I handed my Utah drivers license over to the smiling lady with the Louisiana drawl and did not realize that after linking my driving record up to the Louisiana system that she would not be giving it back to me. After entering the information into her computer system she stashed my Utah license away in a little box on her desk, the lid hanging open a little bit. I almost reached over to snatch it back and surprisingly felt my eyes well up. In a really steady voice I asked if she really had to keep the old one.
My facial expression must not have matched my tone of voice, or she saw the welling of tears because she smiled sympathetically and said, “Lots of people don’t realize that we have to keep them.” It made me feel a little better to hear that as she snapped the lid closed on the little box. I felt like I had just been robbed and was a bit shocked by the feeling.
I held it together until I walked out of the DMV and then sat in the car and cried for a few minutes. I’ve lived in Louisiana for 3 ½ years now. It is not that I don’t love this state. I’m not opposed to being a resident of Louisiana but it is just that the new Louisiana driver’s license means that I am no longer officially a Utah resident.
I have hung onto my Utah residency for as long as possible. My Utah driver’s license felt like one of my final, tangible, hold-in-my-hand connections. With it expiring today I had to forfeit it. We just don't always understand what we are hanging onto and today the tears really underscored how much I love Utah. I had forgotten or pushed it out of my mind. In some ways I think that my decision to not go home for the holidays was to push down or forget that love for that state...
The red sand and mountain peaks get in your blood. It is not time to return to Utah yet, but it is home and I will live there again at some point in the future.