I woke up this morning at 8:30, but more importantly – I did so voluntarily. For those of you who know me, I’m sure your jaw has dropped; you took a seat if for some ungodly reason you were reading my blog standing upright, and I’m sure a small percentage of you are so in shock that you’ve gone to seek medical attention. If you want a kicker – by noon I had played 16 holes of disc golf, purchased a bed, and then gone for a four mile run.
When I returned to my humble abode I laid my yoga mat in the backyard where I proceeded to practice to the sounds of my housemate Crystal playing the cello upstairs, her vibrato laden notes wafting out the window towards me as I looked up at the sky and wondered, “Is this a fucking dream?” and then decided adversely that if it was, I really didn’t want to wake up.
If you’re not in the mood to talk about life, and the possibility of how great and joyous and over-the-top remarkable it can be, now may be a good time to tap out, put on your Morrissey CD, stick your head in an oven and then channel Sylvia Plath. However, if you’re with me here, now may be a good time to light some patchouli incense, crack open a good local brew, sit outside in the sunshine, and feel all sorts of awesome.
First of all, I got here. I’m not going to lie – I was completely nervous out of my mind about driving across the country with only my cat, like some bizarro world version of Thelma and Louise. I half thought we’d meet the same fate; like have some really meaningful and profound adventure that was all great and feel good until we gunned it off of a canyon cliff to our death. Luckily, everything ended very anticlimactically with the two of us relatively unscathed, arriving safe and sound to our new home. Don’t get me wrong, we had some escapades. There were the torrential downpours in the Midwest that lasted an entire driving day, forcing me to pull over in rest stops to wait out the storms which could best be described as “doom falling from the sky.” It seriously hindered the distance I made but I mended my emotions by giving the rest stop vending machines a lot of business. Then of course the 60+ mph winds the next day that made up my entire last leg – those were really fun.
While I initially thought that driving alone would be incredibly taxing and difficult, it ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever done. I didn’t stop at any points of interests, nor did I see or stay with any friends along the way. I didn’t use it for introspection, to question my life or even life’s greater meaning. For three days, I thought about absolutely nothing. I sat with myself and then decided that if you can sit with yourself for three days, and feel totally contented – then you’re good to go. Because if you can’t hang out with yourself, then why would anyone else want to?
I arrived at my new home thanks to Google maps and a picture from my would-be roommate Emily: “This is what the house looks like,” she said, “Key’s under the mat.”As it was her birthday weekend she had plans and was out and about, which was perfectly fine as I wasn’t home three minutes before my friend Hannah showed up to single-handedly welcome wagon me back, champagne and flowers in tow.
Since then it’s been a barrage of new connections and the old – seeing faces I’ve missed terribly over the course of the last two years, meeting new people, and of course missing those whom I left behind. I received much encouragement, and love (not to mention an infinite amount of snapchats, text messages, and phone calls along the way) from my East Coast friends – something that kept me feeling grounded and connected as I journeyed forth. I wasn’t leaving to run away from anything or anyone, in fact – I grew to life my odd little life and community I created in Connecticut. I left because it was something I wanted, and I left for me.
Arriving on Emily’s birthday meant I arrived on the cusp of a celebration so there was that, followed by Salt Lake City Pride; and as a direct result – nesting and settling did not occur until the last two days.
I love where I live and I’m convinced my roommates are easily some of the best people who’ve ever existed on the planet. Emily – who endured two and a half years of graduate school with me, the yin to my yang, the Abbott to my Costello. Heidi, who is the absolute sweetest, and has become a fast friend. The other day as I grunted my way through the building of my bed frame she asked if I wanted a beer and I said something along the lines of sure but that I could come grab one myself, not wanting to make her go through the trouble of physically delivering one to me despite the fact she’d offered. She refused to accept my humbleness “But you’re working so hard, I can just bring you one!” It’s the little things.
It’s an estrogen heavy household for sure, but in the best way possible. We live on a street called “Bueno” Ave, so how could things not be destined to be good? There’s so much positive energy floating around this place I’m sure it spills out the windows when we open them. My roommates have made me feel beyond welcome, and haven’t kicked me out despite the fact I keep slyly adding cat decorations to our home when they aren’t looking. Speaking of cats, Penny – who usually hides for a good three days whenever we move somewhere new, took to the new digs from day one.
Whether it’s about the journey or destination, I can’t say – but all I can say is that I’ve finally arrived. There is something to be said about being happy whenever you go and not just whenever you go, and while that is warranted – I can’t help but to innately know my heart found its way home. I’m seeing the mountains though new eyes and am falling in love with Utah all over again. We’re in a relationship, it’s not complicated, and in true lesbian fashion: we’re moving fast.
I even found myself smiling at an obnoxious Mormon family of seven in the grocery store today because it held some sort of weird familiarity. While their overly Arian attributes and gaggle of uninhibited children will surely drive me crazy in a matter of weeks, I found it oddly settling at the time.
And as I sat this afternoon – sunburnt, sweating, and desperately out of breath after my run – I looked out in front of me, at the casual mountain landscape that was just like: “What’s up Tanya?” I couldn’t help but to be filled with gratitude for every little second of life that I’ve lived up until this point, and for whatever the heck the future brings. I left because it was something I wanted, and I left for me.