home is a fire

1:32 AM

What's your name? Where are you from? What are you studying? I wish I could count how many times I have asked and BEEN asked those three questions in my collegiate career. I wouldn't be surprised if it reaches the thousand range by the time I leave BYU. I went to my new singles ward last Sunday. After an hour of socializing I could not handle one more awkward handshake, one more awkward conversation with a recent returned missionary and I could NOT stand the "where are you from" question one more time. 

Name? Not that hard. I'm Lauren Smith. Most common last name in the US, it's all pretty easy to spell with some pronunciation troubles in the first name. (Loh-ren, not Lah-ren). But we can breeze past this question quickly enough. 

Major? Meh, sometimes I say Communications and then people think business. Sometimes I say Journalism. Sometimes I say Communications with an emphasis in Journalism. Sometimes I say Journalism in the Communications program. I like to shake things up. Generally this question is responded with some slightly bewildered looks, some "Oh you don't hear that very often!"'s and some "So is journalism going to be obsolete in 5 years?"'s. 

The where are you from question, though. This is a struggle. I have hated saying I'm from Utah ever since I moved to Springville in 2001. And really, I love Springville. It's home in more ways than it's not. But I grew up in Wisconsin. Minnesota. It's Minnesota. I realize that this post will probably just open a can of worms with a few select friends of mine who think it's funny to try and convince people I'm from Wisconsin. *COUGH JULIE CLINGO COUGH* Let the record show: I'm not from Wisconsin. I'm from MINNESOTA. For realsies, I was born there and my family spent 20 years there. The relationships and friendships that my family and I have from there are among the most precious friendships that we could ever ask for. My heart is with Minnesota. 
These are all around '97ish besides the 2nd one which was taken in 2001 right before we moved

So here are my response options:
-Option 1 is just to say Minnesota. I mean, I was born there and technically spent longer there than Springville. But I have come to the conclusion that I can't really respond Minnesota just by itself. It's been over 10 years since I lived there. I'll be real. 

-Option 2 is just to say Springville. Generally this works out okay for me, tbh. I know a lot of people from Springville. I know every back road to Reams and twenty different ways to get to Mapleton. But then two things could happen (and both have happened to me) 

1---The person asking me ends up being from Minnesota. I say "woahhh where?" And they say "Oh, Twin cities ish." "No where?." "Ah you probably won't know but Minnetonka." "No way, I grew up in Eden Prairie, do you know so and so?" "Yeah! Wait I thought you said you were from Springville..." 

2---"Oh did you go to Springville High? What year did you graduate?" "Well actually I was only there my freshman and sophomore year." "Oh?" "Yeah I mean I would have graduated in 2010 but then I moved." "Oh where did you move to?" "Tahiti." "Wait whuuuuu?" 

So generally this question is responded differently every time. My go-to is "Grew up in Minnesota, moved to Springville when I was 11 and my family is there now." But either way it turns the conversation complicated. 

Life's tough, guys. 

Anyway, I visited Minnesota just a few weeks ago to see my best big brother Adam. And, I kid you not, I have only felt that good stepping off an airplane one other time in my life and that was the last time I visited Minnesota when I was 14. It FEELS like home. The air is different. Minnesota nice. Target. Lakes. Trees. Mall of America. Downtown. Great parks. Twins games and the Target field. GREEN. Target. Good eating. So many friendly and happy people. Apples. Music. The snow gets tedious but it sure is pretty. Minnesoooota accents dontcha know aboot that? Also, Target? 

Back to those pictures up there briefly. Besides the part where I'm super cute (I know, right?) there's something about them that captures a lot of my love for both Minnesota and my childhood. There is something safe and special preserved there. It's just... happy. Happy in a place I loved with great friends, a great school, a great neighborhood, and great snow. I remember my parents telling me that we were going to move to Utah and despite the great prospect of being close to my then newly-wed sister and brother and law, I was devastated to leave. I wasn't just leaving behind a place I loved, but a childhood bliss that could never be equaled in a different location.

I may have more connection to Springville. I may know more people and know the town better and my family might live there now. But there is something that I just FEEL about Minnesota. I love it so much. My heart is there, and I re-realized that this summer. 
Nothing without my A Smith as my tour guide and fellow WNBA fan (not really. We just went to a game. And that MVP Maya Moore chick was pretty awesome)
 Yupp. Same swing set.

But all that emotion/feelings stuff isn't very easy to convey in response to a four-word question, you feel me?

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  1. Woot, woot for Minnesota. And for the feeling of home. Um, you just had to write this on the very week that I was supposed to be going home to MN for my reunion but can't, didn't you?

  2. Colol. :D I like Wisconsin so I imagine Minnesota is like... way cooler. ;) Btw, I might go live in Chicago! Weird, huh?

  3. Hahaha. Completely unintentional, Brookie. We'll just have to go together sometime. :)

    And Beth say whuuuuuuuu???


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