10/4/08

Did you know Salt Lake City is really a city? Me neither.

There is a scripture somewhere in the Book of Mormon that says something like, "the people were converted by the Spirit of God and they knew it not." I read that sometime last semester and I remember thinking, "How could your countenance be changing and you not know it? If I suddenly felt happy and good and wanted to become my best self, I would probably suspect something was up. How could they not know?"

I will tell you how that happened in my life. I think it has something to do with small and simple things.

My first shock came when I-15 went from two lanes to three and then four. "Oh ya, four-lane highways are the norm. I forgot what those looked like."
Then the sun set and the valley floor sparkled, and I remembered that it does that here.
I saw a billboard advertisement for an elite health club and thought, "Are there actually people who care that much about what they look like?" Then I remembered that I'm a Gold Member there. I looked down at my wallet and could see the card that proves it, with "Miss" preceding my name, and alongside it is a slender looking picture of myself. I was embarassed.
Shooting past downtown Salt Lake, I caught a glimpse of some once familiar social hot-spots. The sports bat where we would go after Jazz games to catch Sports Center and laugh as we split baskets of fries. Seeing the large block letters of NORDSTROM was as close as I've ever come to waking from a coma and remember the life you left. I've been deleting their emails about new arrivals and the mark down of old ones without even a blink.
Salt Lake really is a metropolis crawling with unquenchable consumers and salted with businesses all selling some form of pop culture. I never considered myself as a "city girl". I never really considered Salt Lake a city. I knew it was developed and more people seemed to flood here every year, but it still didn't qualify as a a real "city" in my mind. It was like Salt Lake had been unveiled and although all the streets looked exactly as I remembered them; I had never really seen this place. Where was I when I was growing up? I can't be a city girl, that isn't me. If I were a cartoon and wearing the same outfit everyday, I would pick my favorite AE shorts, Chacos, and a Patagonia sweater. City girl? I think not.
But regardless of how I view myself, I think I have a mental facade because now the true life I used to lead is very apparent.
When I came home, I opened the fridge and literally almost cried tears of thanksgiving. I don't remember ever having that much food. What I do remember is opening the fridge after practice and ordering pizza because there was nothing to eat.
I went down to my room, walked into my closet, and wished I could donate it all (some with the tags still on them.) 
Yes, I was a city girl.
I asked my mom if she was excited for General Conference. She told me that she was, and then raved about all the seafood she had ordered from her favorite caterer for us to eat in between sessions.
And now i sit in my room, remembering how comfortable a bed can be, and feeling like a big greedy pig. Now I see it. I grew up in the city.

Somewhere in these four weeks I was changed. I was transformed from what my society had made me into, to being grateful that my '97 Camry still has two hubcaps.

I was changed and I knew it not. 

19 comments:

iBo said...

Wow Britt, funny how this sort of thing sneaks up on you huh? When I finally go home after being gone forever again, I can't wait to see what I've forgotten.

PS- welcome to the blog!

Mama Dunn said...

Hey Britt: Wow that was so beautiful. I rarely read something that has such an ability to make me feel any kind of emotion. You have an amazing talent. I too have felt the difference that new experiences can make in changing who you really are and how you look at things. Thank you again for the lovely pictures, I will treasure them forever. Love you

Blindboydunn said...

BRITTSTER, I think your writing ability is out of this world! I haven't read to many of your writings, but what I have read I've learned a lot! Your always teaching me new things!! I'm touched by the things you write & they make me want to be better! Thank You plus you would make a really cute cartoon character! Love ya lots!!

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

I was trying to figure out which female writing assistant would wear a Patagonia sweater.

I enjoyed this and your awareness of the small examples of the type of life you live. If anything, going to school in Rexburg makes you grateful for culture and varied foods.

Friday night, I went to a new non-alcoholic bar and lounge in downtown Provo. A got a drink with hot lemon at the bottom of the thin glass with iced Coke at the top. It was $3.50, but they only charged me for the $6 toasted wafers of bread and smooth bean dip I ordered as a side. Lightbulbs glowed in the air, hung from the black ceiling. Art other than country landscape scenes adorned the black walls. Also, it stayed open past midnight.

I loved it. Maybe before Rexburg I wouldn't have cared.

Sky said...

Hmmmm. . . It's interesting to read Britt and Matthew Esq's comments. I feel like they zipped past each other and didn't touch. Or is that just me too full of orange and red leaves reflecting in a green river, and fat ducks squawking at the geese flying south overhead, and the grace and compassion that just zoomed from the SLC Conference Center into my living room with its calico cat sleeping on a purple carpet? Sometimes the peace of living by a river makes it hard to relate to city living (though I agree with Britt; I've never thought of SLC as much of a city).
But, I have walked through the Vatican (and I remembered those walks through Rome this weekend), marveling at Michaelangelo's paintings as much as I marvel at my green river flowing past my deck--feeling overcome with awe at both. And now we are building a temple in Rome (and, Ivor, wow, another in my favorite rodeo city in Canada). I don't think it matters much where we've come from. We're global now; especially your generation will be international--universal. Places we defend are not so important.
It matters most how high our faith is right now, how kind we are right now, how humble and how close to Heavenly Father we are right now, how respectful we are of each other right now--where ever that is in terms of an earthly place. Territory is small stuff. It's all very beautiful.
I believe we are strangers here anyway. As Wordsworth implies, our real home is somewhere else. How interesting it'll be to see what's in our closets when we get back to our real home.

Sky said...

Hey, Back East people--Julie, Jami, Emily--is another temple being built in your backyard also? I thought I heard that announcement, but didn't dare get too excited for you until we heard from you. We miss you.

Emily Goodsell said...

Sis Morgan,

They did announce a temple in Philadelphia. Maybe we should all make a trip back to see our Easterner friends for the ground breaking. If only that WC fund was unlimited. All those still working at the WC: you need to pick it up with the pizza fund. Turn it into the traveling fund.

Sky said...

That would be some trip, EmPo. Maybe we should start saving for it now. Wouldn't that be a great reunion at a great event? I loved conference. Hope you got to hear all of it--a giant crane lifting us out of pot holes in the road, huh?

iBo said...

i think ever since i've heard you ask the question "where is home?" in seminar, i've been haunted by it. Where is home?

i think our pizza fund died. Someone owes money to the fund still.

Sarachel said...

Thank you, Britt, for your post. For you and anyone else new to the blog, I'll introduce myself. My name is Sara or Sara Lee. I used to work in the Writing Center.

You've probably already heard from the other assistants, but I'll tell you anyway: the Writing Center is an amazing place to work. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Emily Goodsell said...

The pizza fund died? Oh great. First our economy crashes, and then the WC pizza fund crashes.

Matthew R. Hall, Esq. said...

The fund went months ago--really, the decline of pizza funds are the first sign of economic clouds gathering.

Also, I'll put the money back when I have some cash. Geesh.

iBo said...

Do I hear government bailout?

Sarachel said...

You people disgust me. The pizza fund thrived when I was still around.

Chan said...

I think Matt dealt the death blow to the pizza fund when (I'm just going to lay it out on the table here) he took a FIVE DOLLAR BILL and left an IOU. About a year ago. The IOU is still there.

Sky said...

Sara is right to be disgusted. GET THE MONEY BACK IN NOW. We have certain emergency needs (like the amount of scribblers we have to type tomorrow night) that must be funded with money for food. No more IOUs, you Slackers.

iBo said...

I say we pass a bill that gives Sister Morgan emergency powers to do whatever with the money, and to help us out of this economic disaster.

Chan said...

Ivor, I oppose your motion because I believe that an administrative bailout would not eliminate the true source of the problem, namely our troublesome IOUing habits. On the contrary, an administrative bailout would simply send the message to certain assistants that borrowing money they cannot pay back is an acceptable practice with no noteworthy consequences, subsequently perpetuating the problem.

Sarachel said...

Chan, you sound so smart and important. I guess everything's changed since I left...