Attention 12-Year-Old Jill

24 Jan



Dermot Mulroney, a crush for all ages.

This weekend I was supposed to go home for the Sundance Film Festival.  Then reality hit, and the fact that I’m a student hit, and the fact that I have no money REALLY hit. And here I am, not in Utah.

This is a huge disappointment.  There are a lot of wonderful things about Utah–chocolate covered cinnamon bears, for one–but near that top of the Wonderful Things About Utah list is the Sundance Film Festival.  And I’m missing it.

When I was 12 if you had told me I would ever utter the sentence, “there are a lot of wonderful things about Utah” I wouldn’t have believed you. You see, at the age of 12, I moved from the perennial heat of Las Vegas to the frozen tundra of South Jordan, Utah. At the age of 12 I only had two words to describe my new home, “cold” and “weird.”

It didn’t help that because of my move I was forced to go to FOUR years of middle school.  Yes, 6th-9th grade I spent in a perpetual state of awkwardness.  I deserve some sort of medal for surviving that, and surviving it without the help of a straightener, to boot.  (Pictures will not be forthcoming.)

Over time and post the-longest-middle-school-experience-ever, things improved for me in Utah.  I purchased a pair of snow boots.  I made some amazing friends. Cafe Rio opened its doors. Eventually I went from the girl who hated Utah with a burning preteen passion to the girl who loves Utah, weirdness and all. I even find myself oddly protective of it now, in a I-still-make-fun-of-it-sometimes-because-you-have-to-laugh-at-yourself kind of way.

I wish I could go back and tell my 12-year-old self that it would all be okay.  That Utah would grow on her and eventually feel like home.  That one day she’d even order fry sauce to go with her Leatherby’s fries.

There’s no way she’d believe me, though.  12-year-old Jill still had a lot to learn.  Like what to do with her eyebrows.  Like why Mambo Number Five wasn’t the height of musical genius.  Like how to find the good anywhere she was.

I imagine if 12-year-old Jill had been able to read this and get a glimpse into her future, she would have rolled her eyes and said, “Whatever.  I’ll always and forever hate Utah.  Also, where did my life go so horribly off course?  What is this Kate Middleton girl doing with my man?”

Sorry, 12-year-old self.  You didn’t marry Prince William.  But you did learn to love Utah.  Call it a wash?

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One Response to “Attention 12-Year-Old Jill”

  1. Linnea January 27, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Oh, Jill. Where do I begin?

    Dermot Mulroney was my first big girl crush (as in, not JTT.) so I’m with you there…mmmm.

    You do deserve a medal for doing that much middle school. But the awkward years are a right of passage, and just about everyone goes through them. There are those random few that never have them. but whateves. They are probably deficient in other areas. Somehow.

    Leatherby’s fry sauce is the best. When I was back in Utah over the break it was on my must-do list.

    I like your blog.

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