give me a reason

How do you know where you want to live after graduation? I know this Place is mainly wherever the job takes you... but part of where the job is - is where you are applying for a job. (No, I am not the one who will be working, but obviously if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy). So back to my original question... what motivates you to choose the place where you want to live?

The reason I am asking is, despite my feelings of wanting to explore and experience anything and everything outside of our originations (SLC, Utah), we (Ummm, I mean Matthias) is feeling this gravitational pull to move back to Utah. This is such a recent development. Also recently discovered is that we have opposite desires of where we want to end up. I told our friends on Sunday that while I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting, I was thinking about what if we had to move back to Utah and was rather turned off about the idea. To which Matthias replied, "Hmmm, I was just thinking how nice it would be to go back." Now 1 day later, my mind has started to deviate from my firm statements of not wanting to move back.

I know, I know, you must think I am crazy for hesitating to move back. Family is in Utah, our ENTIRE FAMILY is there! This alone is such a major factor of what draws us back. I love you family, you know that. But.... there are also so many things I don't particularly love about living in Utah. When our friend asked me why, I said, "Because everyone is soooo...." and we both said "mormony?" at the same time. I don't know why it is that the mormonyness (new word) bugs me. I just have found I love being around such diverse people. Being outside of Utah I feel that practicing my religion is more a matter of faith and personal choice, whereas in Utah it is seems like a default choice because it is the culture, i.e. I do it because that is just what everyone does. I know this isn't the same feeling for everyone, but for me, it is. I also feel like there is such a competition in Utah that I don't feel here. Competition in houses, looks, and clothes. Utahans are beautiful to me, Utah homes are beautiful. Everything just looks beautiful, and I don't know if I really care or don't care, but I notice a feeling of competition when I am there - and it stresses me out. And I wonder about Utah schools, I would love my kids to go to great schools. I've heard that Utah schools struggle. Class sizes are huge. Then I wonder about what is better, to raise your kids surrounded by other kids of the same faith, or to raise them being one of few? Ty's best friend is not a member of my church, but lives and makes choices the way that I want Ty to live and make choices. These thoughts all seem so trivial, but at the same time, I don't know if I am done experiencing life outside of Utah. I love who I have become outside of Utah.

Can you give me reasons to move back to Utah? OR do you want to give me reasons to stay outside of Utah? Please comment and give me your thoughts!


Shawny said...

I love Utah because I grew up there. That being said, I'm all for having new adventures and "experiencing" life, so living in other places really appeals to me. However, if that's where you get a job and it's a good job, I say take it. Especially depending on the other offers or non-offers you might get. I thought lawyers were competitive in all things anyway, no? ;)

Karrie said...

no comment. you already know what i want......karrie.

Chris said...

Be happy? I agree with you. I have told Karrie I do not want to live in Utah since we got married. I completely understand you, and feel the same way.
Solution: We all move out of state. Problem solved!

Amelia said...

I could have written this myself, the conflict between family and liking like outside the UT. I agree with the perfectness...like you are always looking over your shoulder to see if everybody is noticing that you are being righteous, whereas here, I feel it is more natural and my choice. Plus, wards outside UT have a real family feel. I had a great ward growing up (Heritage 5th, let's hear it!) but I truly feel accepted and loved here for who I am. I'll be interested to know what you guys do. You'll fast and pray, and you'll know.

Jodie said...

I feel like it is super important to be near family. Currently my husband and I are not close to our families and we really wish we were. So I agree with Chris, you just need to convince your family to move somewhere else and your problem will be solved. :)

Lenzi Woodbury said...

OOOOH! You have said SO many things that hit straight to the heart for me! But I'm opposite (non-mormon member). I miss my family TERRIBLY! The option to just jump in the car & have Sunday Dinner at my Mom's, or go to a movie with her, or let my little boys play with my brothers, or see each others sporting events, etc. Those are the options that I don't have that make me sad. I grew up in SLC being a non-mormon which was hard at times but really made me figure out what I believed and what I am made of. However, I was surrounded by great people like you and others that make good choices, so I didn't have to try to hard to stay out of trouble. There are perks to both Anj. Good luck with your choice!! P.S. There are there is practically a church on every corner here in Las Vegas. Weird, huh?

janet said...

Deciding where to live is a battle, that's for sure. If it was up to me, I would move overseas and REALLY experience life. I would love to give my children cultural experiences (and awareness that comes from those experiences) that are not available here in the States. But on the other hand, is there anything more important than family? I am the only sibling in my huge family that doesn't live within 20 minutes of my parents.. I don't mind it so much, but I mind for my children. They don't realize what they are missing out on. They have 20 cousins who live down the street from each other. They have weekly sleepovers, birthday parties together, and get to play ALL the time. My kids are the ones never there. When they are young, it doesn't matter so much, but sooner or later they will become the outsiders. Not because anyone wants them to be, but because they are just not around-- they're not there to make the memories and they don't understand when an inside joke is cracked. I hurt for them because I know how INCREDIBLE it was to grow up near my grandparents and cousins. My husband never knew his extended family because they always lived so far away. As adults, he wouldn't recognize his cousin on the street because he never spent time with them. This is very sad to me. We have chosen Las Vegas because it's far enough away that we can have our own family lifestyle and at the same time hop in the car and be with family for the big events. Plus the market for attorneys is great and it's warm! We have found a place that fits and YOU WILL TOO. Life goes on after school!!

And about the whole competition in Utah, I see where you're coming from, but I think you can chose not to compete. It's all about where you put your priorities. You also have to not judge others who you think are trying to keep up with the Joneses because they are probably very down to earth people. Anyway, that is totally a different discussion. Good luck with your BIG decision.

EconomouNews said...

Andrea, i have been following your blog for a while now and i love reading about all the amazing things you do with your kids. you are a great mom. i (we) also struggle with where we are going to end up. eli is graduating in Dec, and I am right behind him May. It is very hard and scarey.
I have never been one to stay in one place for very long. i love the adventure of going to a new place and meeting new people. it kinda feels like you are starting fresh.
That being said, i have lived in Ut. There are so many things about ut that i liked. the people were nice, it was clean, and famliy is central. However, the people are all the same.
I think you are totaly justifed in wanting your children to grow up with people that are diffferent than them. IT reinforces their own beliefs and it teaches them that different it not bad or worse, it is just different. different is good, it is wonderful.
So there are my 2 cents.
i am starting to blogg myself. i am just figuring it out.
thanks for the insprition.
you cuz, alisa

Anonymous said...

Hey Andrea!
I liked this post because I can totally relate to this. When we first moved to IN I was so miserable. We had no friends, fanmily-Baptist church, etc. You know the drill. But once I got settled in, I discovered that good friends are your family as well. Being around new and/or different people has always fascinated me. We can all learn a thing or two from one another. Anyway, now that I'm home-I'm homesick for IN. We're weighing our options in NC. (Just over the smoky mountains from TN.) I think home is where you're the most happy. Here, there, or UT? God will deliver you.
Miss ya,

My Many Coloured Days said...

"To be or not to be, that is the question, whether 'tis nobler to live in Utah with family or live with the apostates in some foreign nation..."

Who knows. If you get a choice, then it will have to be a personal "couple" choice. I assume that means a lot of mormony things like fasting and praying. Or maybe the Lord will direct you before you get to that point with just ONE option! You never know.

We've lived so many places and learned to love them all in time. But really it comes down to your own little family and being together with them. Enough advice... sorry.

Brad and Marci said...

So a pang of excitement came over me and one of sadness also. I of course would love you all to move back but I get what you mean about you loving who you've become. Hey I know there is a ton of diversity where I love move by me:)
In all seriousness, I have struggled with finding out who I am today verses who I was. It is hard around the "norm" but I am slowly figuring it out and changing and I like it! I hear you on the whole competition thing, it has been very humbling to mention where I live to those who have way better. I have also learned about the people I don't want in my life and the people I need in my life (you are a need for sure) and I have learned to tell people where to shove it if they bug me and I love that.
The gospel I have learned I can't live without through being a mom and being a wife. I can't go a day without it and I have learned that through trial and error and I will also keep learning I think.
Bottom line is bring back who you are now! If not then I am coming where ever you guys are to visit. Let things take you where they are supposed.
I love you Anj!

Justin said...

How is this an issue? Don't go back. You got out once--don't let them suck you back in again, this time for good.

My daughter says I'm not cool said...

Your home is where you make it. Even if it is somewhere you don't expect or somewhere you don't want to go.Personally I think you should stay here

Hoosier Mama said...

Justin???? Who are you? Sheen?

Brianne & Jarod said...


I hope you don't mind me leaving a comment. I have been wanting to do this for a long time. I have REALLY enjoyed reading your blog, and think it would be a BLAST to live by you. I am so impressed and moved by the amazing woman that you have become, and your strength as a wife, mother, and daughter of God.

My husband Jarod just graduated from law school in May. There were a couple of factors we looked at when making a decision. First thing was that Jarod (growing up in Las Vegas) was not a huge fan of Utah because of the "Mormony" thing...he liked the idea of our children being raised somewhere would they would have the opportunity to REALLY show who they are and what they believe. Also, everyone from my immediate family moved out of Utah, so for us there wasn't a pressing reason to go back. (although I really really miss my friends sometimes)I will always LOVE Utah, but I think mostly because of its geographical nature..(camping, skiing, boating..)more than anything else. I LOVE having all four seasons, and miss seeing the mountains during the fall.

We also decided to look somewhere where the cost of living would be good so that we could pay our student loans back quickly. We ended up choosing a clerkship/firm in Houston, TX. (the fact that all my family lives here had an effect on our choice, but wasn't the deciding factor) The cost of living was good, the job market for lawyers was good, and our children would be exposed to more diversity.

Mostly though, we came because we KNEW this is where the Lord wanted us to go. Our prayers were answered and it was made clear that there was "work" here for us to do. It has been nice to be close to family. I miss North Carolina a lot, and can't say that we will be here permanently, but know it was the right choice.

It is a VERY BIG decision, but one I have no doubt you and Matthias can make :) Good luck!! oh and sorry for the novel :)

Brianne Wallace Stewart

Zacchary Lang Sayer said...


I love you guys. Move wherever you guys feel is right. I love you all mucho grande.

ads said...

I think you have gotten tons of good responses to your burning question - practical things to think about. It all comes down to where you and Matthias feel is the right place to live. I know you will feel peace and excitement when the decision is made.

That being said, I will back up some of the comments by saying that you can't discount the importance of family in your life and the lives of your little ones. It was such a blessing for me to have wonderful grandparents that were close enough to teach me little life lessons on almost a daily basis. Their unconditional love was such an anchor for me. Also, I was super good friends with my cousins and loved spending time with them. They will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Your brothers and sisters on both sides of the family can be a great support to you, more so if you are all close in proximity.

I really believe that your children's quality of education will come from your involvement and expectations for them. If you encourage their curiosity and love of learning, they will make better use of their time in school. You will find good and bad teachers in any school they attend. You will be the constant.

We love you and your little family and support your BIG decision, wherever it may take you.

Sus said...

You want to move to Utah the way we wanted to move to Indiana... and at the exact same time to be expats in central Mexico. I hear you. And although I will say that having grandparents nearby is positively priceless, I still feel a little jipped out of my expatriate dream. The grass will always be greener, I guess. Somehow I get the feeling that you won't put down roots in Bloomington, huh? So we lose either way. :)

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