**as always a warning, I am NOT a great writer at all! I post whatever comes to my mind, I don’t always go back and proofread it. I just type and go! Please don’t judge me.*
Ok first, that line reminds me of That Thing You Do! “Skitch, How did we get here?” “I led you here, for I am Spartacus.”
Ok. Now that we have the origin of the title clear. This post isn’t about a movie. It’s a long overdo post about how I got to Illinois “the land of Lincoln!” (Back away from the movie lines Elyse…).
Let me tell you. I was just as shocked about moving out here as everyone else. It happened in a matter of weeks! It was crazy! So…let me tell it to you.
It was the end of May, early July 2013. I was stressed & tired with life. I felt more alone than ever. I knew because of living situations & friends/roommates moving out that I needed to be out of my place by July 31st. Normally I planned better than that but things were happening that I couldn’t fully control and that’s just how the cookie was crumbling. I knew because of what was happening I could get out, finally escape Provo. Now before I have people hating on me let me explain. I lived in Provo for 6 wonderful years. I had amazing experiences, met some of the best people ever, I loved it! But there were many times I wanted and should have escaped but I kept feeling like the time wasn’t right. I always felt like I couldn’t leave my friends, my job, the life I was living. At this moment in my life however I knew, it was time. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This was my time. The only downside was I had no where to go, no job to get to, no idea what direction I should head. I was more lost than ever!
So what did I do? I prayed…and emailed my family. I asked them to pray and fast with me. I needed help, I needed guidance. I needed to know what the heck I should do! I also decided to take a trip up to my parents in Eastern Oregon. It was perfect timing too since many of my siblings were able to come at the same time. During that trip I was out doing stuff on my car with my dad and asking him his thoughts on this life change I knew was coming. He told me, “it isn’t a matter of where you go, just that you go.” At first I thought, what?! That is my advice? I am lost, I need help! I need directed! But he was right, I knew the Lord wanted me to go, I felt it. I had to put my faith in Him and know that whatever happened would work out.
On my drive home from my parents (a long 10ish hour drive…) my brother Vernon Lee called me. He told me that he and Lisa knew I w as planning on moving somewhere and that if I wanted to go out and visit them for a week just to check out the Chicago area I could. I thought, “Chicago? Illinois?! I haven’t even been east of Denver!!” I thanked him for the offer but kind of laughed it off. I mean, Illinois…really? Ha, that’s funny. Or so I thought. When I got back from my parents I had about 3 weeks before I needed to move out. THREE WEEKS PEOPLE!! I started sending my resume to a few places. I looked in Salt Lake City (hey…at least it wasn’t Provo!) and in Boise. I even thought about heading back to Washington. And just for kicks I sent my resume to my brother who sent it to someone in the church. Next thing I know I am tagged in an email sent to many people in the ward saying that I needed a job and they had it on good authority that I was a hard worker, etc. It was a funny and shocking email. I was impressed! As for the closer options, no one had responded to my resume yet.
The Friday of that week (2 & 1/2 weeks to the end of the month when I would be more of less homeless (still hadn’t found a new place to live) I got a call from a guy who left a message saying he got my resume from someone in the church, that he had a DME company in Illinois and that he was going to be in Utah that next week and wanted me to call him. I did and set up an appointment for that next Monday morning at 7am before I went into my job at the doctor’s office. July 15th, 2013. 7am. I met with a guy at Einstein Bagels in Orem, Utah. He interviewed me and basically offered me the job on the spot but said he would send me an official offer via email. I was pumped. And freaked out. I went into work that day more nervous than anything. I had been working for the two doctors for over 5 years. They were all like family to me. What would they say? What would they do? I worried. But there was still that part of me that knew. This was my time. I needed to stop living my life for everyone else. It was time to be a little selfish. Do what was best for me! The next day, July 16h, I received the email offer. At that moment I knew. After prayers, fasting, meditation. This was it. Illinois. The place I laughed at when it was first offered to me, was the place I was heading to. I went straight into the doctor’s office and gave my two weeks. The timing was crazy. Offered a job exactly two weeks out from the end of the month. Two weeks to give to my current employers. Two weeks to wrap up my 6 years of life in Provo. Two weeks…and I would be gone.
It was also perfect timing that my new boss just happened to be in town visiting family. He had his SUV with him since his family had driven out and so he ended up getting a U-Haul and hauling most of my things across country for me a week before I went out. So let’s recap that shall we? My new boss, called me on a Friday after getting my resume, just happened to be in Utah even though he lives in Illinois right at the moment when I needed a job somewhere and could haul my things out for me. Many mighty miracles right? Right.
The last couple weeks in Provo were very hard on me. I was going through a time where I felt like all my friends had just disappeared, that they just didn’t care anymore. I know now that wasn’t the case. There were a lot of circumstances involved. A lot of hurt feelings all around, if I could change some of what happened I would. But I see it all as a blessing. Looking back I honestly believe that the Lord had to make me feel that way in order to get me to leave. Remember what I said before? Other times I thought about leaving Provo it just hadn’t felt right. I felt like people needed me. Not anymore, I felt the lowest of lows, and I needed that. I needed it to start over. To work on myself. To take this chance. I was lucky to have family close by that helped me. I don’t think they even know what they did for me those last two weeks. I survived them because of their help (Ry & Trish that was all you! Love you guys so so much!).
July 31st, 2013. I got up early with my old 97 Camry packed full and headed out of town. Mt Timp never looked as beautiful as it did as I was driving up Provo canyon and away. I hadn’t said many goodbyes. Partly because I didn’t think some people wanted to say them to me and partly because I knew it would make it so much harder (so if you are mad at me for that…trust me, I am so sorry!). I took my time on the drive. It was a time of reflection, many tears, some smiles, and a whole lot of singing in my car. Three days later and I was in Illinois. A week later and a tree fell on my car (but that’s another miracle story…).
Now you may wonder how I am doing here. I mean, so many miracles to get me out here must mean my life is perfect, right? Wrong. I still don’t know why I was sent here. I may never know. I just know that it was right. I moved forward in faith and that is what I will keep doing. Life isn’t easy, it never will be. That’s part of the test! But if we trust and have faith we will always move forward. That I know and believe.
To conclude? Utah? I love you. I always will. Illinois? As the Carpenters sang, it’s “only just begung” but I love you already.
Life is hard but wonderful. I laugh. I cry. I sing. I dance (really bad, but I still dance!). I hope. I love. I just hope you all do the same. 🙂 Until next time my friends!