that I was talking about NY. And when I'd be in NY, I'd say, "I live in Utah," and the reaction would be almost the same caliber as the reaction I'd get in Utah to "I'm from New York". But my attitude on this has changed, and it used to have been reluctantly so. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I didn't want to be "from Utah". Going to Provo was supposed to have been transitory - to play in the band, go to school (or just play my guitar some more), then leave. Yeah, right. That's what I get, I suppose.

But.

My kids are from Utah. That's not bad, right? Some of my favorite people on the planet are from Utah. And now, as I write this, I'm sitting at my mom's computer, in Busti, New York, in the house that I grew up in. And I want to go home. Home to Provo, to the house that I live in with my husband and my children, where I receive my mail and get visitors. Where people compliment the red wall in my front room and laugh at my "duckie bathroom". Where I have one of the most stunning views I can imagine, right from my own bedroom window, and the mountains provide this certain kind of magic every morning that I love of sunlight before sunshine.

Given the choice of being a little too tough for there or a little too soft for here, I choose the former, with gratitude for my eastern style and strength.

After almost nine years of living there, I can be from Utah now.

4 comments:

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

Jenny,
that was lovely blog. I wish we could hook up while you are out here...how much longer are you staying...why are you there alone?
sorry I am not going to claim Jersey as home...no matter how long I plan to stay...its crazy here...crazy easterners!

Melissa said...

I have lived in Rochester for 6 years now, and yet I still say "going home" to mean Lakewood. I don't know why, I just don't feel like I'll get over that anytime soon. And when talking to my husband, going to "my house" or "your house" clearly means our parents' houses...but hey, I still have a room at mine, so it's MY HOUSE!

~j. said...

Yeah, I guess that's how I felt, even though I didn't get a bedroom (couch) until I was 16...now, different people live here, people that didn't when I did: Not my house.

LuckyRedHen said...

We were just on the Oregon coast where, pretty much, everyone is from OOT (out of town). I kept telling people that we're "from" Seattle but we happen to live in Utah for the moment. Linda teases me and says, "I told my husband we'd only live here a couple years and we're going on 16." Shoot me if I go past 5 (we're on our 3rd year) and bury me in Seattle.