Thursday, October 23, 2008

What do you wan't first? The good or the bad?

The Good:

Well, for the last year or so, before I ended up confronting same gender attraction, I've been very close to an incredible girl - Hillary. She's the third girl that I dated seriously, and definitely the closest person that I've ever been connected with. Words can't describe the relationship that we share. We've toured Europe together, had numerous life or jail experiences in numerous countries on two continents, we've shared a bed many many times during our travels (of course nothing ever happened nor was anything even hoped for, it's just incredible to wake up next to someone you love so deeply), we've driven some 10,000 miles over our several cross-continental road trips, and she's done emergency surgery on me and I did emergency care on her when she fell off a cliff and couldn't get to a hospital for 4 days. We were going to get married, but both of us found that the fear we were experiencing was more than just nerves...lo and behold, last April, it all ran over and spilled out - I'm crazy attracted to guys. Hill stuck with me through a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and then coming to terms with being gay. She's still the closest person I have and we continue to help each other forward every day (she says that I help her too).

About a month ago, we had a serious talk. Our relationship was still reaching for romanticism and hopes for the future were around every corner. The possibility that, if I could figure myself out and get right with things, we might marry some day was really about the only anchor line holding me in place so that the storms didn't blow me away to being completely lost. Well, we had this serious talk because, for a while, I had felt like something was not OK. I had been feeling something was wrong, and I finally asked her how she felt about about us. She asked if I wanted her to be totally honest. I said yes. What she said was exactly how I had been feeling...the reason that I asked the question in the first place. It was this: I was struggling and stuck in a rut...and she was staying there with me while life passed on. Of course friends help friends out; but if I get lost, she couldn't help if she was lost with me. She could help me best if she was on solid ground following her promptings in life. We are so close that we've just stuck together through anything; and while we still will, we can't be lost together. And yes, I'm lost. I'm trying to follow guidance to get me out of being lost...but I'm lost. She had to move forward in life. The thing is that while she can help me with my problems, she cant do them for me. They're my life problems and, truth be told, only I can do them. Well, with that conversation, the hope for marrying her extinguished. My strongest tie-down and anchor line (I know it should be the Lord, but that's not the case now) was cut, and I felt very different inside. One day I caught myself thinking that if someone plowed into me on my motorcycle and I died, that would actually be OK - I could then be in a place where I'd have the possibility to move forward on the whole baptism, deacon, teacher, priest, elder, rm, married,... path. Now, just understand, I'm not suicidal.

Fortunately, my thoughts lead me to a bit of a discovery. It dawned on me that I needed a different purpose in life - a new something for my mortal existence to culminate in. I mean, shoot, there is no other right life aside from the track of baptism, priesthood, mission, married, and children. That's the purpose of life! or was... Well, I thought about it for a while, and I decided it was OK if my life's culminating purpose - the thing that I could say was my mark for having lived - was my work with adolescents and their families. I hope that doesn't sound like a build up to a mediocre answer, cause in no way do I hope to have only a mediocre impact on a mediocre number of individuals. I thought, "If I don't have a family, then all the time that would have gone to them can now go to my work. The people I work with can be my family and expanding and building that business bigger and bigger so as to increase our capacity to help more and more families could be my life and the thing that I invest my heart into." My question to the critic would only be: "What else am I going to do with it?" I see that this is quite idealistic, but "ideals are like stars," right? I mean, I'm not foolish enough to believe that things will turn out just like I see them in my detailed daydreams; but, that's not to say that they can't actually turn out to be better than the dreams. The biggest reason for failing, I think, is cause people fail to dream and then believe in themselves. And again, I can see that this is a stretch, but it's what I'll shoot for. So, the good is that I might have found a new purpose in life.

The Bad:

I'm drinking and smoking more. I'm afraid of the future...of me in the future. I'm afraid that I'll become someone that I'll regret, or that I'll regret living alone, or that I'll regret marrying, or that I'll regret something I didn't want to type. I know what I want, I know what is true, and I know where I should be...but knowing all those things has never precluded me from making grave mistakes. It always comes down to that moment when you face the decision. I think it's that moment that I'm afraid of. No matter what I want or know or see for a hundred days in a row, that moment is decided by what I am able to see then and there. I'm afraid cause I don't have a good track record. I'm a wild card, even to me. I feel like a coward by saying all this, or like a person that plans to fail, or like a premature quitter. But I'd be a liar if I was to say that I know what will happen or that I know I'll be where I'm supposed to be in 2, 5, or 10 years. Don't misunderstand, I don't question my testimony; I don't question my love for God and Christ; I don't question prophets, revelation, leadership, or the power of faith. I question that moment and me in it. I've just learned from so many other experiences...that no matter how I feel now, I can't tell you for sure what will happen at that moment. I'm afraid of not being where I should be some day down the road when I stop and take a look around and then look at myself.

There are the good and the bad. I'm not in a crisis. I love my friends, I love my family, I like my work, and I really don't like my classes. So, I guess I'm normal...maybe I am.


October Rising said...

Man, yer way blessed to have a friend like Hilary! Changes in relationships are always difficult though.
You are right that the people you will work with in your career can become you're family. Those who you help will look up to and you'll be a great joy in their lives :) love ya!

Z i n j said... one knows about that moment down the road. But I'd say loud and strong that moment is determined by today and those little things you choose to do or not to do. They are the things that set you up for the future. You decide that moment today. Forget about yesterday..we all have that excuse. Thats what it is is an excuse. Your the one who has told us to move past our weakness with P & MB. Forgive,,,forget...move on. Your heart is good..perhaps the sweetest person I've run into in a long time. You'll contribute big time in life. Just give yourself the pass to do it. If its Hillary then do it. If kids are your life then do it. Don't look back. I don't personally think there is a right or wrong or an easy or hard street but just bless yourself along the way. You have the've got the compassion and the passion. Chart your course. Storms will arise..they always have and always will..thats the proving grounds. Thanks for being you.

Kengo Biddles said...

We're here to support you in any way. You know where we live, and our door is open to you. :D

robert said...

You can actually have more than you know and much more than you will ever need by following your heart. I have raised a fine young son, helped family with dying and death, carried the world on my shoulders and set it down often just to enjoy the sunset. Being gay is not a sentence of loneliness or sacrifice unless you maintain a very narrow perspective on your life. Stay open to possibilities. Why fear them? Above all maintain the search. It is what you see along the path that matters as there really is nowhere else to be other than where you are.

Robert said...

Seriously, I love you guys.

Ocotber - I totally know. I can't describe how much I'm grateful and blessed to have her as a best friend. Love you too man.

Zinj - Thanks a ton man. I've been doing really great with the p and mb. Forgetting and not carring about it really just makes it fade... I don't know, though, I just worry sometimes about my choices in the future...not all too often, but enough. The last couple of sentences you wrote were really helpful...they reminded me fo things I forget from time to time. Thank you for real man.

Kengo - I'm glad you're around. That was fun chatting with you and your wife. That was a while ago. I'll see you guys soon hopefully. You're awesome

Robert - Thanks for commenting. It's so true that there is are so many incredible possibilities and opportunities that the future offers. Sometimes, I'm totally ready for it; and sometimes I need time to pause for a little. But, you're so incredibly right that there's nowhere else to be other than where you are. I had a really cool talk with a friend a while ago and we talked about how great it would be if we could have the right attitude and make the choices that enabled us to say that where we are is completely where we want to be and who we are is who we want to be. Thank you for commenting.

Alan said...

Robert – I've been reading your posts for a little while and am seriously impressed with the depth of your thoughts and introspection. One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.” Clearly you love ideas.

In that respect, no, you're not “normal.” Forgive the slight cynicism but in my experience the majority of people don't discuss the kinds of ideas that are in your posts with such ease or fluency. I love to philosophize and ponder too and it's refreshing to read the thoughts of someone else similarly disposed.

Decisions can be scary. It's normal to worry how you will perform when you have to make the call and you can't predict the circumstances. What you've said is true for everyone: decisions are made according to what you know and see at that point. As long as you've done your best to prepare, that's all anyone—even God—can ask of themselves or anyone else.

The fact that you are actively searching for what gives your life purpose makes me think you'll do just fine at decision times, whenever those may be. Don't worry too much in advance. The direction we're heading is more important than where we are from day to day along the path. And attitude is everything. Yours is good.

Sorry to sound so full of platitudes. I wanted to add something but everyone else here has done such a good job already, I wasn't sure there was much more to say. So kudos to you Robert for your self-awareness and your desire to do right, be good, and help others.

Anonymous said...

Hey...I enjoy reading your blog. I share similar fears about life, but I guess you just gotta keep going and hope everything will out okay. Good luck.

Robert said...

Alan - Wow, man. Thank you for so much thought and sincerity in your comment. Really, I hope you know how awesome it is to hear such encouraging feedback. Really, Alan, thank you for blogging and commenting and sharing your thoughts. What a great thing that we can find such awesome support from each other in such a manner. Thanks man.

Tom - You're totally right, the minutes and hours never stop. I suppose it's then up to us to decide what we'll do with each day that comes and goes. Kinda like, "make of life what you will, one day at a time." :)

Chase said...

Hmm... I am going to add the extremely unoriginal comment of just keep on keeping on. I miss you bud.

Bravone said...

Robert, I truly enjoy reading your blog. You seem to really be in tune with yourself and the spirit within. The future can seem a bit scary sometimes, and we never know what the future might bring, but following the counsel from the thoughtful friends who responded to your post will ensure that you won't walk the path alone. I find such strength from them.

It will take a friend like Hilary to make a marriage work for a gay man. Cherise those friendships.

Some Like It Hot said...

Like you I can't tell what the future holds, and I super afriad of making tons of mistakes. But I'm glad we're buddies and I look forward to us supporting one another.

talk soon.

Andy said...

Robert, there isn't much more to say here. You have been recognized and praised by your peers with so many truthful and appropriate comments. I consider myself lucky to be associated with you as well as, like Bravone mentioned, the others who have commented here. Hillary is an amazing person. I can tell she is because of the person that you are. One thing I did want to point out was the fact that your post focused so heavily on "the good" news rather than the bad. This is so true of you as a person. You have an amazing outlook on life and while I'm sure it's not always to portray that, thinking happy is essential to being happy. Thanks for allowing me to be your friend and benefit from your goodness.

Danish Boy said...

Hey buddy! I think you're great. I dont know you all that well but you've made an impression on me. When Im in situations where all I can see is in this moment and I want it I ask myself a simple question. Is what I want right now better than what I can have? Usually helps when Im thinking about my urges or desires. just one simple thought. :o)

Anonymous said...

This is the guy that posted anonymously a few days ago on one of your posts. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I started a blog this morning. Check it out everyone!

Anonymous said...

PS - thanks again for this blog. It really helps me to want to do better. Thanks for your insights!