Saturday, May 20, 2006

Moving Forward

I haven't posted in a bit because I'm staying at my mom's house, and she still has a dial-up internet connection, and a very slow one at that. So I can only post late at night when I know nobody will call us (although if they were smart they'd call us on our cell phones, but they don't). Anyway, I've been back home in Utah for a week, and even though I've greatly enjoyed visiting with my family, I am incredibly bored. It's weird going from being full-time graduate student with no free time to being unemployed and having absolutely nothing to do. I have made use of the time by reading and catching up on some movies I wanted to see.

I miss Jonah, which is a good thing. It reminds me how much I love him. He's been bored without me, too, but he starts a new job on Monday, and I'm pretty sure he won't be bored for long.

As for me, I still don't know what my employment situation is yet. I'm waiting for a local theater here in Utah to let me know if they have a summer spot for me in their schedule, but I haven't heard anything yet. I'm planning on going back to where I was in a week and find a job there if I haven't heard anything by then. This theater job may not work out anyway because I found out I have to be back to school a week before the summer show closes. I guess I'll leave it in the hands of God or fate. I really would like to have an acting job for the summer, but at the same time, I'd like to get back to Jonah.

I got together with a really good friend yesterday (we'll call her Amy). Amy and I are such good friends, and we have another good friend, Rick (who we'll be hanging out with next week). I love them both dearly and we really have a wonderful relationship with one another. I haven't seen Amy since Christmas, and it was so wonderful to see her. She knows about my issues, and I know about all of hers. The cool thing about both Amy and Rick (and me, I hope) is that we really try not to be judgmental (at least of each other). Anyway, Amy's activity in the LDS Church has been waning for a while now. She's a recovering alcoholic who's taken to drinking again. But she still serves in the Primary (the kids' group at church for those of you who don't know Mormon-speak), and her bishop knows about her issues. Anyway, she's a great person, and I love her dearly. It's weird that we're in a similar place in our lives as far as church activity goes. We're still both semi-active, we're both doing things that are contrary to our religion's teachings, we both have positive feelings towards the LDS church, and we also are at a point where we're realizing that life is a journey with many twists and turns and sometimes what we perceived our path to be is turning out not necessarily to be the path we should take.

Although it still isn't easy, the message I feel like I'm getting from God lately is that life is meant to be lived and that one has to move forward, even if one risks making mistakes. The thing not to do is to stay stagnant or motionless. Make a choice even if you're afraid of the consequences. It's better than just standing still. I stress that this is the answer I've been getting in my own personal prayers. I don't claim it to be anyone else's answer.

Jonah and I had a discussion recently that was hard but necessary. Jonah is always making jokes about us breaking up, and they bother me, and I told him so, accusing him of using them as a defense mechanism against the possibility that we could break up. What I failed to realize until after our conversation is that I do the same thing, but in a different way. I regularly bring up how hard this relationship is and how I don't know what the right thing to do is and how it might not work out. I told myself I was doing this to prepare him if things don't work out. But I realized that isn't true. He already knows that. He doesn't need reminding. The fact is it's my defense mechanism against the fear I feel. At first, I thought I was afraid of the consequences our relationship would have as far as my standing in the church (and in the afterlife) are concerned. And while that's true to an extent, I think it's simply out of fear of letting myself love someone so deeply. I have been hurt in my past relationships so many times that I have built up a wall and refused to allow myself to get close enough to somebody to really let them in because I am afraid to get hurt again. I know that's silly, but it's the way I am. Jonah is one of the few people I've met in my life who can see past all the crap I've built around me and loves me in spite of it (or because of it). It actually annoys me how perceptive he is, and yet, it's exactly what I need. It also astounds me how much he seems to love me (and who knows why he does; I would have dumped me a long time ago), and I think that's what I need, too. Sometimes I feel guilty because I wonder if I love Jonah as much as he seems to love me, and then I remind myself that, yes, I do; I just have this defense mechanism that I'm very good at that helps me not feel as deeply as I really do. I'm really good at shrugging off things and pretending I don't care (or even convincing myself that I don't). I'm really good at detaching myself (and yet the irony is I get very attached to people). In any case, I'm learning that I really do love Jonah as much as I think I do. He truly is one of the best relationships I've ever had.

But I'm scared of commitment, and I'm scared of letting go, and I'm scared of loving with all of my heart rather than just pieces of it, and, yes, I'm scared of displeasing God or setting a bad example or what-have-you. And, yet, as I said, I feel like I'm learning that a life lived in fear is no life at all (something I'm paraphrasing from Foxx's website). We're here to live and love and make mistakes and learn from mistakes and have experiences and learn from those experiences. I love my religion. I really do. But one thing I'm learning about religion (including mine) is that often it paralyzes us rather than helps us move forward. God put Jonah in my life for a reason, and I feel like I'm learning that it's okay to love him. It may not be everyone's path, but it may very well be mine.

Tomorrow I'm going to church with my mom and sister. I imagine I'll be seeing my old bishop, who's a very good friend. If he asks about my situation, I'll be candid and honest: that as much as I love my religion, I just don't know that I can fully live it the way I've been asked to. I don't know what will happen (nor do I know what will happen with Jonah and me), but like my friend Amy said last night (and I'm paraphrasing), "Life is not a path that moves straight forward or straight back or straight side to side, but is constantly weaving and circling, and it's okay. All relationships, yours included, have their difficulties and challenges, but it's rare when you find that special someone who makes your life and relationship complete, so when you do find someone like that, it's best to hang on to them."

I admit that although I came to Utah to see my family, I also came here to take some time to think about my relationship with Jonah unencumbered, and I'm pretty sure that Jonah, perceptive guy that he is, knows that. And although I still vacillate, what have I learned? That I miss and love Jonah and am so grateful that he is a part of my life. I may not show it (again that pesky defense mechanism), but it's true. Do I know what the future holds? No. But does anybody? Live. Move forward. Take action. Do something. Be happy. That is what I'm learning.

When I think of my life pre-Jonah, it wasn't bad. I wasn't unhappy. But life seems richer and fuller and more eye-opening now that he's in my life, and I like that. Anyway, that's all for now.


Christina said...

I have read your blog from start to current. I can't imagine what is in your head and your heart but, I can emphasize with your situation. Just remember that God gave us love and if we get to experience it as it is meant to be, then we are fortunate. I hope that you do come to peace with who you are and what is in your heart. You are loved and that is one way which God lets you know that He is with you.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks for your comments, Christina.