After 6 years, it’s time to say goodbye. I’ll be on a plane to Mexico City this time tomorrow.
I lived in Utah for a year when I was 18 and then have lived here for the past five years. That’s six years total, which makes Utah the place that I’ve lived the second longest.
It’s crazy to think about coming here in 2004. Eight years ago. I moved to Provo from Beijing. I had an awesome freshman year, with great friends and great climbs. I lived in the dorms for most of that year and then spent a few months in a house south of campus.
After my mission I spent a solid 4-year chunk in Provo. I somehow managed to graduate from college. I hated school. I learned very little in college, and I thought it was worthless. Apart from school, though, I had a great time. I met the guys that became the best friends I’ve ever had. I dated awesome girls. I spent 2.5 years on one rock climb. I started my business. I got my first car. And I drove down to Moab whenever I got the chance.
I’ve spent the last year in Salt Lake City. I haven’t climbed as much due to injuries. I’ve been working a lot, but have slowly slipped into a comfortable funk. I’ve gotten too complacent and bored here. Nothing is exciting. That’s why I decided to move to Mexico City. It’s time to move on.
I “grew up” in China but Utah is where I really became an adult. The best memories I have are in Utah. Almost 100% of the memories that I think about on a regular basis are from Utah. Leaving is very weird. I’ve gone through a lot here. I love this place and the people here that are close to me. I’m a very different person going out of Utah than I was coming in.
I’ve never been in a place and been able to say, “I’m from here.” I’m always from somewhere else. But Utah has been my home for several years, and it’s been good to me. I’ll come back to Utah, but a massive chapter in the book of my life is closing. It’s strange and sad, but it’s time, and I’m ready.
Goodbye, Utah, and thanks to everyone for everything.
PS: It was exactly one year ago to the day that I climbed Mt. Shasta.
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