But first! I was at work for my anniversary and some amazing things happened. Firstly, I remembered it was my anniversary and eagerly started babbling it to everybody--like I said, it's a big deal. Tennessee, one of our foremen, brought me a cupcake! I was over the moon about it because duh sugar, but then I got an email from BEMS of Utah saying that my EMT certification had just been processed! I successfully made the deadline and am now an EMT for another four years. Now after telling Toby, I was reduced to a giggling pile of trash and gifted EMT stickers. I thought the day couldn't get any better.
If you know me at all you know I love the Great Salt Lake more than just about any place on earth. One reason I love my job so much is because I get to see it every day, and it's not just any job that drives you past the lake. What do you think I saw on the way home? This rainbow was right over the water.
So thanks, Utah, it's been a fantastic decade for me too! Here is to many more years together.
Onto the anniversary photos!
(A note, these aren't in any chronological order at all, just taken over the years)
1. Cherry Blossoms at Temple Square
My first few hours in Utah were spent wandering around Temple Square trying to figure out what the hell all those people were doing and why they were wearing cap sleeved shirts (it was Conference weekend, aka the Mormon superbowl.) I have associated the Temple with personal freedom ever since and love visiting.
2. Anonymous Student Letter
3. Utah SunsetThis one was taken on a trail near Suicide Rock, a place maybe five minutes from the apartment I lived in for years. I have seen the most gorgeous and breathtaking sunsets on earth from that apartment. This was just one of many.
4. Night Ride Across Echo Canyon
5. Snowstorm in Emigration CanyonThis was taken on my mom's birthday after she passed away. I obviously wasn't doing so well and again, went on a drive to clear my head. Her birthday is in March. I hadn't been back in the states a month by this time, and was completely out of my element driving in the mountains. At the peak of the mountain, a snowstorm let out in full fury and I had to pull the car over and just stare at it. I felt like my mom was up there on the mountain with me. I remember sitting in the car waiting for the snow to calm and crying like a baby, so glad to be back in Utah from Sweden.
6. Summer in East CanyonThere's a canyon theme here, I'm noticing! Haha! Not much to say about this one. Beautiful place, beautiful day.
7. Temple of the Birds, Saltair SiteI was able to visit the electrical station dubbed 'temple of the birds' by the locals, as well as the old Saltair passenger train, before they were removed by the asshole state of Utah for no fucking good reason whatsoever other than disliking history. I'm passionate about Saltair and will always remember the one time I got to walk in a bit of her past. I carry that with me every time I visit the now almost empty site.
8. Big Cottonwood Canyon, aka Skyrim
9. EMT Certification day
10. Silver Lake, Then and NowI take so many fucking pictures at Silver Lake I had to make damn sure that this wasn't just a Silver Lake album--it easily could've been! But I broke my whole not showing me in the photos thing for this finale...this picture definitely tells quite the tale to me. I used to hate the Alex on the left. Depressed and exhausted and chronically hopping around from place to place and thing to thing. I was in the middle of EMT school at the time and had no idea what to expect from it, or myself. I was just hanging on to the pieces of my complicated life and soon things would improve. The photo on the right is after living abroad, seeking treatment for PTSD, working as an EMT, losing sixty pounds, and learning how to curl my damned hair. I love that Utah is in the background, in two completely different seasons, and still utterly magnificent and breathtaking. That's Utah; it's been there for me the whole time. Season after season.