Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update

I didn't mean to go so long without blogging.  I just haven't felt like I had anything worthwhile to say.  I have several unfinished blog posts in draft status which I may or may not publish.

Anyway, here is what's been on my mind of late

My life of poverty
It's been 18 months since I was laid off.  Now, to be fair, I'm not just sitting at home doing nothing.  I have found a data entry type job which both my wife and I can do from home.  It doesn't pay that much; but, between the two of us we are able keep our heads above water, just barely.  But, our CORBA health insurance has run out - so, we've joined the ranks of the uninsured.  I expect we're also part of that poverty statistic that's been in the news recently.  Life is difficult, but we're probably doing better than many others in a similar position.  I mean, we still have our home and we still have food in the pantry.  Without health insurance, we're really focusing on eating healthy.  For example, we've decided we're not going to buy any baked goods - if we want something (like bread, or a cupcake, or something) then we have to make it ourselves.  And, I always scour (what I call) the used meat bin (meat that is near it's 'sell by' date) for good deals I can put in the freezer.  My biggest problem is that I'm pretty much a food snob - I enjoy fine foods.  It's difficult for me to buy Great Value products at Walmart.
My life of solitude
The other day I made Chili Rellenos for dinner - which were tasty, but frying tends to smell of the kitchen.  Later that evening, when I walked into the kitchen, I quipped to my wife "good thing we don't have any friends who might drop in on us - because our house stinks right now."

My attempts at humor stings with reality - we really don't have any friends.  Well, more to the point, I don't have any friends.  My wife has her quilting and sewing friends whom she visits with weekly.  Instead of friends - I have the husbands of my wife's friends.  And, when she's visiting with them during the day, while said husbands are at work, then there is no reason for said husbands to interact with me in any way.

In a typical week - my only interaction with people, other than family, is 3 hours on Sunday while sitting at church.  And that's not really much interaction either since it mainly consists of sitting on my butt listening to some talk or lesson. 

Most days I don't even leave the house. I do have my brief interactions during the week with the checker at the grocery store as I pay. But that conversation usually goes something like
them:  "did you find everything OK?"
me: [mumbling] "yes" (which I answer - even if it's not true)
them: "have a nice day"
How did this happen?  How did my life devolve into such a meaningless existence?

I try to convince myself that I'm OK with the life of a hermit - a hermit that lives a life of solitude in plain sight.  But, it's not true.  I want friends!  I want people I can hang out with.  I want people who call me once in a  while just to talk - and whom I'm comfortable calling, just to talk.  Am I really that much of a pariah to be avoided?

I tried joining a photography club this year.  I go to the meetings, but I just sit there and listen to whatever program was planned for the evening - I don't know anyone, I don't even know the names of the people conducting the meeting.  I don't talk to anyone.  I go, I sit, I leave.  Gee, that kinda sounds like what I do at church.  It's just so difficult for me to strike up a conversation with people I don't know.

Intellectually, I know that to have friends I have to be a friend - and I just really suck at being a friend. So, I guess I just have to learn to accept that I'll live out my life friendless and, apparently, penny-less.
Stake Conference
As I was sitting in stake conference recently, I looked around at some of the missionaries serving in the wards in my stake and, I don't know why, but I started to wonder if they might be gay.  With 13 wards in our stake and, on average, one set of missionaries per ward - it's likely that, at least, one or two of them are family.  If only there were some way to reach them and let them know that they're not alone.  But, alas, it seems that coming to terms with our sexuality is something we all have to go through alone before we are able to find and reach out to find others.
On an unrelated topic, there was one statement by our new Stake President that has really been bugging me.  He was addressing those who suffer from depression.  He didn't call it depression per se, he was using words like "those who are feeling hopeless".  But, then he said something to the effect of "I'm not suggesting anyone go off their medications - but I firmly believe that we can be in complete control of our thoughts." [worded as best as I can remember]  As one who suffers from clinical depression, perhaps I'm just being overly sensitive - but it just doesn't come across as being compassionate - 'mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort', if you will.  Perhaps that's not what he meant - but if that's how I interpreted it - chances are I was not alone.  It really doesn't matter what he said exactly or even what he meant - what matters is how it was perceived by others.  And, I didn't perceive it very favorably - I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable talking to him about my depression issues.  
A recent lesson in priesthood meeting
When we were studying lesson #15 "The Lord's Covenant People", one of the older members of my priesthood quorum made a comment that was really out in left field (having nothing to do with the lesson content nor what the instructor was saying).  He blurted out "what about all of those TV shows with 'homosexuals'" - the last word being spit out in a tone of utter disgust. Fortunately, the instructor was able to quickly get the lesson back on track; but, not before I saw nods and heard sounds of agreement from other quorum members.  It served as a bitter reminder of what some of my quorum members really think of the me - the real me that they don't know
Glee
It is weird for a middle aged man to be so excited for the return of Glee this week?  Is it odd for a middle aged man to own the Glee music CD's?  Is it creepy for a middle aged man to be tooling around in his blue Nissan Cube rocking to the music of Glee?

To be fair, my life isn't all grim. I had a photograph win honorable mention at this months Fort Worth Camera Club competition. Well, OK, maybe I'm mildly bummed it didn't score higher because, seriously, I felt my photo was better than the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. But, at least it's something. I've attached the image - although it doesn't do it justice. I think the 16x20 print looks just stunning - simple, yet elegant.

Anyway, this pretty much sums my thoughts and feelings about the Mormon Queerosphere



Guess this means you're sorry
You're standing at my door
Guess this means you take back
All you said before
Like how much you wanted
Anyone but me
Said you'd never come back
But here you are again

[CHORUS]
'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you

Baby I was stupid for telling you goodbye
Maybe I was wrong for tryin' to pick a fight
I know that I've got issues
But you're pretty messed up too
Either way, I found out I'm nothing without you

[CHORUS]

Being with you
Is so dysfunctional
I really shouldn't miss you
But I can't let you go

[CHORUS]

[CHORUS]

9 comments:

Gay Saint said...

Well, you might not feel like you have any friends, but I'm definitely one of your biggest blog-stalkers. That counts as something, right? :)

A.J. said...

Jesus got discouraged and depressed and he was perfect. It is ok to feel depressed and discouraged. Things will get better. Sometimes people at church say stuff like your stake president meaning to be helpful but when your are clinically depressed you can't change your thoughts and just feel better. A person wouldn't tell a diabetic to just get over it but feel perfectly ok telling a depressed person what they should do. Anyway you count me as a friend too. :)

Quiet Song said...

This will probably sound really strange, but when I unwillingly found myself out of the work force, caring for a disabled loved one and isolated, I knew I was living the life of a hermit. I decided to embrace it. There is a whole community of people on the internet living voluntary lives of silence, solitude and contemplation. Tap into that and it might give you a different perspective on the current "opportunity" life has presented you.

Sean (Loyalist) said...

as to you SP and his stupid thoughts. I say Bullsh@t!

:)

I am one of you biggest fans and i hold you a a dear a close friend. it is unfortunate that you live in tx, but we all have our cross to bare :D

It would be easier if you lived closer. but, if wishes were fishes... well we'd all be very rich.

as for being penny-less. we gratefully accept you into our ranks.

as for Glee: IT STARTS TONIGHT!!!
as for singing Glee music in your car: i dont have a cube, but the music is just as loud... until my kids ask me to turn it down :)

austin said...

I have a beautiful new background now, thank you!

MoHoHawaii said...

Thanks for the update.

What are you doing for physical activity?

I liked your photo a lot!

Beck said...

I, too, love the photo. You are really good and have a great eye.
I think you should keep at it and not let an "honorable mention" stop you from submitting again.

I don't know about depression or being on meds, nor about being unemployed, nor about Glee, nor driving a Cube.

I do know about feeling alone surrounded by people. I do know what it feels like when stupid comments are made in quorum meetings with such disgust about homosexuals.

And I do know and love you! Big Beck hugs, my brother. Someday I'll get back to Texas again and we'll go enjoy some of that barbecue down the street!

Philip said...

Abe,

I kind of relate to what you said about not having friends. I don't make friends easily partly because I find it difficult to form friendships with someone unless I am ready to be completely upfront with them.

In other words, don't ask, don't tell doesn't work for me.

I have been aware this is how I am since I came out to myself.

I suffered greatly while deeply closeted and I think a lot of that pain had to do with the harm I kept inflicting on my sense of integrity.

To me it takes to much psychic energy and comes at too high a price to hide something so central to who I am from a friend.

However, my wife is either unwilling or unable to be open about my sexuality with her family or friends so, out of respect for her wishes, no one in her inner circle knows about my sexuality.

But I had to break out of that isolation and dishonesty for my own sake so I have a separate circle of friends I am completely out to.

And just like I respect my wife's need for privacy, my wife has learned to respect my need for openness and honesty.

What I am trying to say is that maybe you have no friends because the price of being less than honest to yet another person you are close to is more than you are willing to pay for having friends.

Regards,
Philip

Bror said...

Hey, so glad you back bud. I have missed your posts. I wish you lived closer I would feed you a nice dinner at my restaurant. I hope things get better for you real soon. And screw those homophobic dudes in your priesthood meeting. :)