How did you spend your childhood? I spent countless hours throwing a baseball as hard as I could against the side of our family’s cinder block garage. I thought it was normal to spend that much time alone, dreaming of the day I’d be able to put the Beehive State and the circumstances of my life in the rearview mirror.

Last week I saw that old cinder block garage. My mind drifted back to that angry kid — tears streaming down his face as he escaped reality by throwing a baseball until his arm turned numb. I’m thankful for him. I’m grateful he didn’t give up. I hope he’d be proud of the person he is today. I hope he’d forgive me for the regrets, pain, and heartache I’ve created.

I hope he wouldn’t be too upset that he lives just minutes from that garage. Turns out Utah was too special to shake. It’s become more than a beautiful land filled with kind, earnest, and flawed folks trying their best to make it a better place — it’s become a reminder of a boy’s journey to a happier life.

It’s home.