Monday, October 26, 2009

Reflections on Leaving Logan

For the last several weeks I've been thinking about what it will mean to me to leave Logan. I've lived here for four years, and have come to think of it as my home. Not my second home, or my home away from home, but my actual home. Whenever I go back to Bountiful, I say that I am going to my parents house, rather than to my house.

Unfortunately, pretty much all the major circumstances in my life are pushing me out of Logan. First, I haven't enjoyed the engineering program, and this has been reflected in my grades. I am too far along to switch to a new major, but I can't continue at USU. If I want to finish my degree in a reasonable amount of time, my only option is to transfer to a different school.

Secondly, I haven't enjoyed my job as much as I used to, and I've felt the need for a change. There are practically no jobs available in Logan, so again it makes sense for me to give another town a try.

Lastly, but most importantly to me, I have had zero success in social pursuits while in Logan. I have made several close friends, but as far as dating goes, no girls have shown any interest in getting to know me. This lack of dating prospects has been a source of puzzlement to more than just myself. I've acquired a fan club of sorts, made up mostly of close friends, and the spouses of close friends. This fan club has served the purpose of reassuring me that I am one of the most awesome guys on the planet and that all girls who turn me down are stupid. While I have appreciated their efforts I can't help but feel that my options in Logan have become extremely limited. I think it is time to move on to greener pastures.

I've been thinking a lot about the experiences I have had here in Logan, and I thought it would be fun to write about some of the things which have been memorable for me.

Things I enjoy about living in Logan:

-When I go running and people shout out "Robby!" as they drive by. I think in general people like me, even though I've never really found a certain crowd to hang out with.
-Brent Carpenter. Probably the coolest and most recognizable person in Logan. I am really going to miss returning waves to Brent as he rides by on his bike.
-Riding bikes all over Logan in the summer time. Summers in Logan are awesome, and riding your bike all over town just makes it better.
-Rock climbing. Pretty much nothing but awesome climbs in Logan canyon.
-LBS. Best burgers in Logan, and home of the amazing Logan Club. The first time I took a bite of this amazing samich, I thought "I can now die a happy man."
-The Utah Theater. I'm bummed that they have been closed for renovations for over a year because this was my favorite place to go catch a classic movie on the big screen.
-All the fun plays and performances. Being a college town, Logan has a lot of really good performances available at a minimal cost.

-My friends. I lived in Logan for four years. I am really going to miss being in close proximity to so many good friends.

Low points:

-The semester I was rejected for dates 14 times in a row! Thank you Katie for being the girl to break this string of bad luck. I am especially grateful to Katie for giving me more of a chance than any other girl I ever took out while in Logan. We ended up going on three or four dates together.
-Never having a real relationship. Logan was brutal for me as far as dating goes. For some strange reason no girls were interested in me, despite me being awesome.
-Not succeeding in school.
-I never really felt like I fit in up there. I had a few close friends, but in general I never really found anyplace that welcomed me for who I was. It seems I was well liked, but I was always tagging along with people rather than being eagerly awaited at social gatherings. It seemed like everywhere I went there were already established groups of friends who always did everything together. I desperately wanted to be part of a group like this, but never was.
-The "Social Black Hole." This is a specific person who made life for me considerably more difficult. My natural inclination is to be more reserved in social settings until I get to know people. After I am comfortable with them, I can relax and be my normal goofy self, but it takes a little while. There is a guy I know who acts half his age, but for some reason, everywhere he goes, every single girl is drawn to him as if he were a black hole.

If he happened to be at the same party as you, you might as well leave, because any chance of getting any attention from someone was hopeless. I never found him to be particularly fun or interesting, and I don't think he was deserving of the attention he got. It seemed to me that everything he did was to get himself more attention. I rarely saw him do anything that wasn't self-serving.

One time in particular, I wanted to get to know a certain apartment of girls, so I invited them to come watch a movie with my roommates and I. When it came to the day of the movie, they asked if they could bring a friend, of course I told them that they could. It turned out that the friend was the social-black-hole. They all came late because they had to wait for social-black-hole to get done doing something before they could cross the street to my apartment. They also ended up leaving before the movie was even over because social-black-hole wanted to do something else. I wasn't invited to come with them either.

- The "Social Octopus." This guy wasn't as bad as the social black hole, but he still kind of bugged me. Basically he was oblivious to boundaries, and people's personal space, and was in general pretty obnoxious. One time I was watching a movie with some friends, and he came over, late of course, and did a good job causing as much disruption as possible in his arrival. He then sat down by me and crossed his wet shoe clad leg across his knee. The wet shoe kept rubbing all over my leg and got my pants all dirty. I would move over to avoid his shoe, but somehow he was still able to get me all wet despite the increased distance.

Another time I saw him go up to a girl, who happened to be engaged, and gave her a big bear hug, picking her up off the ground. This wouldn't have been so bad, but he didn't put her down right away. He held her off the ground for a solid minute and had a conversation with their bodies pressed together and their faces practically touching. If I had been that girl's fiance I would have gone up to him and told him to put her down immediately and never touch her like that again. I don't think he was being deliberately inappropriate, just unaware of certain boundaries.

-I Never got to go to Le Nonne. This is a small Italian restaurant built in an old house. It is very cozy and romantic, and I hear that is has the best Italian food in Utah. I always wanted to take a girl there, but it was kind of a special destination. I thought it was more suited to a fourth or fifth date when things are starting to get more serious. I never made it to this dating milestone with any girl while I was in Logan, so Le Nonne represents more than just a lost culinary experience for me.

Things that went well:

-I really enjoyed the various callings I had in my ward. I really think that I tried to do my best and make a difference. I am really grateful that I got to work so closely with the Bishopric and Relief Society the last two years. It was really a special experience getting to be so involved with the inner workings of the ward. I really hope that all of my efforts helped make the ward better. I will really miss serving in that ward.
-The few close friends that I made. It's interesting how leaving a place causes your closest friends to be revealed. There are a few people who I know will be close friends throughout life. I am grateful for them. There are people who I hope will keep in touch, but I don't know if they will.

What I am hopeful for:

-That the grass is greener on the other side. Logan was really rough, so I hope that I am in store for some good times ahead.
-That I will actually be able to meet a girl that will show some interest in me. I'm not desperate or anything, I'm just not very good at being single, and I would really appreciate some companionship.
-That people will be interested and want to get to know me. I think I'm a pretty rockin' dude, I hope that I will be able to meet some people who agree.
-That I will succeed in school. It will be really nice to have a degree on the wall and a real job to go to every day. Yes, I am looking forward to this.

The final thought I had for this entry comes from an episode of The Simpson's. In the episode where Homer gets a new job and moves his family to a planned community. An amusing dialogue takes place as they are leaving Springfield:

Homer: "So long Springfield, you've been good to us..."

Lisa: "No it hasn't, that's why we're leaving!"

Homer: "Oh yeah! So long stink-town!"

That's a pretty good summary of how I feel.

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