Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back at it

When I was a sophomore in college, I became really angered and isolated because I didn't know what I was doing... everything was pointless and nothing was going anywhere. So, I dropped out of school and really planned never to return. I took a job and spent two years working in Arizona with youth who were in serious trouble tied to drugs, the law, or other defiant or depressed behavior. I bought a house, had a good salary, and LOVED the friends that I had and the way that I felt about life. I was being great and my focus was on helping others, faith and God, and progressing in life. My plan was to stay there for a decade or so and see where my life and a family took me. After one of the LDS general conferences - the priesthood session in particular - something happened that caused me to unquestionably know that I had to go back to school, get my degree in psychology, and then continue to work with adolescents who were in trouble. It was incredibly hard and scary, but I applied to return to BYU, sold all that I had, bought a car and left behind the best life I had ever known. I moved to UT for the same student life that had brought me to depression two years previous and I was seriously wondering "why?"

Every time I had ever changed stations in life, it was because of the same feeling inside me that was so clear in directing where to go and what I was to do there. As long as I followed it, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be and doing what I was supposed to be doing. When I left Arizona, I knew where I was supposed to go - UT, and I knew what I was supposed to do - go to school, but I had no idea why. For two years in AZ, I had been engaged in as good a cause and effective a cause as that when I was a missionary. Why was I supposed to move back to UT where I had crashed in stress, anxiety, and trouble? In April of this year, I went to the Mattis meeting (a supportive kind of evening for gay or lesbian LDS members). I finally started to deal with my homosexual feelings. All the sudden, I knew that this was the reason I was supposed to move to UT. I had to deal with it. Now, after all the events of the last five months, I'm asking, "What was He thinking?!@#?"
I don't know what I'm doing. School and work offer some direction or at least they offer to occupy my time. I still know that I'm going to finish psychology, get my license, and help young people; but, aside from those outward things, I have no idea where I am or where I'm going or how to have the heart and ability to do what I feel I'm supposed to...inside. Like Cadence said, I feel completely empty, pointless, and lifeless. Why? I think it's because of the way that I've withdrawn my emotions from day to day life. I think it's because I'm not truly engaged and invested in spiritual progression. And I think it's because of the the ways I've allowed myself to stray or walk away from how or who I know I should be.

I don't know. It's like I know where I should be when all is said and done, but I don't see the way to get there and I'm only facing that direction when I stop, turn, and look that way thinking, "Look, that's the final destination." I hope that this lost feeling will pass. Maybe it's a temporary transient feeling. Probably, it's the case that I have to work hard to start feeling found again. Definitely, there are some things that can never and should never change - including God and his nature, the truth and reality of faith, and one's history and origin; and on the other hand, there are other things that are meant to change - a man's character, desires, nature, abilities, and future. Time and work. That's what can change things. Both necessary and costly; but some things are worth eternity. If only I could really feel this all the time. Thanks to the Creator for family, friends, and their and His love...and thanks to them. Here's to letting those you love and can't do without know it.


Some Like It Hot said...

Hi Robert, I so admire your experience in working with youths who are troubled. You are a great man and I feel so honored to learn a little of your life from your blog.

I'd love to hear about your experience at Mattis if you feel like blogging about it sometimes. I'm curious, but live too far away to expereince for myself.

October Rising said...

"Like Cadence said, I feel completely empty, pointless, and lifeless. Why? I think it's because of the way that I've withdrawn my emotions from day to day life."

I think I have done the same. When I am away from the place where I feel I have purpose, I too feel empty and lifeless. One day, you and I will return to the places we connect to, and be reunited with the people and things that give us purpose.

Z i n j said...

Hi Robert,
... the feelings you described here are real and valid and tough to deal with. I hope you're able to sort some of it out in a way that bring some measue of peace. The parts don't fit ..yet ...the expectations are the same.... a dilemma that I haven't come to terms with. I'm surprised that a nice young lady hasn't grabbed you by the %#@*& and convinced you to go the family way. I think having kids would immeasurably fill the void yet getting there is risk'e. You have such a big heart that your contribution will be great. However success in the world doesn't heal personal blight. As you know I mask my personal blight with wilderness trekking with kool friends. It chases the monster away...for moments. When you find eternity let us know where it is. I kind of suck caz I'm not helping so I better say keep your chin up.

Z i n j said...

October Rising said...

"One day, you and I will return to the places we connect to, and be reunited with the people and things that give us purpose."

I'm a little slow... what places and what purpose? I'm searching for these but can't find them.

Robert said...

Some like it how - I'll share about my experience at the Mattis'. If you ever have to come here, make sure it includes th first Monday of the month. It's really incredible.

October - I totally know what you mean. You know, when I was there, lifr was clear and and very full and genuine.

Zinj - "One day, you and I will return to the places we connect to, and be reunited with the people and things that give us purpose." It's the place where everything is right whether there are challenges or's just all right. And it's the people who you truly know and understand as they truly know and understand you...if you were to tell them anything, they would just say "huh" but it wouldn't phaze them at all cause they know that they know you even beyond your individual aspects - kinda like they know you as the sum of what you are. That might sound hoakie, but it's hard to explain. For me, it's not so much a place geographically, rather a place that you've found within. When you're there, the outer world become a reflection of the peace of the inner world. I think that it's always like that - the outer being a reflection of the inner self. For me, as it seems for you and October, being far from cities in the wild helps in finding that place and stay there. And for the "purpose" that October spoke of? While I was in AZ working with the children, something happened - I was awakened to the understanding of what I was to do for the rest of my life. It's been indescribably empowering during the times when I wouldn't otherwise even get out of bed. If you want to really know about right people, right places, and purpose, read a book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I'm telling ya, it's the most incredible book I've ever read and very engaging. It's a fictional story about a boy but teactes you the most incredible truths. Let me tell you, you are helping, both with your comments and your posts. Some @#$&% day not too many years off, I think that we'll be able to see things more clearly, it's just that the ground between here and there is dangerous.

Z i n j said...