Sunday, May 11, 2008

Social Expectations in Utah

As I prepare to go out on my own, the mixture of emotions become more evident. I feel fearful, excited, and saddened that I am about to leave behind my home and family and attend school in Happy Valley. I will rarely see my current friends and peers in a concentrated environment. While I fear this change, I eagerly await the opportunity to meet other people and socialize in an entirely different situation.

Lately, many things have been weighing heavily on my mind. The most pressing, however, is the social pressure of Utah/ Mormon culture in Utah. This pressure mostly pertains to Mormon males who are approaching their 19th birthday. I have had two instances that have made me ever more aware of this pressure.

Several weeks ago, I attended a youth scripture day in my ward. Upon talking with some of the young women in the ward, I expressed my uncertainty regarding missionary service. One of them proceeded to note that "Every boy in our ward has to go. They just have to." I was not offended by this statement, I was just very displeased that I live in a culture that teaches us from the womb that we have to have such cookie cutter lives. Does this mean I dislike Utah culture? Not at all. If anything, it makes it more endearing in some odd way.

Now if only I could just decide.


Geronimo's Ghost said...
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Geronimo's Ghost said...

Take Wasatch Culture and chain it to a post in the yard, where it belongs. This decision transcends the community immediately around you. On this one you need to listen to your heart. If your heart tells you one direction is right and you do something else, you'll regret it. Your job is to 1) live in such a way that the spirit can educate your heart, and 2) cultivate your ability to listen and respond.

Free advice from someone who has been there. Best of luck.