Sunday, September 12, 2010

Farewell Utah

Tomorrow afternoon I'm headed out to Chicago for the next few years to work for PwC. Last night I went to Porcupine Grill with a bunch of my friends and just tried to soak everything in.

We were going to go to a movie, but the movies showing either didn't look good or had already been seen by someone in the group, so, we opted to rent a movie.

We walked into Blockbuster and, let me tell you, that place was a ghost town. We commented on how empty the store was and Joe Boyer sheepishly asked the lady at the counter if the store was open at which point one of my friends responded, "Joe, don't insult them!"

Finding the right movie proved to be quite the challenge. I thought we were making some headway and then Cole approached me with two movies in hand: Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls and G.I. Joe.

"Which one do you want to watch?" he asked. The word 'neither' came to mind.

"Hmmm...that's a tough one," I said. I knew he wanted to watch Indiana Jones.

"Well, pick one. Or does neither one sound good to you?"

"Well, the newest Indiana Jones movie isn't good and neither is G.I. Joe."

Dave Smith chimed in, "Why don't we watch Million Dollar Baby? It won four academy awards."

Now we're talking. I had actually been wanting to see that show ever since I saw the "Hundred Dollar Baby" spoof they did on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Cole was trying to strong arm me into a mistake of a movie, but I was unshakable. Million Dollar Baby it was.

We got up to the check-out and asked Kristy, the lady at the counter, "Is Million Dollar Baby a good movie–like a movie you could see five dudes watching?" She affirmed.

Then Cole asked, "What about Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls?"

Without hesitation she said, "No one should watch that movie. That movie's awful." I was loving it.

"What about G.I. Joe?" Cole asked.

"Same boat as Indiana Jones," she replied. "Its' terrible."

"Kristy's a tool!" Cole muttered after exiting the store. As we were walking into Cole's house to watch the movie he said, "Well, I'm glad my last memory of Bob will be about how he ruined my night." It made me laugh really hard.

Maybe it was just because the movie was really sad, but as I was leaving Cole's, everything started to hit me. Moving to Chicago felt real for the first time. I was saying goodbye to my group of guy friends I've been best friends with for the past 11 years. I was saying goodbye to Salt Lake City. My college experience at BYU. Family. Basically everything familiar.

I didn't have a car at Cole's, so Joe offered to give me a ride home. As I walked outside Cole's house, I glanced back at him for a second, but quickly turned back towards the dark night to save myself: I was on the verge of tears.

I got into Joe's car and wondered if he could tell. I tried to subtly wipe away the occasional tears that strayed from my eyes and traveled down the sides of my face. Could he tell that the power in my voice was fading and starting to sound a little shaky?

Joe started reminiscing with me about how our last two years at BYU living at Jamestown 14 were some of his favorite memories. Staying up late with all of the roommates, hosting parties. "The times when all four of us were together were my favorite," he said. Oh no. Not now, Joe. Maybe right after we ate dinner, but not now. I can't handle sentimental now.

I did a good job of warding off the tears welled in my eyes by telling a couple of funny stories, but then I tried to be sentimental for a second and my voice completely gave out. I managed to get out a barely audible "sorry" and then my eyes unleashed an onslaught of tears I'd been bridling back for the first five minutes of the car ride. Joe turned down the radio and we just sat in silence for a few minutes. I alternated between crying and laughing, listening and talking for the last stretch of the ride. I knew a good cry was bound to happen, I just didn't think it would happen in front of people. But what better friend to have with me than Joe.

I'm probably making it sound like someone is dying or like I'm going off to war or something. I'm not. I'm just a kid about to go out on a new adventure, who doesn't know what the future will bring. A kid who knows that even though I'll probably be back in Utah every few months, things will never be the same. But they never are. Change is everywhere; but, I can choose to come out on top with some hard work and optimism. And puns.

I'll miss my mountain home, but I'm excited about Chicago.

I'm excited about the people in Chicago. I have a lot of close friends in the city and I'm so excited to be near to Johnny and Kica and their kids for the first year. Having family there will make the dearth of nieces and nephews and Sunday dinners a lot more bearable.

I'm excited about my job in Chicago. I'm a glutton for pain and decided to work for PwC Chicago from January to March 2009 so that I could experience the winter and the busy season. I figured if I could handle 80-hour weeks and a 20-below windchill that everything else about living in Chicago would be a pleasant surprise.

I'm excited about the growth opportunities in Chicago. I'm not talking about all the weight I gained during my winternship–I'm pretty sure the added girth can be attributed to my work paying for all of my meals. For a while I felt like I was on a cruise ship and kept ordering sandwiches and burritos with extra meat and extra cheese, but then I realized that I have to live with my body and simmered down a little bit. But, too little too late: the damage was done (the jamma jin jen?). Luckily for me, the weight I gain goes to my face first and leaves my cheeks last (still talking about my face), so the weight gain was barely noticeable to the average observer. After four months.–I'm talking about spiritual and maturing growth. I think I'll get a lot of life experience living in Chicago and that I'll learn a lot about making decisions, managing, relying on myself, but most importantly, relying on the Lord. I'll probably still need to solicit Mary's opinion on new clothes, though. Let's be honest.


Brooklyn and Dave said...

Good luck bob! I miss all you guys! Don't let your aunt poke ya in the eye:)

Carrie said...

This made me a little sad too Bob--we will miss you so much! That is why we have to come visit so soon :)

I think men should always ask women about new clothes so do keep Mary on speed-dial ;)