Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reader suggestion for blog topic: food or photography. or distant friends in boise idaho :)

[not so] anonymous reader suggestion:  food or photography. or distant friends in boise idaho :)

I love food.  I love to cook food.  I love to eat food (and I have the physique to prove it).  But, I have another blog where I discuss food and recipes.  I'll give you a hint, it's linked in the left sidebar.

I love photography; but, I have to admit I haven't been doing much with it the last few months. I don't know, I just haven't felt very creative of late.

I love my distant friend in Boise, Idaho (even if he does live in [gasp] Idaho).  I love it that he calls me periodically just to see how I am doing.

But, I have to admit - I've been struggling with this blog topic suggestion.  No offense [distant friend in Boise] but it's just too enigmatic - which is saying a lot from someone who is, himself, and enigma.

So, I'm going to read between the lines - I think what [distant friend in Boise] is trying to tell me is that I need to blog about things that I am passionate about.

Now that's going to take some work because ... well be brutally honest, my passion has fizzled - overshadowed by apathy.  But, deep down inside me is still a spark of passion.  I need to find that spark and nurture it, fan it to make it grow into a fire swelling inside of me.

... um

Does anybody know how I can make this happen?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pity party

Pearls Before Swine

I have my own problems with job (lack thereof), bills, etc. (no car problems, thankfully).  I know there are others far worse off than I am - but somehow that doesn't make me feel any better about my own problems.

Why can't I just be thankful for what I have?  Am I being selfish?  Am I wallowing in self pity?  How do I get out of this rut?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It gets better ???

First off, I have to say that I really love the It Gets Better campaign.  The thing I like most about "It Gets Better" is the positive focus.  The gay community plays the victim so much that it's refreshing to see a positive perspective of being gay.

I love watching the videos.  It seems everybody who is anybody - and even a few nobodies and anybody wannbes - has made an "It Gets Better" video; although, my favorite - by far - is the one created by the LA Gay Mens Chorus - it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.  It's beautiful and sad at the same time - sad because I just don't see myself ever being circled about by my straight family and friends.

And ... I find myself wondering:  What about those of us who accept our homosexuality much later in life?  "It Gets Better" is focused on gay youth - I get that and support it.  But, what about people like me who lived most of our lives pretending to be straight and have finally accepted who we are?  Does it get better?  Or is this as good as it gets?

I no longer have to deal with bullies trying to rip away my self esteem.  Echos of being called a queer and a fag are distant memories.  In that sense I guess it has gotten better ...

But ... my life is filled with diametrically opposed conflicts
  • A part of me regrets that I didn't accept myself much earlier in life and pursued a relationship that feels right.  Yet if I had - then I wouldn't have my wife and best friend; and, I wouldn't have my children who mean the world to me. 
  •  I am gay celibate.  Yet, a part of me regrets that I never took the opportunity to experience the love of another man when I was younger.
    • Part of me yearns for male companionship - yet I cannot - I must not - seek it as doing so would hurt those that are most dear to me.
    • I want to proclaim to the world that I'm gay - yet due to my personal circumstances I must remain in the closet. 
    • I attend a church that teaches me that these feelings I have are unnatural and impure - and that acting on them is a violation of God's most sacred commandments.  Yet - they don't feel unnatural or impure to me.  And, even though I have consciously chosen to deprive myself of a man-on-man relationship - I don't encourage others to choose the same path I have chosen.  In fact, I support them if they choose to live their lives to their fullest in a deeply committed relationship with someone of their own gender.
      • I continuously seek for answers - answers that always elude me - answers that I doubt even exist.

      So ... is this it?  Is this as good as it's going to get for me?  Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life seeking balance where none exists?

      And what happens when I die?  Religious leaders tell me that these feelings I have are only for mortality - that I will magically change into a heterosexual upon death.  I hear their words - but their words sound hollow and feel wrong.  What if I don't want to be a heterosexual in the afterlife?

      Yet ... if I remain a homosexual in the afterlife - am I doomed to spend eternity trying to reconcile the irreconcilable? Doesn't that sounds like a definition for hell?

      So ... does it get better?  Or, for people like me, is this as good as it's ever going to get?  Ever ...

      Saturday, November 6, 2010

      Reader questions

      Anonymous reader question (part 1): Where did you serve your mission?
      I was called to serve in the Missouri Independence mission.  About 6 months into my mission they formed the Missouri Saint Louis mission of which I became a part of and where I served the remainder of my mission.  The Saint Louis mission covered approximately the eastern half of Missouri and the southern half of Illinois; although, I spent my entire mission in the Missouri side of the mission.

      Anonymous Reader question (part 2):  Any companion stories to tell that you've never shared?
      I hate to admit it (because it makes me feel really old), but it's been 30 years since I returned home from my mission - much of my mission has become a distant memory.  I really don't remember much of my mission companions - but there are two that stick out in my mind.

      Elder E
      Elder E was my second companion.  Like me, he was older when he left.  Elder E was a very dedicated missionary - although, not in an annoying way.  He truly believed in and had a lot of enthusiasm for the work we were doing and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me.  I was very shy when I left on my mission; and, Elder E helped me come out of my shell.  I became very dedicated to Elder E - which, apparently, was obvious to other missionaries.  I remember one of our zone leaders once observing that I "followed him around like a little puppy"; although, I've never really understood what he meant in a mormon missionary sense since ... well ... isn't that how missionaries are supposed to be?

      Elder K
      I was companions with Elder K about midway through my mission.  He left on his mission a month after I did; so, we didn't really have a senior/junior companion relationship - we were just companions.  We were asked to open up a new area - well, reopen since the area had had missionaries in the past.  It was a small branch in rural Missouri, outside Saint Louis, that covered an entire county that was approximately a square 40 miles on a side.  And the real clincher - we didn't have a car, we only had our bikes to cover 160 square miles.

      The branch met in a town that was not the largest in the county, by any means, but was pretty much in the center of the county; and, we lived in a trailer park outside of town - so we were pretty much isolated.  But, the branch was very excited to have missionaries again and was willing to do anything to help us out.  With the help of the branch mission leader, we arranged to drive to work with members who worked in the various towns in the county and just spend the day in that town proselyting.  Then we would meet them at their place of work at the end of the day for the drive back home.  Of course, this meant that we had to get up and out of the house much earlier than usual and it was too early to go start knocking on doors - so we would find some place, like a library or a fast food joint, to sit down and study for an hour or two before starting out.

      Elder K and I became very close; although, it was an odd relationship since we didn't have hardly anything in common - he grew up on a farm in a small town in southern Utah and I was a city boy from California.  His dream was to own a farm of his own and my dream was to graduate from college with a degree in computer science.  He had mormon pioneer ancestors and I was a first generation mormon.  So, I don't really know why we clicked so well - but we did.  Although, we lost touch soon after returning home and haven't had any contact since.
      Now, if the question was intended to mean if I was attracted to any of my missionary companions ... I will have to admit that I did find several of my missionary companions physically attractive; but, never to a point where I had unholy thoughts about them.  Well, maybe a few with Elder K ... :)

      But, there was another elder that comes to mind (I can't even remember his name anymore).  We were never companions; but, we were in the same district and often went on splits together (probably 2 or 3 times per week).  Sometimes when we were meeting back at the apartment - we would arrive first and I would give him back rubs while we waited for our companions to return.  I had a definite attraction for him - if he had showed a similar interest in me ... well ... he's the one missionary I might have gotten sent home over ...

      Anonymous reader question: Can you add LDS Reconciliation to the moho directory
      I tried; but,the blogger gadget used on the MoHo Directory requires an RSS feed. If LDS Reconciliation has an RSS feed then please contact me privately so we can figure out how to add it.

      Anonymous reader question: Who's the tallest MoHo?
      I'm probably not the best one to ask that of as I've only met a couple in person. I will say that Evan is tall - at least he is taller than me; and, I'm 5'11½"