Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to the Bubble

You know, I'm having a hard time adjusting back to Utah life. See, if you've ever lived outside Utah, you know that there's a bubble you cross over to get into Utah, where life isn't the same as everywhere else.

I'm not meaning it in a mean way, its just the way I see it.

When we first left Utah, I noticed how differently everybody dresses. It didn't matter if they were 10 or 70, they were wearing a tank top and short shorts. Or people were actually smoking! Or cursing! Or they had piercing and tattoos all over!! Shocking I know, people really live like that! *note the sarcasm* The billboards went from "Temple Square" to "Triple X!!!"

It slowly came back to me, that oh yeah, this is normal. This is how it is everywhere. People are people and you're not surrounded by Mormons. I don't know why its so shocking, I've lived in Utah for five years, outside of Utah for over twenty, it shouldn't be that shocking. But when you see the same thing every day and then suddenly you see the exact opposite, it startles.

Not that either way is better or worse. Its the way it is. I'm just having trouble adjusting back into the Utah life where people have no idea how bad life can be. Where you don't see homeless people on every block. Or crack addicts walking down the street. Where your next door neighbor is a child molester or selling drugs. When police sirens are like background music, and gangs are just a part of life. Where all that is common. And where you deal with it because that's just life, and life is still good.
(I'm also not saying that those things don't happen in Utah, but I honestly just don't think its the same. So shoot me. No don't, I have so much to give!)

And really its not any one's fault, they don't know what its like "on the outside" (doo do doo do), I just wish they could see the gospel outside the border. Where the chapel is half full but people sing the hymns as loud as they can, where you see the missionaries every Sunday and there's new baptisms constantly. Where you have eight women on your visiting teaching list and you really have to pull together because your neighbor's a transvestite (although they're very nice and have great taste in shoes).

The Gospel is true wherever you go, I know that. Just sometimes I really want to pop that bubble. :)


  1. One of my most favorite church experiences was a few years ago, in Harlem. The second counselor looked like a pimp. He looked like Huggie Bear. And I'm not even joking. But it was the same gospel. It was very cool.

  2. I completely agree. I only lived outside of Utah for 1 year but in that year, I had my eyes opened!
    There are pros and cons to both for me. Sometimes I think I would like my kids to experience life outside the bubble. I don't know.

  3. I agree with you about the whole bubble thing. I have never lived in Utah but these are the things I would appreciate the most if I lived there:
    Having a chapel practically on every other block, a temple within 10 minutes from where you live, being surrounded for the most part by people with the same morals and ideals, being able to buy church books at Walmart, having wonderful uplifting cultural events regularly, having General Authorities at Stake Conferences more than once every 5-10 years, and on and on; these are the advantages I see to living in Utah. As someone living outside of the Utah bubble I yearn for these blessigs and opportunities.
    On the other hand, living here in the state of Washington, I have had some wonderful opportunities to serve in leadership callings in my ward and stake that I probably wouldn't have living where there is such a concentration of talented members.
    There is something to be said about living both places. I guess the point of my comment is that we need to bloom wherever we are planted. Enjoy what we have and not yearn for what we don't.

    Sorry to ramble on. I guess you struck a cord with me with this post, please don't take offence or think that I am disrespecting you in any way. I love your blog and all of the honesty you share with complete strangers. Your sense of humor is your most precious quality and I look forward to each and every post.

    Hugs to Ya,


    "No don't I HAVE SO MUCH TO GIVE"

    LOL oh i love ya!

    and I agree. It is hard having it be SO OPPOSITE! It feels like a magnifying glass is on you every where you go in Utah. and I felt like it only made the bad things I did look bigger and worse.

  5. I have the opposite problem...kinda. Whenever I go TO Utah, I am shocked by the bad stuff I see. I guess because I think it shouldn't be normal to see bad stuff, so it stands out more to me.

  6. I do love the "mission field" but hate the billboards in Vegas...larger than life porn!

  7. When I first started writing this post, I had to go back and re-write it because it was probably too serious and I didn't want to offend anyone, so thank you all for being so nice!
    Connie, you haven't offended me at all! I totally understand what you're saying, and first off I want to say that I love Utah! We've had wonderful experiences and we've loved the opportunities we've had. The only thing I want to say about what you would appreciate about Utah, is that (in general) the people here *don't* appreciate those things. When the temple is 10 minutes away, you take it for granted. All of the things you listed are NICE, but not necessary to have a good gospel experience. I'm tired of people here who think their problems are so big when in reality they're nothing. Everyone has trials and hardships and I don't mean to diminish theirs, I just mean to say I hear a whole lot of whining around here. And thats their own deal and thats fine, its just a slap in the face when I go home and see what life could really be like and come back to Utah and see people who are so rich in blessings and don't even understand it. I have three friends in the last little bit who've gotten boob jobs, what in the world would posess these fantastically beautiful women to need that? Just one example thats shocking to me. (Not that LDS women outside of Utah don't get boob jobs, I'm just saying its REALLY common here.)
    And now I'm sounding super judgmental and I don't mean it that way either, I'm just really trying to say I love Utah, I love outside Utah, but there are some huge differences I've noticed. :)
    Hope that made any sort of sense.

  8. I have lived "outside the bubble" my whole life and I think it would be weird for me to go to a place and not hear cursing and smell cigarette smoke and all that stuff. It would be nice, but weird.

  9. I won't shoot you because I agree. I lived in Utah for nine years and I'm by no means a hater, but things really are different there.

  10. It is kind of a culture shock to drive through Vegas. Or LA. And then come back to Utah.

    I think you're right. But I think that you're also missing something. All those things that you say aren't in Utah, well they aren't as prominent and that makes them all the more scary. There are gangs. There are crack addicts (only most Utah natives are too naive to recognize them for what they are. . .) There are more child molesters here than you would think. Some of them are members. But people don't think about that. They are very trusting and loving and so when it comes out that a man who has been serving as a nursery worker was caught molesting the children (yep. true story. feel free to go throw up now) it is a huge betrayal and everyone is shocked. Even though the church has it in place that men should not serve in primary callings alone, everyone thinks, oh, it will be okay. He's a good man. We trust him with our children.

    See the problem?
    Do you see what I'm saying?

  11. I did say they were in Utah just not in the same way as everywhere else, I totally agree with you. And you also sort of proved my point that most natives are just naive to it, thats the bubble I'm talking about. They can't even see what goes on around them, they live in the whole "happy valley" mentality. Its the small minded-ness that starts wearing on me. Just as an example, when the school year starts and people's kids start walking to school, they get so freaked about it and all I can think is that I walked to school in COMPTON--its gonna be okay. Sheesh. (I totally get they should be careful and protect their kids and all that too... I could talk in circles for hours couldn't I?)

    And like I said, its not anyones fault when thats just the way their whole life has been, they don't know any different. Really, all that is fine, the only reason I brought it up was because it was such a prominent observation I made when we got back from vacation, its just on my mind. :)

  12. I've lived in utah for 10 years now, but in my prior life I came from Maryland. Whenever I leave Utah, I almost feel free. I guess it's because I can assume that most everyone is not LDS and so I don't judge them for how they are dressed (or not dressed), or what they say or what they smoke, and so on. I do try hard not to be judgmental, but it seems much easier when you know people don't have the same standards.

    I also miss the feeling at church in the outside world, that you are all working towards a common goal. Those that really want to be there are there, instead of just going because they are expected to be there.

    Other than that, I love Utah :o)! It is refreshing to have so many stay at home moms around, and to be in the majority when I don't go out drinking after work. Even in the hospital (where I work), there is much less profanity and crude talk when with colleagues. People in general seem to be more family oriented- even those that are not LDS.

    Thanks for the perspective. I'll have to stop by your blog again!

  13. I don't think it is a very fair generalization to say that all people who live in Utah take for granted things like the temple being so close. Have you seen the parking lots at the temple? Maybe it's you who takes it for granted....I'm just saying. I also don't think it is at all fair to claim that just because a person lives in Utah and is surrounded by Mormons that their problems aren't that big. What seems like a huge problem for one person may seem very small to another and vice versa. People in Utah struggle just as much as people in other parts of the country, their problems might not be the same but they are still problems.
    You're right about one thing though, the Church is true no matter where you go which means it shouldn't matter if you live in Utah or out of Utah to have a good experience.
    And honestly, I don't know what someone's boob job has to do with this topic.

  14. You just contradicted yourself, a generalization is a GENERALIZATION, I never once said ALL people in Utah take things like the Temple for granted.

    You know what, take it like you want it, but you didn't read what I said at all. If you want to be offended go for it.

    You're from Utah aren't you?

    And you've had a boob job haven't you?

  15. You said 'that (in general) the people here *dont* appreciate those things. When a temple is 10 minutes away you take it for granted.' If you don't mean ALL then who do you mean? You have no idea what people do and don't take for granted.
    And who cares how people dress? I have seen a whole bunch of people within the last 24 hours wearing all sorts of different clothing.
    I even went to a fast food place and the worker there had piercings all over the place WITH tatoos. I am not sure where you are living in Utah, but it most definitely must be in a bubble. YOUR OWN BUBBLE!

  16. Do you not know what "in general" means? Obviously not. So I'm not even going to say anything else about it. And obviously you have never even been outside of Utah, since all I was stating was that things are different outside of Utah. Thats a fact.

    And wow, you really got me there: YOUR OWN BUBBLE! Sheesh that was deep. Really stung that did.

    To be honest you're pretty much proving my whole point, but really I have pretty much no respect for someone who has to leave a rude comment anonymously, you're a coward. Atleast I can share my feelings right out loud with my own name. Its pretty easy to come to someone else's blog, press anonymous and act like a jerk. I applaud you.


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