Tuesday, November 13, 2007

That's The Sound of My Soul Being Crushed

So as I have written about before, I used to work for Bath and Body Works. You can read about it here. When I last worked there (nearly a year ago), I had decided I wouldn't go back. However, somehow I got roped into coming back. I went into my old work place to buy some soap because I needed some, and it happens to be very close to my house. An old co-worker begged me to come back, and I was soon to be unemployed, so in an effort to help my friend out and make sure I had some income, I agreed to come back for the holiday season. I am realizing I made a mistake. All the reasons I had for not wishing to come back still exist. I do have a better stock crew than I did last year, but the job is crushing my soul. I dread going to work, I find the job completely unfulfilling and joyless, it's more frustrating than not, and as before, I'm just not earning enough to make it worth my while. My first day I could feel my spirit dying. I'm exaggerating, of course, but that's how it felt.

For the last four or five years (maybe even longer) I have been steadily employed as an actor. From June until just recently I had the pleasure of rehearsing and performing in two shows I absolutely love. One of the women in my graduating class was just informed that she will be replacing Fantasia Barrino in The Color Purple on Broadway in January. I just shot a local TV commercial that paid me more an hour than I earn at Bath and Body in a month. If I want to be an actor, I feel like I have to take a risk and not continue to allow myself to be sucked into the Bath and Body vortex every time I feel I'm in need of money. And, frankly, if I'm so desperate for cash, there are certainly better ways of earning it than doing stock work at Bath and Body Works.

I've thought about substitute teaching. It would be a flexible job, giving me opportunity to go out on auditions, and I think I would find it more fulfilling (or at least a welcome change) from what I am currently doing, and it pays better.

I do feel bad about leaving my co-workers high and dry (although, to be fair, I plan on giving them two weeks notice), especially since I gave my word to help them out, and because quitting is not in my nature. But I hate how I feel when I'm working there now. It's just mind-numbingly obnoxious now. I don't blame my co-workers. I actually like them a lot. I blame the company. I just hate how they run things, and I am weary of it.

Anyway, I hope to be out of there soon. I'm taking my application for substitute teaching to the district office tomorrow, and I will have to attend an orientation on November 27. Until then, I'll muddle on at Bath and Body. But I hope I'm out of there soon.

As for me and Jonah, we're doing well. I miss him a lot, but he was able to come here for a few days to see my show and hang out with me and my family. We even had a family dinner. My sister-in-law, who's pretty conservative, said she could understand why I loved him so much. I thought that was cool. It was a good dinner.

We still haven't found a house. Pray for us. It's taking longer than I had expected. Hopefully, there are some prospects on the horizon.

Anyway, that's all for today. Sorry I've been so absent from the blogging world. Know that I still read many of your blogs even if I don't always comment.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I just wanted to say that I was really touched during Joseph B. Wirthlin's talk, not so much by what he said about charity, but by how the simple act of Russell M. Nelson supporting his fellow apostle when he began to falter physically illustrated Elder Wirthlin's points even more strongly than his actual words did. It reminded me that actions speak far louder than words. And Elder Wirthlin's tenacity to say what he had to say in spite of his physical limitations made me admire his conviction and endurance. Again, actions speak louder than words.

Jeffrey Holland's talk was fun. Basically, it was a well-worded, but strong statement that Mormons are, indeed, Christians, and anyone who doesn't think so needs to get to know us better.

Overall, I found many of the talks good, but nothing particularly spoke to me this time around (except, of course, the incident that occurred with Brother Wirthlin while he was trying to give his talk).

Jonah and I are doing well, although we miss each other very much while we are apart. House hunting is going more slowly than I had originally expected, but we have some prospects at least.

I'm in a show I've always wanted to do and enjoying it immensely.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Business and laziness is really what it amounts to.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Letter From A Friend

My neighbor and very good friend sent me an email a couple of days ago. She knows about my homosexuality, but didn’t know the full extent of my relationship with Jonah. I haven’t told her not because I don’t trust her or because I feel she’ll judge or condemn me, but because even though she is fairly liberal, she is quite a devout Mormon, and I felt she would not agree with my choices. Anyway, I guess my sister-in-law, who she is also really good friends with, had innocently revealed to her that Jonah and I are getting married in March. I had actually sent a mass email to most of my friends telling them about the goings-on in my life, but I had censored my emails to my bishop and this neighbor and my mission president, for example, and didn’t tell them about my future plans. It wasn’t that I felt they would judge me; I just didn’t want to disappoint people I admire and respect a great deal. Well, my neighbor now knows, and my heart kind of sank. But I am glad my sister-in-law told her what I didn’t feel I had the courage to do myself, and here is an excerpt of my neighbor’s email to me:


Congratulations are your current acting successes...

[Your sister-in-law] just told me that you are planning a March wedding. I am mostly at a loss for words. I hope you will be happy and of course you will always be my friend. I would like to meet your partner someday. From what I have heard it seems he has had many of the same struggles you have had with how “what seems to be” fits (or doesn’t) with a lifetime of teachings and perceptions. I hope you will both be able to stay true to all other ideals you have apparently both been taught. I also hope you will always for your lifetime continue to know that the restored Gospel is true, even as you cannot make sense of how your own compelling situation fits. And for that matter “we all fall short of the glory of God” so I am not going to be the one casting stones

I have become a serious blogger on what is affectionately known as “the bloggernacle”, a collection of Mormon based sites with a bunch of very bright and thoughtful commentators and responders. One of the frequent responders…is homosexual and has been excommunicated, but he absolutely loves the Church and apparently he has a bright and burning testimony on all but that one subject. He has been married and has 5 daughters whom he adores. He is a wonderful theologian and a former Nauvoo Temple worker. I don’t know how it all fits for him, but every time I read one of his posts I think about you.

She ends her email with some stuff that I don’t wish to share because it is personal to both of us, but that is the general gist of her letter.

It’s a nice letter, and I appreciated it. I don’t know why I felt I had to explain my actions to her. After all, I didn’t feel any condemnation or judgment from her letter. However, I felt I needed to, and so I wrote her back. Many of the thoughts in this letter are things I have already stated in past entries, but it helped solidify some of my thoughts, and so here is what I said (and if I repeat what I have already said several times, tough! It’s my blog. Deal with it! :-)

Thank you… for your kind words and for not judging me based on my current choices (not that I thought you would). Yes, what [my sister-in-law] told you is true; I am planning on marrying my partner in March. I wish I could fully explain why I feel this is the right path for me at this time.

This has been a very interesting past couple of years and has been filled with challenges and epiphanies and growth. The irony is that I don't feel my testimony regarding the truthfulness of this church and its gospel has changed. I still believe in the restored gospel; I still believe Joseph Smith saw and did what he said he did; I still believe the Book of Mormon is true; I still believe Gordon B. Hinckley is a living prophet; and I still have a great love and affinity for my religion. If so, one might ask, why don't I continue to live it as I have been taught? There is no easy answer to that question other than to say that I simply can't do it anymore. I wish I had the faith or stamina or whatever to do what my religion has asked me to do. I just don't right now. For so many years prior to meeting Jonah (my partner) and coming out of the closet, I just felt miserable, uptight, guilty, unworthy, repressed, and frustrated with life. No matter how hard I prayed or fasted or magnified my callings or served or read my scriptures, I just couldn't get rid of that negativity in my life. No matter how hard I tried, I never felt I could overcome or successfully deal with my homosexual feelings in a positive way. In my prayers I would often lament my situation and the unfairness of my life or ask Heavenly Father to please just spare me the agony of having to live life with this burden. No matter how many Priesthood blessings I received or how much counseling I got from my leaders and therapists, it didn't change how I felt inside as far as my sexual attractions and desires were concerned. And living a facade pretending I was somebody I never felt that I was or trying to fit in a box that I just didn't seem to fit in was lonely, isolating, and wearying on my soul.

I had determined I was just going to live my life in celibacy and just continue to plod along through life when I met Jonah. We were just friends, but there was something fateful about our meeting; I would even say inspired, and it was clear from quite early on that we were good for each other, although I refused to admit it. I was determined to follow the commandments as I was taught them because I have always tried to do the right thing and be a "good Mormon boy." Jonah never pushed or pressured me to do anything that would pull me away from my faith. In fact, he was ready to let me go if needs be (although he didn't want to, and I began to realize that I didn't want him to, either) because he knew how important my religion was to me.

I didn't want to fall in love with Jonah. I wanted to stay true to what I've always known to be true. But I also was aware that Jonah was making me happier than I'd been in a long time, and I can't quite describe how right it felt to be with him, in spite of what I've always been taught. It certainly felt more right than the past relationships I've had with women.

The decision to be with Jonah was certainly not an easy one nor did I make it without plenty of thought and prayer. Nor has it always been an easy adjustment. But here is what I am absolutely sure of. Since I made it, my life has been much, much happier, and I have been more at peace than I have in a long, long time. In spite of the contradictions, I know these feelings of happiness and peace are fruits of the Spirit. I do not pretend to know why doing something I've been taught is wrong has brought me far more happiness and peace than when I was trying to do everything "right," nor do I pretend to know how this will all pan out in the afterlife, but I know I am much happier now, and I also know my relationship with God is good. In some ways, it's even better than it was. My prayers are no longer filled with self-loathing, unworthiness, guilt, frustration, thoughts of death, or sadness. On the contrary, I consider myself one of the most blessed and happy people I know. I feel like I can finally be myself, and that it's okay. I do not know why this is so. But I trust Heavenly Father, and while I don't necessarily know that he condones my choices, I do know that he is very happy that I am happy, and I do feel he has blessed me greatly by putting Jonah in my life.

Through all of this, I have tried to retain my Mormon values. I still attend church; I still pray; I don't drink or smoke; Jonah and I have been dating for two years, and we are still both celibate; I have tried to be honest and forthcoming with my leaders and my family; even though I am unable to get married legally, I am trying to do my best under the circumstances. Jonah and I are monogamous and spiritual. We each treat others as we would want to be treated. In short, I'm really trying to live my life as best I can under the circumstances life has given me.

I have finally gotten around to reading Gordon B. Hinckley's biography. At the very beginning of the book there was a quote in which he said, "I have done nothing more than try to do what has been asked of me, and I've tried to do it the best I could." When I read these words I felt the Spirit whisper to me that I was doing the same. I am doing the best I can with what I've got, and that will have to be enough. The Spirit has encouraged me a lot during this time, assuring me that I will be okay and that my relationship with Jonah is a blessed and, dare I say, righteous one. Again, I do not know why this is when I am so obviously living my life contrary to what I've been told I should do. But that is what I feel. I do not feel deceived in this matter (although the adversary is very good at what he does, so maybe I am and just don't know it; however I find it very hard to believe that so much good, happiness, and peace has come out of something evil).

In spite of the fact that I am lacking in answers, I know life is better now than it was before, and if I am doing wrong, I would rather do it and feel the way I do now than do what is "right" and feel the way I did then.

I love this church very much. My religion is as much a part of me as my sexuality seems to be, and some of my very best qualities come from having been raised Mormon. It will break my heart if I am excommunicated from this church, which I realize could be a possibility based on the choices I am making. I hope I can somehow avoid that. It hasn't come up yet, and I'm certainly not going to bring it up myself.
I once thought that if I ever came out or acted on my same-sex attractions that my world would somehow implode, that the powers of hell would lay hold on me or something. What I've come to realize is that life has actually gotten better for some reason. My family and friends still love me, and while not all understand, all have been very supportive and loving throughout. I've realized even more how much God really does love me. It's been an incredible and wonderful journey.

I've just finished reading a terrific book by Carol Lynn Pearson called
No More Goodbyes which I think every member of the Church should be required to read. Although it contains some ideas that members might find controversial or even objectionable, I think it really puts a human face on this issue and would at least open people's minds a little. At the very least, it would help people better understand what people like me go through. If you haven't read it, you might take a look at it (although you are a very open-minded woman). My mom is reading my copy now.

I love the leaders of the Church. I truly think they are good and inspired men, but I do think the issue of homosexuality is one they have not been able to get a good handle on. I truly think they are earnest and compassionate, but just don't know the answers. But then neither do I. It's a delicate problem. I don't expect Church policy will ever change on this matter; after all, it's Christ who is at the head, not men. But I just can't continue to do what has been required of me. I don't know what the consequences of that choice will be, but it is what I have to do right now.

I certainly didn't mean for this to turn into a sermon. I'm just explaining my actions. It's not that I feel I have to; I just want you to better understand where I am coming from. It's been especially hard to know how to tell or whether to tell my friends who are LDS about my relationship or upcoming marriage, especially those who I admire and respect as ones who really try to live their faith. In a heterosexual relationship, a member of the Church can send out announcements and expect that everyone will be pleased and overjoyed about the news. In my case, I fear disappointment and concern. I've never set out to hurt anyone or cause anyone to worry about my salvation.

Fortunately, my family and friends (including you) have received my news with little judgment and much love. I'm not saying that they necessarily understand or agree with my choices, but I have been uplifted and gratified by the responses I have received. Jonah hasn't been so lucky. He comes from a very strong Pentecostal background, and many in his family have done or said things that have torn him down. I am very fortunate that those around me have shown me much Christ-like love. I pray that Jonah's family's hearts will at least be softened someday.

… I actually have a group of friends on what we call the Blogosphere [or Queerosphere] comprised of gay LDS people (mostly men). Some are still very active, some are married, some are single, some have fallen away from the Church, some are hanging on with everything they've got, some are in same-sex relationships. It's been very interesting and inspiring to read their stories. I always promised myself I would never become bitter or angry towards the Church like some. Why should I? It has given me some of the greatest blessings and opportunities I've had.

I also have a very dear friend who got married and divorced and came out roughly the same time I did. He is also a very good man with a strong LDS background, and it has been really helpful to have each other to rely on as we both go through our various transitions.

…Anyway, I didn't mean for this to be as long as it turned out to be. I appreciate your love and friendship, and, of course, you will always be my friend, too.

I love you very much.


Anyway, there it is for what it’s worth.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Proof I'm Gay?

I was channel surfing this evening and nearly squealed with delight when I found a rerun of an old Doris Day/Perry Como special televised the year I was born, 1971.

Does that make me gay...or just a nerd?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

His Luck Just Ran Out: Lessons from the Green-Eyed Monster

A couple of months ago I wrote this post (which you may want to read first before continuing) about a dear friend of mine, who, for clarity's sake, I will call Jake. He and I were roommates my first year of graduate studies, and he went through my program with me, so we have been friends for just over three years now.

In my previous post I wrote about my brief jealousy over his good fortune and how lucky he seems to be without much effort on his part. But I also made the observation that in spite of his good luck, he has a lot of problems and that one day his problems would catch up with him and that I didn't necessarily want that to happen because I do love and care about him. Sadly, however, that day has come much sooner than I ever thought it would and under very tragic circumstances that I wouldn't have wished on Jake in a million years. Just as I was pulling into town to visit Jonah, another friend called me to inform me that he had some very bad news about Jake. It seems that late last Saturday night/early Sunday morning Jake (who has a very serious problem with alcoholism) was drunk driving the wrong way on the freeway and hit another car, and in the process, killed its driver.

While devastated by the news, I, unfortunately, wasn't surprised. Those of us who know Jake knew it was just a matter of time before he ended up killing himself or someone else. Sadly, he has taken another human life due to his poor choices, and I fear his luck has run out (although, knowing Jake, don't quote me on that). He already has an arrest from another DUI, and I hear through Jonah (whose sister works in the District Attorney's office) that the prosecuting attorney is especially tenacious and ruthless when it comes to these kinds of crimes. It is likely Jake will do anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on his plea.

I truly feel bad for everyone this tragedy has touched. I feel bad for Jake. In spite of his foolishness, if you knew Jake's heart you would know that he would never intentionally hurt another person. He is a man with a good heart and a lot of problems he can't seem to manage. That doesn't mean I don't think he shouldn't pay for his crime. I do. Jake had plenty of warnings and plenty of chances before this incident occurred, but sadly he ignored and wasted them. But I also know Jake's heart, and I know that no one probably feels as much loathing towards Jake as he does himself right now. I know he feels terrible about what he has done and carries much guilt and remorse. Jake is not a religious person. He's not even sure he believes in God, and death absolutely terrifies him. Because Jake can be a rather fragile individual, some friends were concerned he might try to take his own life rather than have to face what he's done. Although I understood where they were coming from, I doubted he would do it because I think the fear of what comes after death terrifies him more. In our last conversation yesterday Jake said he would probably be calling me a lot. I think there's something about my spirituality that he finds comforting. I don't say that in a boastful way at all. Honest. Jake, himself, has told me as much, and I think he feels I can help him through this tumultuous time. I'm not sure I can, but I will try. But I genuinely feel bad for him and for the promising future he had that will be snuffed out, at least temporarily, when he goes to prison. I also feel horrible that he will forever carry the guilt that he took another human life. I can only hope that Jake will learn from this terrible lesson; that hopefully this will at last will be the impetus that helps him get the help he needs.

I feel badly for his family, who will have terrible legal costs and hospital bills (Jake broke his knee and ankle in the crash) to deal with and, very likely, will have to endure separation from their son. I feel badly for his girlfriend, who's away in China right now and will have to deal with her grief there. I also feel badly that their relationship might not endure this trial. I feel badly for all of his friends who have been affected by this tragedy. All of us feel horrible about this event, although I do notice it has also brought out some people's true colors.

But, mostly, I feel awful about the poor man's family that has lost their father, uncle, brother, etc. because of my dear friend's poor choices and addictions. The victim was in his early fifties, and while I do not know much about him beyond that, I am sure he must have left behind a family of some sort. Some poor family will forever feel that loss, emotionally and physically, and it breaks my heart. I am sure they will feel much anger towards my friend, and who can blame them? It's just a sad tragedy all the way around.

When you read about these cases (or at least when I do), I always tend to feel a great deal of sympathy towards the victims rather than the perpetrators, but now that I'm on the other side, I can see both sides. Jake is not a bad person; he just made a huge, irreparable mistake. It's just so sad to me. I feel much sorrow in my heart for all involved.

Jonah was right. In my last post about Jake, Jonah reminded me that "I wouldn't trade places with [Jake] in a minute. I would much rather be me than him." That's more true than ever now.

On the upside, I got to see Jonah, and we had a fun week together and also went house-hunting, so that was exciting.

And next week I start rehearsals for a show I've been wanting to do for seventeen years, so I'm very excited about that.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Giving My Family More Credit

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday about giving my family more credit. I love my sister-in-law very much. She’s pretty conservative, and she and my brother and their kids are very active in the church. But she’s also very loving and nonjudgmental and has really been cool about my relationship with Jonah. She asks about him often and has always made me feel that she considers him important because she knows he is important to me.

Jonah and I changed our marriage plans. For various reasons, we have decided to get married in Hawaii instead of Vancouver, as originally planned. Because my mom will be serving as a witness, I have told her about my plans, and I have also told my youngest sister because she lives in the same house. But I haven’t really told anybody else. I intend to, but I just haven’t yet, for several reasons.

Anyway, the other day my sister-in-law was at the house and noticed my ring and because it was on my left hand she asked if it there was something I had to share. However, because my youngest niece was there I felt uneasy about getting into it all, not knowing how informed she is about the goings on in my life. So I kind of skirted the issue.

Anyway, Friday night the news about my wedding came out, and my sister-in-law was understandably hurt that I hadn’t told her personally. I received the following email from her:

Dear Cody,

You can imagine how surprised I was last night when your mom told me of your upcoming wedding. I can only imagine how hard it must be to keep your feelings quiet or have to hesitate, at all, in the sharing of such important news. It seems that we have a very good relationship, but I would like to
think that we are close enough to share our life changing events and feelings with each other (actually, I would like to share more. I miss our long talks.) Why didn't you tell me? Especially when we were talking about it. Am I rude, insensitive or judgmental? I hope not. I hope that you can feel my love. I can understand not bringing it up in front of [my youngest]. I have been wondering how you have been doing and what you were deciding about your relationship with Jonah for a very long time. I didn't bring it up
because it is such an adult topic and I am surrounded by a little angel. Which is probably exactly what you did too. Please know that I love you very much. We look forward to Sunday evenings to be with you. So, really, how are you and what is going on?

Love [your sister-in-law]

I felt badly that I hadn’t given her more credit. This was my reply:

You are absolutely right. I didn't not delve into the subject further at the time you asked about the ring because [your daughter] was there. Believe me, I wanted to, but I just wasn't sure it was the right time to do it. Frankly, I don't know how much she knows about my relationship with Jonah, and I don't wish to confuse her or anything, I guess. The fact is, I really haven't announced my engagement to very many people yet. We're still in the planning stages. Originally, we were going to get married in Canada, but just recently decided to do it in Hawaii instead, so I guess I haven't told many people until I know for sure what we're doing. In no way have I ever felt you be insensitive or judgmental about my relationship with Jonah. In fact, you have been cool about it. At the same time, it is hard for me to talk about it the way perhaps a heterosexual person might. In our church culture, especially, a man and a woman can announce their engagement and expect it to be received with joy and celebration whereas if a man and a man do the same thing, it will more likely be met with concern and perhaps even disappointment and judgment. I haven't felt those negative feelings coming from you in any way, but I do know how closely you and [my brother] and your family try to follow our Heavenly Father's commandments and try to live your lives the way he taught. I guess maybe on some level I'm afraid of setting a bad example for your kids with my choices or making any of you uncomfortable. Even though [my brother] has been good about it, for example, I still sense that he is not comfortable with the choices I am making. Perhaps that is a misperception on my part. I guess I just don't want to make anybody more uncomfortable than they have to be. Perhaps that's wrong of me, especially since I've spent a good portion of my life holding everything I feel inside, but I guess I fear sharing too much, like I'm going to rock the boat or something. Does that make any sense?

I love Jonah dearly. He is one of my very best friends. He is a good match for me. We are good for each other. We want to share our lives with each other. He makes me very happy, and I think I do the same for him. I have never in my life been so loved by someone (in a romantic way, I mean). In fact, I often wonder what wonderful thing I have done to deserve him.

It is our intention at this time to get married in a small ceremony in Hawaii some time during the first week of March. Anybody is welcome to come, although I can only pay for myself and Mom (and Jonah is paying for himself and his witness). We hope to have maybe a larger reception of sorts on our one year anniversary…. This is a very challenging time for Jonah because his family isn't anywhere near as supportive as mine has been. In fact, it is doubtful that anyone in his family will actually be at the wedding.

I love you very, very much. Even though I don't tell you (and I'm thinking I need to remedy that) I tell Jonah all the time how supportive you've been and how you ask about him and make me feel like he's just as much a part of the family as anybody else is. That means so, so much to me. I just hope you understand that in many ways this is still an awkward phase for me. I've been planning to send an email out to all my friends and family announcing my news and I haven't sent it yet both because we haven't finalized our plans and because I'm afraid. It's like I feel I have to pick and choose who I will tell because I don't want to "bother" anybody with news that maybe they don't want to hear. I still care very much what people think, even though I tell myself it's their problem, not mine, if they don't receive the news well.

I told [my bishop] about my relationship (which he already knew), but nothing about the engagement. And, much like you, [he] is one of the most loving, nonjudgmental people I know. But I also know what he knows in his heart is true and that it doesn't coincide with the choices I am presently making, and I guess I just didn't want to disappoint or overwhelm him any more than I had to. I also fear things like excommunication. I don't want to be excluded from membership in a religion I love so much. At the same time, I strongly feel this is the path I need to be on right now. Fortunately, excommunication hasn't come up, and I hope it never does. If it does, I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Please understand that I have never intended to hurt you. I guess in my clumsy way I was trying to protect or spare you and your family from any hurt that might come from what might be viewed as "wrong" choices. If it makes you feel any better, Mom and [my youngest sister] are the only ones who really know any details, and that's only because they live with me. I even felt odd about asking Mom if she wanted to be my witness and still feel weird that when she does witness the wedding, she will see Jonah and I kiss each other for the first time.

Please know that I am perfectly willing to talk to you about any aspect of my life that you wish to know about, but that I still feel it can be an awkward subject. I'm finally, finally getting to the point where I feel I can talk openly to Mom about it, where I can refer to Jonah as my boyfriend, or refer to myself as gay without tiptoeing around it, and I'm sure I will eventually be able to do that with everyone. But please tell me how open you want me to be in front of your kids about it because I still feel I have a strong responsibility to be as good of an example to them as I can possibly be. I would welcome a conversation about anything you want to talk about because I do, indeed, love you very, very much, and I have been very happy with how you've handled my situation.



And hers:

Dear Cody,

I am so relieved that I didn't do anything to hurt you. As I told you, I don't feel as free to talk with [my youngest] around. This is such an adult issue that I am not sure how much to tell her or to expose her to. Just so you know, all of our children know that you are gay and that you love them. We love you just the same. We told [our youngest] last night. She was unaware of your situation until your mom started talking about your wedding. When we got home [your brother] and I explained it to her. She seemed satisfied with the conversation we had.

As our children have grown and their questions have come we have done the best we can to answer them. It is hard to know how much to tell each child. For instance, [our youngest son] is at the stage when [your brother] kisses me when he comes through the door, that [he] completely grosses out. He is so uncomfortable with any type of intimacy it is funny. [Your brother] sometimes kisses me just to get [him] crazy. Each child's level is so hard to know.

I thank you for wanting to protect my children. I know that you have struggled with this for many years. Thank you for setting the example that you have. Your support at our families activities is very much appreciated ( like when [our oldest son] was made a Priest ). I have never heard you bad mouth the church or God for giving you this trial. Thank you.

I am glad that you are happy. I went to a missionary fireside a while ago. When I was there they told us to write down who ever we thought about that evening. I couldn't get you out of my mind. I wrote down your name. Maybe I should have sent you an e-mail sooner. I am sorry that I was not able to
emotionally support you sooner.

Please know that I love you. Thank you for always being so willing to talk to me about anything.


[Your sister-in-law]

And mine:

No, you didn't hurt me at all. And I hope I didn't hurt you, either. I, too, like you, worry about how much to expose in dealing with this issue. But I am glad to know that all your kids know, and that you all love me the same (although by your actions I have never doubted that). I just hope I never do anything that puts you or [my brother] or your children in an awkward or uncomfortable position.

I have no bad feelings towards the church or Heavenly Father in the slightest, nor do I regret my choices. As contradictory as it may sound, I still have a very strong testimony of the truthfulness of the church, and although there are some things that occur in Mormon culture that bother me, I have nothing but feelings of love for my religion. Being a Mormon is as much a part of who I am as being gay is, and some of my finest virtues are directly related to how I've been taught and raised within my religion, so I have no reason to have bad feelings towards God, the church, or its leaders.

In spite of my testimony and love for my religion, I have found much greater peace and understanding and my relationship with God has gotten better since I found Jonah and since I came out of the closet. I do not know why this seemingly contradictory journey has occurred, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am happier now than I was when I was trying to live my life "right," and although I do not know what is in store for me in the eternities, I know that things between me and the Lord are good, and things will turn out well, and I trust Him on that.

I do not believe in black and white. I do not know all the answers. But I do know that right here, right now, this is where I need to be. I'm still active (just Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting; I don't go to Priesthood), although I do not take the Sacrament. I still continue to participate in my church meetings (and will continue to do so until I am asked not to) and contribute where I can. I have tried to be completely honest with my bishop and my family about my life. Of course, I continue to support my loved ones in their callings and in their lives. I still respect the church leaders and still believe that Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet. I am still celibate and plan on remaining so until Jonah and I are married (or, at least, as married as we can be). I try to follow the commandments I still feel I am able to follow. In short, I am doing the best I feel I am able to do under the circumstances life has dealt me.

I am reading an excellent book (although in many ways, a sad one) called
No More Goodbyes by Carol Lynn Pearson. I think it should be required reading for all members. There may even be ideas in it people won't necessarily take to, but I do think it illustrates well what people like me go through. In many ways, I am actually far more lucky or blessed than many others in my situation. At least I feel I can talk about these things with my family, and at least I feel my family is supportive (or at least as supportive as they feel they can be). Jonah, for example, can't even talk to his family about any of this and feels sad, lonely, and isolated as a result. And, of course, when he is sad, I am sad for him. Anyway, it's been a really good read. I recommend it.

I love you dearly… You are truly a remarkable person. I hold you and my brother and your family in very high esteem. On some level, I am envious that I just never felt I was able to follow the path that you and [my brother] seem to be following successfully (albeit with plenty of work): i.e. a normal heterosexual courtship, temple marriage, children, a good LDS family, etc., but that path, no matter how hard I kicked against the pricks to make it so, never seemed attainable. Now that I've chosen a different path with Jonah, life is so, so much better. I am truly more at peace than I ever was when I trying so hard all those years to get my "square peg to fit in a round hole." Again, based on what I know and still believe, I do not know why this is the case, but it is, and I am choosing to be happy now rather than feel repressed, uptight, guilty, worthless, miserable, and always short of perfection, which is what I felt for many, many years.

Obviously, this has not been an easy transition, but it definitely has been a good one. I trust, for now, that is right. Fortunately, I take great joy in the knowledge that my choices are between me and my Father, and right now, I feel very good about where the two of us (me and Heavenly Father) are in our relationship right now.

I, too, am glad that I feel I can talk to you about anything.

Love, your brother,


I’m glad she wants me to share my life. It makes me feel comfortable that I can be more open. This evening as she and their family were leaving, my oldest niece said, “Congratulations! I’m very happy for you!” and I could tell she meant it. That means a lot. One of her best friends is gay, so I know she is understanding.

My mom and I had a really good discussion about being gay and the church, and I’m just so glad it gets easier every day. I wish Jonah could be as open with his family. It makes me sad that he can’t. Such is life, I guess.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where My Happiness Lies

I've started reading Gordon B. Hinckley's biography, which is something I have intended to read for a while, but never seemed to have the time to do. I think he is a wonderful man and a wonderful example. Now that school is over, I have time to read about him.

In the book, he is quoted as saying, "I have done nothing more than try to do what has been asked of me, and I've tried to do it the best I could." When I read those words, they really resonated with me. I read them six or seven times in a row because they really hit me. A voice said, "That's what you are doing, too."

Now certainly, by the standards of my religion, I am not living my life they way I have been taught to. And certainly I am not equating myself with Gordon B. Hinckley. But what struck me is that he is living his life the best he knows how under the circumstances life has dealt him, and I do feel that I am trying to do the same in my own way. And it's nice to know that I'm not competing with Gordon B. Hinckley. God is measuring me by my own merits, not by somebody else's.

In spite of the fact that I may not be living my life according to the gospel plan as it has been laid out to me, I am doing the best I feel I am able to do with the life I have, and that is very comforting.

In spite of the fact that I am in a gay relationship (and a very fulfilling one at that) which is contrary to what I have been taught to do, I am trying to be in that relationship adhering to the values my religion has taught me. Jonah and I remain chaste, we plan on getting married (as legally as we can), I still go to church, I still treat others in as Christ-like a manner as I am able, I still adhere to many of the tenets my religion has blessed me with, I still love my religion very much. And though there may be some who would argue that the choices I'm making in life are sinful, I have to say that wrong or right, these choices have brought me more happiness and peace than I felt when I was trying to live my life "right." I feel closer to God and have a greater understanding of his love for me. And whether I understand the reasons or not, I feel that things are okay as far as my standing with the Lord is concerned.

I don't believe in black and white. Nor do I believe that God doesn't understand his plan better than I do. And right now this path is right, and I trust that it's right.

I am doing what I've been asked to do in life as well as I can, and that is enough.

There are so many of us out there who beat ourselves up because we can't do what has been required of us and then spend our days feeling guilty and worthless because we fall short. I spent a great deal of my life feeling that way all the time, and it just made me uptight and miserable. Coming out was a difficult transition, and as I've said many, many times in my blog, I do not necessarily advocate the choices I've made for anybody but me. They are my choices and mine alone, and I will deal with whatever the consequences are myself. But I will say that since I've chosen this path, guilt and misery seem so far removed from me. What I have learned is that God loves me so much more than I ever realized, and he just wants all of us to be happy. Right now, this is where my happiness lies, and I do not regret it. I've come a long way since I started this blog (others might argue for the negative, but I disagree). Coming out and having this new life with Jonah have turned out to be very positive influences in my life.

I am grateful for the life Heavenly Father has blessed me with, and I strive every day not to disappoint him. I believe I am doing that as best I can, and that's what counts. I believe when all is said and I done, I will be very pleased with how I chose to lead my life. I'm not even talking about my sexuality now, but just in how I treated others, and in my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I think I am doing well. I hope so, anyway.

No matter how you choose to live your life, whether it be in the church, out of the church, gay, straight, married, single, whatever, at least let go of hate and guilt and self-loathing and misery. Heavenly Father doesn't want that for any of us. I know no matter what else, Heavenly Father is at least happy that I am happy right now. That doesn't even mean I'm necessarily making the choices he wants me to (although I really don't know anymore), but I do know he's happy that I have found some peace and happiness in my life.

I truly view where I am now as opposed to where I was a couple of years ago as a very good thing. And good is what God is all about.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Adventures In Cedar City and Beyond

It's been a good summer since I graduated in May. I got my degree recently, so it's official now: I am a master of something.

Since I've been home in Utah, I've been performing in one show, and I just got cast in another (one I've always wanted to do). I also got my Actors' Equity card, so that was a big thing (although we'll see if it was the right way to go).

Jonah and I went to the Utah Shakespearean Festival last week. It had been a couple of months since we had seen each other (although we talk to each other nearly every day), so it was really nice to spend some time (albeit short) with him. Last Sunday was his birthday. I have to be honest; I was really tempted to have sex with him. My hormones were feeling very impatient. However, I still really feel very strongly about getting married first. I think it's just my Mormon upbringing and my desire to do as much as I can to live the way I was always taught under my specific life circumstances. So I resisted, and, fortunately, Jonah respects that. And, in the end, even though my hormones weren't so thrilled, I really was happy I made the choice to not have sex yet. I think I would have regretted it. I just want to get married first. Jonah and I did, however, have many detailed discussions about sex during our trip, which I think is healthy.

A week prior to our trip I had been thinking about what to get Jonah for his birthday. I had gotten him a CD, but had an epiphany that an unexpected and more-than-ready gift to give him would be to propose. So I went and bought a really nice gold band. I would have liked to get something with diamonds in it (which I actually think Jonah would have liked better), but it just wasn't in my budget. My mom actually helped me pick it out, which was cool. But I thought Cedar City would be a good place to do it since it's special to both of us (for many reasons). We took a walk to the Centurium, a group of statues of famous philosophers, writers, scientists, etc, which also has special meaning for us. I asked him to marry me under the statue of Shakespeare. I think he was both surprised and moved because he was crying. He said yes, and we took a few pictures of us.

Jonah at one point on the trip told me he was scared I wouldn't come back after I moved away after school, which surprised me because I thought he knew that he means the world to me, and that this relationship is serious to me. I think he was afraid I would get cold feet, which is understandable. I think the ring solidified in his mind that I'm in this to stay.

It does sadden me (and Jonah as well) that he feels he can't tell his family about us. But what can you do? That's my main regret about the marriage (more for him than for me): that his family won't be likely to attend. We, therefore, are making it a small ceremony (most likely in Vancouver some time after January) with just two witnesses (my mom will be mine, and I don't know who he has chosen yet).

Later that night, we saw the Simpsons movie (how romantic, huh?) which we both enjoyed. The next day we saw Candida (very charming) and Twelfth Night (pretty good, although I liked it better than Jonah did). I was suffering from really bad allergies, so the trip wasn't as delightful on that level as I had hoped, but we still had a good time. I also saw a really good friend that I hadn't seen in nearly 8 years.

Our last day, we had lunch with a good friend and then we saw Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical, which was entertaining, but still needs some work. Then we had dinner with two good friends of mine. That was fun. Then we saw Coriolanus, which was well-acted, but it was raining, so that was a bit distracting at times. Still, we had a great time.

We drove home that night, and the next day Jonah bought me a ring to match the one I bought him, so that was cool. I'm not a big fan of wearing rings, but I'm trying to get used to it.

He and my mom came to see my show that night, and I introduced him to my friends, and they all seemed to like him. Then we laid with each other a bit in my bed that night and the next morning (which, honestly, felt a little weird in my mom's house), and then I drove Jonah to the airport and said goodbye.

I miss him, but I'll be visiting him in about two weeks, and, hopefully, we'll be able to continue looking for houses.

It looks like I'll be in Utah until at least October, possibly December, and that's hard, but I feel we're doing well, and I think it's something we'll have to get used to since my work will likely keep us apart for long periods of time.

Today church was enjoyable. I also got to spend time with my family and some close friends as we celebrated my nephew being ordained a priest.

I met with my bishop today. He's also a really good friend, so I wasn't nervous (although Jonah told me he had felt nervous for me all day). My bishop knows what's up, and he was very loving and nonjudgmental (although not necessarily thrilled with my decisions). He was really good about it, although I know he doesn't fully understand why I'm making the choices I am. He did give me the Church's latest pamphlet to read and asked me to prayerfully consider it. Incidentally, I think it's one of the best written things the leaders of the Church have come up with regarding same-sex attraction, although basically I feel like it boils down to "We're-sorry-we-don't-know-how-to-help-you-and-you'll-probably-never-be-free-of-your-attractions-in-this-life-and-heterosexual-marriage-probably-won't-help-you-either-but-we'd-like-you-to-keep-doing-what-we've-asked-you-to-do-even-though-it-means-you'll-be-celebate-and-alone-for-the-rest-of-your-life-and-we-know-that-isn't-fair-but-that's-what-the-Lord-requires-and-everything-will-be-made-right-after-you-die." I don't blame them. I mean, if that's the way it is, that's the way it is. I can't fault them for that. But I just don't feel I can do what is required. And no matter what, I know I'm happier now than I was before I found Jonah and came out, so I'm willing to take the risk.

Anyway, excommunication or being disfellowshipped never came up, and since I'm perfectly happy continuing to be a member of the LDS Church still, I didn't bring it up, either. I may have to face it someday, but I'm okay with not having to deal with it right now.

An old friend called out of the blue yesterday wanting to get together next week. I'm eager to see him again. It's been a long, long time. I'm also meeting an old roommate tomorrow for lunch. Should be fun.

Anyway, that's what's up with me right now.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I asked Jonah to marry me on his birthday while on a really great trip in Cedar City (we were there for the Shakespeare Festival). I made him cry (in a good way)! He said yes. We have matching gold rings now. We're saving to get married in Canada (most likely Vancouver) some time after January. I asked my mom to be one of our witnesses. She said yes.

I'll try to post more details about our trip and what's been going on with me later.

I have a meeting with my bishop on Sunday. He's a good friend, so I'm not especially nervous, and I am at peace with the decisions I'm making in my life. But, at the same time, I'm curious to know how it will turn out and what the consequences of my actions will be in regards to the church. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

8 Random Facts


1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I have been mistaken for both a bank robber and a terrorist.
2. I'm a Star Wars geek.
3. I've been repelling, bungee-jumping, and have ridden in a hot air balloon, a helicopter, a private plane, and several jets.
4. I cry almost every time I see the movie The Champ (with Ricky Schroeder, Jon Voigt, and Faye Dunaway), and I've seen it easily 50 times.
5. I am somewhat obsessed with John F. Kennedy's assassination.
6. I have been to Canada, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and Austria.
7. I am still a virgin.
8. I have three personal letters from Stephen Sondheim.

Tags: Okay, I'm going to break the rules and not tag anyone. I'm not much a fan of chain emails/posts and I recognize the mathematical impossibility of it continuing much further in the gay Mormon blogging world. Lets just assume, for sake of clarity, that everyone has been tagged.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Things Currently On My Mind

Two things happened at church today that I found very useful. The first was that a friend asked me, rather out-of-the-blue, what I knew for sure. I thought about it, and replied, “I know that God loves me.” He asked me how I knew. I said I just did. End of conversation. But it reaffirmed that that is something I know for sure, and it is good to be reminded of that.

The second thing was that in Sunday School there was a really good lesson on the atonement, and I felt the slight pang of wondering what my rewards (or punishments) would be in the afterlife based on the choices I’ve made, and immediately a voice inside of me (which I assume was the Holy Ghost) said, “You are doing your best. That’s all that counts right now,” and immediately quelled my doubts.

Somebody in the class brought up the point that we are not excluded from God’s presence based on some kind of sin tally. Without the atonement, sin is sin, and therefore we are unclean and can’t enter into God’s presence. One sin and that would be it, whether it’s a lie, cheating, murder, or rape. Now, that certainly isn’t to say that they are all equal in value, but if there were no atonement, one sin would be just as decimating as another, no matter what it was. Somehow, I found it comforting that the atonement covers that which we are unable to do for ourselves. No one can reach the Father without the Son’s infinite atonement, and I found it reassuring that we are saved by grace “after all we can do.” I felt an assurance that I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got and that, for now, it’s enough.

I love Jonah a lot, and he loves me so, so much. I have never experienced the kind of undying love Jonah seems to have for me in a romantic relationship, and I am often in awe of it considering that I can be kind of self-centered. He is truly amazing, and there are times I feel I don’t deserve him (but I’m glad he feels I do). I often feel bad, because although I love and miss him, I don’t feel like I miss him as much as he seems to miss me. That certainly isn’t because I don’t love or care about him; I just feel I handle separation better than he does. But I feel bad that I don’t miss him more. It makes me feel like I don’t love him as much as I ought to.

If I’m honest, a committed relationship (marriage and a house) scare me a lot. I’m always afraid of losing my independence or of getting sick of each other. It frightens me. But I also have a hard time imagining that my life would be nearly as complete as it feels without him. When I really think of it, I have a hard time imagining that there’s anybody out there that could match Jonah. In many ways, I feel like we not only love each other, but need each other.

My mom and were talking about our relationship the other day, and she was saying that it seemed in many ways Jonah and I are opposites. In some ways this is true, but I feel that our differences balance each other out. It’s like we’re teaching each other or filling voids that the other has. And, as Jonah brought up later when I talked to him about it, we really probably have more in common with each other than not.

I was so lonely and rudderless before Jonah. It’s incredible how much his presence has changed my life, and, I feel, for the better. I’m glad we are a part of each other. We’ll be taking our annual trip to Cedar City in about three weeks. We are both very excited to see each other and be with each other (not to mention some make-out time ;-) ).

The other thing that is on my mind today is something I actually wanted to write about on July 4, but it seemed almost unpatriotic, so I refrained. I love this country and I love being an American, but since George W. Bush has been in power, I get more disillusioned with the state of our country as each year passes. Perhaps George W. and his administration are not to blame for everything (although I certainly like to put the blame on them), since he has been President, I feel like I notice all the cracks in this once great country. That’s not to say we’re not still great or capable of great things, but I just feel like my perception of America has changed. I find it ironic that after pulling together as a nation and putting aside differences after 9-11 that in many ways the values of this country are being lost.

I find that this country seems to be represented by greed, arrogance, self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and gluttony. Many of our leaders seem to put themselves above the law. Our health care is in a shambles, where the rich and well-placed seem to profit while the poor and needy suffer. Our justice system has so many holes in it. We consume and consume without giving anything back. We claim the sanctity of life, yet many innocents die unjustly. I’ve never seen the country as divided as I have during this administration. Our children’s futures look bleak based on our decisions now. It just makes me angry. I feel that many of the values this country was built on are being swept away by their opposites, and I am furious that there are still people who can’t seem to see it.

But on the other hand, maybe it is my perceptions that are skewed. I certainly don’t claim to be all-knowing. That’s just how it appears to me right now.

I saw the Michael Moore movie, Sicko, the other day. True, Moore can manipulate his audience, but he certainly has some valid points. Even if you don’t agree with his politics, I think the movie addresses some important issues. I don’t know that his conclusions are the way to go (I’ve seen the downside of socialized medicine when I lived in France), but I do know the present health care system we have has some major problems, and people are really suffering as a result.

I guess my point is that it’s wonderful to live in a free country, but with freedom comes responsibility and accountability, and I think we (and, yes, I include myself) have some work to do in that area.

Finally, I really like this song:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Church Nerves

I went to church today for the first time in about a year. I'm back home with my mom for the summer while working out here in Utah. It felt weird. I was nervous for some reason, mostly, I think, because I knew people would ask what I'm up to and what my plans are now that I've graduated, and I guess I thought it would be a little awkward to tell them I'm planning on buying a house with my gay boyfriend and living with him permanently. And now that I'm back home I feel like church is the one place I can no longer be myself (at least the way I've allowed myself to be for the last year), and that's hard.

I have missed church a lot, but I was also reminded about the things I don't miss about it; for example, boring Priesthood lessons, putting on a facade, and how much the lessons (most likely inadvertently) often concentrate on God's judgement rather than His mercy. But I have missed many of these people as well as the positive messages of God's love. It was so great to see my Bishop. He is great leader as well as a good friend.

I guess the other reason I was nervous to go to church is because I've been putting off the inevitable; that I may have to face a disciplinary council eventually. I do not wish to be either excommunicated or disfellowshipped, but I also allow that one of those two things may be the natural consequence of my actions and choices. The fact is, I am in a gay relationship that I have no intention of walking away from. And while Jonah and I have not had sex yet, it is certainly my intention to do so in the coming future. I would imagine my unwillingness to follow the commandments the Lord has set through the Church would certainly be grounds for either disfellowship or excommunication. I just haven't wanted to deal with it.

I never even talked about these issues in my last ward (when I was going to school). My bishop in my home ward (the one I currently am attending) knows all about my issues as does the Stake President. These men are friends who I love and trust, and while I know that will make it harder if and when I have to face a disciplinary council, I also feel on some level it will make it easier that I won't be handing over my fate in the Church to a bunch of strangers who don't know me or my problems.

But because these are also men I have grown up with, I know it will be much more difficult on an emotional level to either be disfellowshipped or excommunicated.

I recently talked to my friend (you can read about him here). It was funny, he was on his way to Cedar City and I was on my way to Salt Lake City, so we agreed to meet wherever our paths crossed, and we met at some remote exit on I-15. It was just the two of us out in the middle of nowhere, and it was so good to see him after nearly a year. We've gone on similar paths in many ways, and we both just finished graduate school. We're both in serious relationships. Unlike me, he was married before he found his partner. Anyway, I asked him about his excommunication. He said he was very surprised how peaceful he felt after it had happened and how open and compassionate the men on his council were. He said he's very much in love with his partner, and things seem to be going well with him. He also had better closure recently with his ex-wife. Anyway, he said if and when I have to deal with a disciplinary council, he would be there to talk to if I needed it. I was very grateful for that. He's really a great guy. Never in a million years did either of us think we'd ever be where we are today, but I really feel like we're both happier people than we were.

It's so weird. I still maintain that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I don't think I could ever rescind that belief. I'd be scared to, quite frankly, based on what I know. But I also am absolutely sure that I am happier now than I was when I was active. Before I came out of the closet, life was just full of torment, loneliness, guilt. I'd wish I were dead and was convinced I would always be alone and unhappy. I lived life as a facade, never saying what I really felt. I was repressed and uptight. Now I have someone in my life who I love dearly, who loves me. I am free to be myself and feel like a great burden has been lifted from me. I am much more relaxed and others have noticed how much happier I seem to be. I do not feel any of the torment and hopelessness that I once did, and I rarely feel guilt about the way I have chosen to run my life. I am at peace and, furthermore, I feel I have a much better appreciation for God's love and a better relationship with Him in many ways than I previously did. I don't know what that all means or what the afterlife holds for me, but the point is, I'm okay with it, and I am truly happy. I guess I didn't expect that withdrawing from the Church would lead that way.

I again stress, as I often do, that the choices I am making now in life are right for me and me alone. I would never presume to dictate how anyone else should run their own life. In fact, I have great admiratiom for those of you who are still "sticking it out." I just realized I could no longer do it, and although there are some things I miss as a result, I also know I am far happier and more fulfilled than I once was. I also have an absolute dream of a man for my mate, and that has made an incredible difference in my life. Jonah is an absolute gem! An absolute gem! He is not perfect, nor am I, but we are, in many ways, perfect for each other. I simply do not believe it is coincidence. I believe we were meant to be with one another. As I have stated in past posts, I am doing the best I can under the circumstances life has dealt me, and I have confidence that it is enough.

I pray for all of you, in whatever choices and circumstances you find yourselves faced with, that you will find happiness in whatever you decide to do. For some of you that means staying true to your testimonies and not acting on your homosexual feelings. For others, it means finding other alternatives. I just pray we can all be wise in the choices we make. I can't even testify that my choices are wise or even righteous, but I certainly feel they are right for me at this time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The End?

I am considering terminating my blog. Like many of you MoHo bloggers out there, I originally started this blog as a way of working through my feelings, venting my frustrations, and as a way to connect with others who are/were struggling as I was.

Now, however, I'm in a really good place emotionally and very much at peace with where I am in life. I don't write here as much anymore, I don't read other people's blogs as regularly as I once did, and, frankly, I'm not sure anyone really reads mine anymore, either. No complaints about that; that just seems to be the way it is.

I haven't made up my mind yet. We'll see. Maybe every once in a while I'll write when something really important or noteworthy happens. Or maybe I'll just focus my attentions on other areas of my life. I'm just mulling it over right now.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Green-Eyed Monster

This happened almost a week ago, but I have been meaning to write about it.

I don't get jealous very often (and, in fact, the feelings of jealousy I felt last week are already gone), but I was upset with how I responded to a recent situation because it is very much out of character for me.

I have a friend who invited me to see a show he is on staff with. This job kind of fell into his lap; it wasn't something he worked hard to get; and it is a job that pays extremely well.

I have known this friend for three years, and we have worked very closely together. He is someone I care about very much, but he also has a lot of problems. He is lazy, irresponsible, and really good at faking his way through things without actually doing the work. He is also a terrific schmoozer, a talent which I actually wish I possessed. He's very materialistic and status is quite important to him (much more than it has ever been to me). He also has some substance abuse problems.

Anyway, I met him before the show, and he was talking about how excited he was about the show and name-dropping left and right and telling me how much money he was making and how he had just spent a substantial amount of that money on one more extravagant thing he doesn't need. All of this was done very innocently, I believe. I don't think he was intending to be arrogant or a show off; I think he was just genuinely excited about his good fortune. But all of a sudden, these feelings of resentment and jealousy were boiling inside of me.

Because I know him very well, I was annoyed because I felt that if anybody didn't deserve the good fortune he was presently enjoying, it was him. It just reaffirmed my belief that he's just a very lucky guy rather than someone who's earned his place. I was also dismayed that he takes this money he's earned and spends it on things he doesn't need like he always has. This guy is so incredibly in debt, it's amazing. And yet, there was that part of me that thought, "Yeah, he's happy now, but what will happen when this job ends and he still has those huge debts to pay and still has to deal with all the problems he puts off? It's going to bite him in the butt eventually." The problem is I don't want it to bite him in the butt. I really do care about my friend, and even though I was angry at him that night, I feel genuine concern at his mismanagement of money, his alcoholism, his failure to take responsibility for the problems in his life.

But at the time, I was angry. Angry that I don't have his flair for wheeling and dealing. Angry that I'm always going to be working low-paying jobs all my life. Angry that I've worked really hard to get where I am whereas I feel he hasn't. But, as Jonah very lovingly reminded me, I wouldn't trade places with him in a minute. I would much rather be me than him. But I really was surprised at how resentful and jealous I was.

The very next day, I felt none of that. I still don't. But the "green-eyed monster" did rear its ugly head for a few hours last Thursday night.

Come Follow Me

Jonah invited me to a progressive Lutheran church to hear Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye) give a sermon of sorts. Jonah had heard about it from a friend of his he works with.

It's weird going to a different church when you've been a Mormon all your life. I've been to many different churches in my life, and there are many things I like and dislike about the ones I've been to (and frankly there are things I both like and dislike about LDS church services as well), but every church I have been to just reminds me how ingrained Mormonism is in me because none of them feel like home the a way a Mormon ward does.

The music was okay. There was a lot of that kind of Christian rock you hear. I found much of it kind of trite.

Jay Bakker's sermon, however, was quite good and helped me see some things I've always known from a different point of view. He had a great sense of humor (almost irreverent by Mormon standards, but I liked much of what he said). The main theme of his sermon was that Christianity is many ways has become exclusive rather than inclusive, and in many ways, I agree with him.

He talked about several Bible stories which I knew well. Things like asking a tax collector (Matthew) to be his disciple. In that time tax collectors were among the most hated and untrusted people, and if you wanted to be a rabbi's disciple, the norm was for you to ask to be their disciple, not the other way around. Another story he told was when Jesus had a meal with some people that the Pharisee's considered unclean and how many people doubted that someone who would spend his time hanging around the lowest of the low, the biggest sinners, could hardly be the Messiah. Or there was the story of another tax collector, Zaccheus, who fell out of a tree in trying to see Jesus, and Jesus demanded that he make him (Jesus) and guest in his (Zaccheus') house that evening, and people murmured that Jesus would allow himself to be the guest in the home of such a sinner. There was also the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jews would go out of their way to even avoid Samaritans, and the woman was at the well at a time when others wouldn't be likely to be there because she was probably rejected even in her own community (some speculation says she may have been a harlot), and yet Jesus was asking her for water when it would have been considered unclean to do so.

The point is that Jesus spent his time with those that the religious leaders of the day excluded. Jay Bakker said something that really resonated with me. He said, "Jesus didn't say 'Come follow me' so that people could feel guilty or bad about themselves or rejected or judged or put upon. He said "Come follow me' because he loved them."

It was interesting. Jonah introduced me to his friend as his boyfriend and told him I was Mormon, and his friend, who is also gay, was interested in attending a Mormon ward because he is still searching for the right religion for him, and I was embarrassed because it occurred to me that if he and his partner were to attend a Mormon ward, they would more likely than not be made to feel unwelcome or at least uncomfortable. I'm not saying there aren't wards out there that would welcome them with open arms without batting an eye, but I think it would be the exception. And that made me kind of sad. Even if Mormonism (or other Christian religions) believe that homosexuality is a sin, I think it is contrary to Christ's teachings to make people feel excluded because of that.

Jay's main message was that he really wants to rally around those who feel like outsiders without judgment and bring them closer to Christ. I think it's a good message. After his sermon, we watched a Christian music video, and the main theme was a woman who had fallen on hard times and was sinning and doing stuff that she knew she shouldn't be doing and feeling lost and alone and wanting someone to reach out to her. It showed her trying to summon the courage to go back to church and being ignored by its members (not even maliciously, but because they just weren't paying attention) and losing her nerve as a result. At the very end, she's at her job (as a waitress) crying at a table that a group of people has just left, and one of the stragglers takes the time to sit down and find out what's wrong.

These things also reinforced in me just how important fellowship is, and I admit that I am not always good at that myself.

I guess my main point in sharing these thoughts is that I see a lot of self-loathing among my fellow bloggers because they don't feel they are living up to some standard they have set up for themselves. They hate themselves or think God must be sorely disappointed in them, and I just want to remind them that God loves them and always will.

One of the biggest ironies of coming out of the closet is that those feelings of self-loathing and guilt and frustration and torment that I felt so often when I was active in the church are gone, and I am happier than I've been in a long time. Now I do not say my choices are for everyone, nor do I even say they are right, and I certainly would never want to be accountable for saying something that might cause someone to veer away from the path towards eternal life. All I'm saying is that one thing coming out has really taught me is that God's love for me has never altered. In fact, in many ways, I feel it stronger. I am absolutely convinced that I am doing the best I can under the circumstances life has dealt me, and I am at peace with my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have stopped hating myself because I fall short of some ideal of perfection that has been instilled in me. I am still a good person. I still do good things. And God still loves me. I still even have a testimony of the truthfulness of the LDS Church even if I am choosing not to follow some of its precepts. I do not know how all of this will turn out in the afterlife. All I know is that I am happy and very okay with where my life is now. I don't fear like I used to.

Just food for thought.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Well, I graduated with my Masters degree nearly a week ago. Very long ceremony, but I really felt proud of my accomplishment. Now I'm getting used to the fact that I am done with school. It's weird spending three years of your life doing something and then realizing you will never do it again. It's good, though. I loved, loved, loved school, but I am also love, love, loving being done with it.

My graduating class and I had a barbeque on Sunday. It was weird to think that this might actually be the last time I see some of these people that I have intensively spent the last three years with. Obviously, I will do my part to stay in contact with all of these people, but you know how things go sometimes. People lose touch. It just happens.

I won't necessarily miss everyone in my group. Some people I was kind of done with towards the end. Maybe I'll miss them in a few months. :-)

I will really miss my roommate. Mid-June we will be parting ways. He has been a really great roommate and an even greater friend. But he'll be in LA, which isn't too far from where I am.

I have a good acting gig coming up in Utah. I even got them to offer me an Equity contract, which means I'll be able to join the union if I want. I haven't decided whether I want to yet, although most likely I will.

I'm not looking forward to paying back student loans, although I think I did pretty well. I only owe $13,000 ($4,000 of which I still have in savings) for three years of school. I think that's quite good.

Jonah and I have been house-hunting. It's been so nice to spend more time with him (although my job in Utah will again separate us for a time). Looking for a house has been both exciting and a bit scary. I can't believe I'm actually settling down. We've found some good deals. We'll see what happens.

I have been so impressed with how people respond when I come out to them. It really has gotten to the point where I feel very comfortable telling anyone who cares to know. I wrote a former missionary companion, who I was somewhat nervous about telling. I wrote:

Thanks for your email. In response to your question about my love life, I have some news that may disappoint you. It's actually a "him," not a "her." I came out of the closet almost a year ago. Believe you me when I say this was not a decision I came to lightly. You know full well how much I love this church and my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who we served together those many years ago in Belgium. I have not lost my testimony of its truthfulness, and I still have a great love and devotion towards my Mormon faith. However, I have been living such a duplicitous life for most of it, and no amount of praying, fasting, counseling, etc. has made the battle against homosexuality any easier. I had finally reached a point in my life where I simply could not continue the struggle any longer. I do not know all the answers nor do I know what my destiny will be either in this life or the afterlife, but I am at peace with my decision and know that God loves me and is supporting me regardless of whether this is the right choice or not. To me, it feels right even if that is a contradiction to everything I have been taught. The irony is that I feel so much happier and comfortable with myself and my life than I was when I was trying to put on a facade of who I thought I was supposed to be. I have prayed and changed a lot these past three years, and I am grateful for things I have learned about myself and about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I have met a wonderful man whom I love very, very much, and I really am happy right now.
I hope you are not disappointed in me or the decisions I have chosen to make. If you are, I apologize. I just feel this is where I am supposed to be right now. I will be very, very sad if I am disfellowshipped or excommunicated from the church I love very much, but I also understand that based on my choices, that may be a possibility.
I'm jealous that you get to travel so much. I hope you have time for pleasure as well as business.
Hope all goes well in your life.



and this was his reponse:


I have a brother that is very dear to me that is in a similar situation as you have expressed; unfortunately however he has not retained a testimony as you have. This brother came out of the closet 5 or 6 years ago (he was about age 20 at the time), and he has expressed to me just how difficult life was living a façade.

As a result of my discussions with my brother, I have thought at great length about the struggles of same gender attraction—not just in our society, but in our religion. The sum-total of my contemplation hasn’t given me a lot of answers--- I guess I have come to the same conclusions you have come to (that Heavenly father loves all His children, and that we cannot see the reasons behind all things). I see people like my brother and you, who are very good people—who struggle, and put forth their best efforts to align themselves with the teachings of the church. I am glad that through all the struggles you have gone through you have retained the knowledge that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you.

Through my experience with my brother, combined with what I know about Heavenly Father, His Son, and the gospel – I have come to the conclusion that ALL we can do in the is life (no-matter our sexual orientation) is our best--- we treat others with the up-most kindness and respect, we remain honest in our dealings, we reach out to others who are in need— we maintain a relationship with our loving Heavenly Father through prayer, we rely on the atonement--- and perhaps among the hardest things: we forgive those who say or do things that are bigoted and judgmental. And as we put forth our very best efforts, Heavenly Father will advance our knowledge and capabilities.

Please know that I am a true friend— and I wish the very best for you. I look forward to your continued friendship.

If ever you need help with anything (related to this issue or unrelated)—please let me know.

Kindest regards,

[your friend]

His response surprised me, but just reaffirmed what I feel God has been telling me this last year or so: "ALL we can do in the is life (no-matter our sexual orientation) is our best--- we treat others with the utmost kindness and respect, we remain honest in our dealings, we reach out to others who are in need— we maintain a relationship with our loving Heavenly Father through prayer, we rely on the atonement--- and perhaps among the hardest things: we forgive those who say or do things that are bigoted and judgmental. And as we put forth our very best efforts, Heavenly Father will advance our knowledge and capabilities." Hear, hear!

I emailed my sister-in-law about Jonah's love of gardening because she, too, shares that interest. I was a little hurt she didn't acknowledge Jonah in her email back to me. It may not have even been intentional. I don't know that it was. But I hope she doesn't think that not talking about it will make it go away. Jonah's here to stay, as far as I'm concerned. I want to say it wasn't intentional because my sister-in-law doesn't seem like that kind of person, but she also is very strict in her testimony, so I'm sure she doesn't approve of my decisions. Anyway, I just found it bothersome. Maybe I'm just being oversensitive.

I made some extra money acting as an agent for a singing gig that I recruited some of my friends for. I don't know how I even got roped into it, but I'm grateful for the extra cash.

I have to quit my job soon to move to Utah. I really like the job, and I've only worked there two months. I will miss it. Hopefully, I can come back, although it's a non-Equity gig, so if I join Equity I wouldn't be able to.

Anyway, that's all for now.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The End of One Adventure, The Beginning of Another

I cannot believe it! I am done with classes...FOREVER! Bwaahh-haaa-haa! One week from today I will walk with my cap and gown and finally get my MFA in Theatre-Performance, which I have been working towards for three years. It is so very hard to believe it's all over. When you've spent so much time with the same people learning the same things and then suddenly it's over, it's a very strange feeling. It's almost anti-climactic in a way. Suddenly, we're having our last class and you can't believe that you're all about to go your separate ways. And, yet at the same time, it's obviously a relief to finally be done and have other things to look forward to. And, as much as I love each of my 12 classmates, it's kind of nice to finally get a break from some of the ones I'm not as close to (is that mean to say?).

We have one final project together before we part ways. We will be doing a showcase for agents and casting directors in Los Angeles. I don't know what, if anything will come out of it, but it's exciting.

I have some very exciting opportunities ahead. I'm already doing a show in my hometown; I've been offered an Equity contract at a theater in Utah; and there are also possible gigs in both Minnesota and California. I plan on making the city I live in my home base.

Jonah and I actually went house hunting this morning. Jonah really wants a house. I personally don't care if we live in a house or an apartment, but a house is very important to him and since he's the one who's footing the majority of the bill at this point, if he wants a house, I guess that's his priority. I'm more interested in being together than in where we actually live. I wish I made more money. I do wish I could contribute more. After all, I want it to feel like our place rather than his place and that I am just renting. Do you know what I mean? The houses we looked at seemed so large to me. I mean, they were gorgeous, but far more spacious than I thought was necessary. After all, it's not like either of us have tons of stuff (although he probably has more than I do). But I also know we're buying a place for the future, not just for today.

Buying a house seems very overwhelming to me. It's certainly out of my price range. I can barely afford the apartment I live in. But Jonah feels he can afford one, and it's as important for him to achieve that dream as my acting career is to me, so I feel I have to support him in that. I suppose it's a good investment.

We also started talking about what should happen if something should happen to either of us, power-of-attorney, that sort of stuff. Scary, but exciting.

Three or four days ago I was in the swimming pool at my apartment complex. I've lived here in three years and have probably used it ten times because I've always been so busy. Anyway, I was swimming all by myself and thought about a time my first week when I very first moved here when I was swimming by myself excited for the adventure of graduate school that lay ahead. This time I thought about who I was then and who I am now. I never quite imagined my life would change the way it has.

It's been a fabulous adventure and so worth it. I have learned so much and am so happy right now. I am truly eager for what lies ahead. It feels weird, though. A very important chapter in my life is closing. But like a really good book, I am looking very forward to the next one.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One of Those Days

There are days when I truly wonder what I did to deserve landing a guy as wonderful as Jonah is.

This is one of those days.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Four More Weeks

Hard to believe, but in less than four weeks this little adventure called graduate school will be over. And what a great adventure it has been! It's a very exciting time. Also bittersweet (although, quite frankly, more sweet than bitter right now (I am so ready to be done)).

When I was considering this program, three years seemed like a long time. I was 33 then and knew I'd be 36 when I finished (which was much more reasonable than if I were 40 for some reason). I really wanted to go to graduate school but wondered if a two year program would be better. Yet this was the one that most appealed to me, so I made my choice. If I had known how quickly these three years would pass by, I never even would have worried about it.

Being here has changed my life, both professionally and personally. Coming here was one of the best, most inspired decisions I think I have ever made.

So many exciting, life-changing things have occurred during my three years here. I wish I had time to write them all here.

As for the future, I got what I believe will turn into a steady acting gig here. It's not what I want to do for a long, long time. But it's acting and it's income, so I can't complain. There are also things on the horizon, so we'll see.

Jonah and I seem to be doing well. I hope we will be able to get "married" and move in together soon. I guess time will tell.

Sorry I don't write more often. This semester, in particular, has been crazy, and I have also just been kind of lazy about writing. Hopefully I'll write more when life has calmed down somewhat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I passed my oral exams today. That's the last major thing I had to do before I graduate. I do have 7 1/2 weeks of classes left and a showcase in LA in May, but getting the orals taken care of was a major hurdle towards my MFA. It's exciting to be so close to finishing.

One of the professors on my committee told me he enjoyed my oral exam immeasurably and that mine was one of the best papers they have had. I feel flattered and proud.

I did my last show as a graduate student a week and a half ago, so now my nights are free. I auditioned yesterday for a long-running show that plays here. I got a call-back, and I felt like the prospects are good that I may be cast. It doesn't pay as much as I would like, but at this point I'm just in need of any extra income at all, so we'll see what happens with that.

I have other prospects on the horizon as well. I'm feeling good. Very tired, though.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Feeling Panicky

Just in the last couple of days, I've been feeling a tad panicky just before going to bed. Nothing serious, but nonetheless present. I know much of it has to do with the fact that I'm finishing college in just two months, and I'm not sure at this point where I'll be living, where I'll be working, or what I'll be doing when I'm done. I think things will work out eventually, but at this point it is a bit stressful. Nothing unmanagable, mind you, but stressful nonetheless.

I had kind of hoped Jonah and I would be able to get married and move in together right after I graduated, but it doesn't look like that will be the case. He really wants a house and getting the money for that (as well as some personal family issues he has to work out before moving out of his parents house) will prevent that from happening right away. And I don't want to press the issue because I know that will stress him out. So it's kind of a stressful situation for both of us.

And, honestly (and Jonah knows this), the thought of settling down terrifies me as equally as the thought of not knowing what I'm doing with my life does. I've been single for a very long time, and Jonah and I both know that being in a committed relationship is (and will be) more of an adjustment for me than it is (or will be) for him. I don't talk about that much either because I think that stresses him as well. To his credit, Jonah gives me lots of personal space and has made it clear that he doesn't want to get in the way of any of my pursuits. At the same time, I love Jonah immensely. I can't imagine finding a better partner than he has been. And I do want to be with him. I guess being in a sort of limbo is just hard right now. But I certainly don't want to put any undue pressure on either of us. I would just be more comfortable if I knew what the future held. I'm sure things will work out the way they are supposed to.

I keep reminding myself how blessed we are to have each other and how much we have already surmounted together. And I have to realize that there isn't a timetable. Things will happen when they are supposed to. But I would be lying if I didn't say I feel a sense of fear in my heart. I like to know what lies ahead, and for the first time in a while, I don't, and it's a scary feeling.

I do have some job opportunities that lie ahead, and hopefully one of them will work out. I know I'll never be homeless. And I do believe Jonah and I will be together eventually. So I just have to take a deep breath and relax.

In other news, I've been visiting my mom and sister the last three days, and that has been very nice. They will be coming to my graduation in May. I wish I had had time to see my other siblings and their children, but it didn't work out this time.

Anyway, hope you are all well in blogland.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Miss Me?

Well, it's been a while since I've written, and although I don't have a lot of time to write, I did want to let all of you know that I'm still alive and kicking.

Only nine weeks of school remain until I have my Master's degree. It's going by very quickly.

I'm currently doing the play Mother Courage right now. I'm not a big fan of Bertoldt Brecht, and this production hasn't changed my mind. That's not say that it's a bad production. In fact, it seems to be getting positive reception from audiences and critics alike. But it really hasn't been my cup of tea.

My Acting for The Camera class has made me understand why there are so many looks-obsessed people in Hollywood. The first time I saw an extreme close-up of myself, I cringed. The class has been a lot of fun, though, and it's nice to get some on-camera training.

I still don't like tap dancing, but I am, admittedly, better today than I was four weeks ago. I can do a single and double time step at normal speed, but I still have to go very slowly to do a triple.

I've been sick the past few days (it's the first time I've been sick in a while), and it came at a very inconvenient time. Oh, well. Those are the breaks.

Jonah and I are still doing very well. He's been looking into loans so that we can eventually get a house together.

I wish I knew what I was doing once school ends.

Hope you are all well.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Redemption (Sandy Duncan Part 2)

So if you've been reading my blog, you will know that I was a bit star-struck recently by actress Sandy Duncan which I wrote about here. As I previously stated, I acted kind of like an idiot because I was just so enamored of her.

Well, this evening a friend of mine invited me to go out to dinner with several mutual friends, and Sandy Duncan was also invited as well. (Actually, my friend knows full well that I like Ms. Duncan and wanted to give me a chance to get to know her better). I drove to the restaurant separately, and while I was driving I kept saying to myself, "Okay, just play it cool. Don't be a geek. Just treat her like you would treat anybody else." Well, it worked; I was completely cool, and I even sat next to (and shared a pizza with) Sandy Duncan. We talked a lot, and I got to know her, and I had a terrific evening. At the end of the night she even complimented me for being a "good seat-mate." So I feel I have redeemed myself.

And by the way, Sandy Duncan is just as delightful as I had envisioned she would be. Yea!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tap Dancing

As I predicted, the tap class I am taking is frustrating the hell out of me (pardon my language)! Argggggghhh! I can sing. I can act. But, alas, dancing is not my forté, and my feet cannot seem to coordinate the weight shifts necessary to tap dance successfully.

On one hand, I'm glad to be taking tap because I think it's a skill a musical theatre performer ought to know. On the other hand...I have to take a whole semester of this?! Arggggghhh! I think I wanna kill myself.

Just kidding about the "killing myself" part. Just an attempt at humor. In all seriousness, tap is not as bad as I make it sound (but, really, it is).

The end.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bath and Body Works and Sandy Duncan

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I've had a job at Bath and Body Works off and on for the last three or so years. I originally took it as a way of supplementing my income while doing theatre because the reality is that acting doesn't always pay the bills. I certainly never intended to make a career of it. In fact, I had never stepped into a Bath and Body Works store until I went in for the job interview.

The job didn't pay much, but I did enjoy the work I did, which was stocking supplies. It meant I didn't have to deal with customers very much, which I liked, and the job itself appealed to my anal-rententive need to put things in their "proper" place. I also was quite fond of the flexibility in my schedule. My bosses have always been absolutely great about working with my theatre schedule. And, for the most part, I enjoyed my co-workers.

I actually got really good at the job and was considered one of the most organized, dependable, and responsible workers there; so much that each time I went out of state to go to school, my old bosses were very eager to have me back for the Christmas and summer seasons when I would come back home.

But each time I have gone back, I have grown more tired of the job. The day before my last day was just a bad day. I am generally a very positive person, always trying to look on the bright side of things, but this particular day I just was feeling a very negative energy. It started when I got my paycheck. It was much lower than I had anticipated (not that I was expecting it to be huge or anything). Much of that was due to the government taking out so much (which I'm sure I will be thankful for later - I think I'm due for a refund this year), but it just sunk in that the job is no longer worth the money. I work really hard there, and it just plain doesn't pay enough. That isn't anyone's fault; that's just the way it is, but it made me ask myself why I still continue to work there. There are still a lot of good people that work there, but they've also been hiring a bunch of slackers lately, and three co-workers and two managers, in particular, have been getting on my nerves. I just no longer enjoy the atmosphere. My boss (the head manager, who I adore) said she would be moving out of state in April, and that leaves only one person in charge that I like. Also, the company has had a software problem that has caused their computers to commit clerical errors that cause the distribution center to send us an overabundance of stuff we don't need and none of what we do, and as a stockperson that can be frustrating. Anyway, it just all was adding up, and this particular Friday, I decided that I'm done working there. I never say never, but I'm pretty sure that was the end of the road for me as far as Bath and Body Works is concerned. It's time.

Don't get me wrong. I really did enjoy my time there. It's a good company, and there were certainly other benefits I received by working there, but it's time to move on to other things. (By the way, my last day was much, much better.)

So school starts on Tuesday. Only four more months, and I am done with school. Yea! Very exciting (and just a tad scary)! I know it's going to go by very quickly. As I was walking on campus yesterday I thought to myself, "This is it: the beginning of the end." I will miss it immensely. This program has been immeasurably fabulous.

It's been nice seeing Jonah again. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the love he showers on me. Two days ago we went to Soup or Salad, a place that both my mom and Jonah like that I don't enjoy so much. I happened to be on the phone with my mom and she was ribbing me about going to Soup or Salad with Jonah when she wouldn't go with me. Then she asked to talk to Jonah, and they were joking with each other about me. It felt really good to know that my mom and my boyfriend were joking around with each other. It makes me more comfortable. My mom's incredible. Jonah's incredible. I'm very blessed.

Jonah's going through some tough stuff with his family. It's really hard for him. It hurts me to see him in pain, but many of these issues are things he has to work out himself. I'm just trying to remain supportive, like he was with me when I was really having a hard time with my religious issues.

We've been talking pretty seriously about moving in together. Not sure when it will happen (he still has stuff to work out before it can happen), but it's both exciting and scary to think about. I'm a pretty independent person, so it's unnerving sometimes to think I'm settling down with someone. Yet, at the same time, I'm glad I've arrived at a point in my life when I'm actually willing to settle down with somebody and, honestly, I can't imagine finding a better mate than Jonah.

I don't know what's right or wrong for everybody else, nor would I dare to influence anyone else to choose what I have chosen, but I know this: I am much happier, much less stressed, less uptight, more open, and more at peace than I was when I was trying so hard to live a life that never felt like my own. It's strange because I still believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I just can't deny that. I wouldn't want to. Yet, in some unexplained way, I don't feel guilty for living my life contrary to what I've been taught, and I feel that my relationship with God is very, very good (in many ways, better than it's been in a long time). What much of this has taught me is that God's love for me is unchanging, something I thought I believed, but realize I didn't understand until now (not to say I have a full grasp on it by any means).

I would be lying if I said I don't have the occasional day whn I wonder if I'm deluding or fooling myself, but most of the time I feel very, very good about where I am. I'm looking very forward to my future.

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Final note: I got to meet Sandy Duncan the other day. For those of you who may not be familar with her, she was in the TV mini-series, "Roots"; the Broadway production of Peter Pan; she was in such Disney favorites as The Cat from Outer Space, The Million Dollar Duck, and The Fox and the Hound; she replaced Valerie Harper on the TV series, "The Hogan Family"; and she did a series of Wheat Thins commercials in the late 70s, early 80s, I believe. I've loved her since I was a kid. I always had such a crush on her when I was a child. I just loved her smile. Anyway, I got to meet her, and I was such a doofus. The minute she flashed that smile of hers, I just became a babbling idiot. I don't get star struck very easily (heck, I worked onstage with Sally Struthers and wasn't fazed all that much), but she reduced me to a pool of fawning incoherency. She either thought I was cute or retarded. Oh, well. It was nice to meet her, and at least she was kind and gracious. I always have a fear that I'll meet somebody I admire, and they'll turn out to be a complete jerk. Fortunately, this was not the case with her.