24 November 2009


I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving and having all the family together for the first time since I came out to them. NERVOUS. I won't actually see everyone in the same setting until tomorrow morning, when we all show up for family pictures.

My focus is on being the person I've always been. The truth is that I am changing as I go through my coming out process. The burden on my shoulder is lifting. I feel free and lighter. I smile more. I laugh more. I hate myself less. These are good changes I believe. But as far as my personality goes, I'm still the same. I want my family to see that. Maybe they'll see that I'm happier too.

I don't know what will happen on Thanksgiving when we're all gathered for dinner and stuff. I know my mom has mentioned that she'd like to have us all sit down and talk about what's going on with me. Hurray. I'm hoping it will be acceptable to be as honest as I can while being as respectful as I can. There are some questions I don't feel comfortable answering, and I'm thinking I'll probably have to say just that. But I'm also nervous about being able to be true to myself and not sacrifice my own happiness so everyone else can be happy. I've done that for so much of my life. I feel I need to tell them that if they don't want to know about the relationship I'm in, that's fine, and I'm not going to bring her around if she's not invited and won't be welcome. And at the same time, it's a relationship that is so important to me, and I won't spend every holiday apart.

I'm sure it's going to be fun. But I'm also sure it will be a difficult experience that will help me in the long run. Happy Thanksgiving.

20 November 2009

Finding A Place

I was thinking today about my blog and other blogs that I read, particularly in the MoHo blogging world. There are definitely varying degrees of involvement when it comes to being active in the LDS Church, both in daily life and in the thoughts that are posted. I guess I've been wondering about where my blog and my thoughts fall along that spectrum.

I was raised in a strong LDS home. My parents and my sisters are very active. They hold callings, they put all the artwork on the walls, they do their home/visiting teaching, and so on. I was baptized and confirmed when I was eight. I've done baptisms for the dead since I was twelve. I got my patriarchal blessing and my Young Women's Medallion when I was seventeen. I received my endowments when I was twenty, got married in the temple a week later when I was twenty-one. The foundation of my faith is based on LDS doctrine. That probably will never change.

While I consider myself LDS, I would not say I'm an active member right now. I don't go to church because I don't like to, and haven't since I was ten. I don't like how uncomfortable I feel when I'm there. So I choose not to go.

For me, the presence of the actual Church has never been as strong in my life as my own personal faith. I've always been more about individual study, learning on my own, being the one to find answers to my own questions. In finding meaning that is relevant to my own life, thoughts, and emotions, it means more to me and it stays with me.

I feel like I followed the path that was laid out for me. Perhaps my mistake was that my heart was never really in it completely. I feel emotions very intensely, and the way I feel in Church settings is overwhelming to me, which is probably why I've always been about learning on my own terms.

Where I stand on the LDS spectrum, maybe I don't know, but I think we fall where we need to in the scheme of things. I learn a lot from other blogs, whether it's about doctrines or daily life, someone's actions and someone else's response, the feelings someone else has, the thoughts they have, the way they put their phrases together. I think it's good for me to think about things in a different light.

When it comes right down to it, I rely on a faith that is unique to me. I can't keep leaning on the faith of my parents or my bishop or my whoever. No, I'm not active, but I still very much think in LDS terms. I'm finding my own path, and I really feel like it's going to be okay.

We all have to do what we feel is right, because at the end of the day, none of us can live the life of another. We have to work with what was given to us. Some of us have to work through it. Whether it's at church every Sunday or not, we all have a place. Sometimes it's just a matter of finding it.

Gratitude List '09

I am not a fan of how commercial Christmas is. I hate how Thanksgiving pretty much gets skipped. Instead of being appreciative of what we have, we're more concerned with what we're going to get, generally speaking. So in junior high, I started a little tradition of my own and for whatever reason, I've kept doing it. Each Thanksgiving I make a list of 100 things I'm grateful for. I've added one more thing for each year I've done it, so this year it's 112 things, but there's certainly more that I could list.

It keeps me focused on being thankful for little things and big things, for people who are important in my life, and for the way some things become more meaningful with time. So I thought I'd post it, just for fun.

112 Things I'm Grateful For (in no particular order)

2-jet noise
3-American citizenship
4-black ballpoint pens
6-my job
19-Caedus Kai (my car)
20-US Armed Forces
21-love of reading
22-ability to learn
24-Canadian heritage
25-adidas shoes
26-root beer
27-root beer float popsicles
29-MoHo blogging community
30-my 30 list
31-digital cameras
32-Mountain Dew
33-indoor plumbing
34-sense of responsibility
38-Utah Jazz
39-Philadelphia Eagles
40-five senses
41-my iPhone
48-Utah snow
50-space heaters
51-diversity in people
52-road trips
53-new socks
54-Star Wars
55-support of my friends
56-creativity in myself
57-creativity in others
59-learning experiences
61-being able to read music
62-having musical ears
63-that I can/will forgive
64-that others have forgiven me
65-everything doesn't taste like oatmeal
66-the Wright Brothers
68-leadership opportunities
69-living in a place with four seasons
73-my tonsillectomy
74-knowing how to type
75-knowing 10-key
76-extended blood family
77-extended "family" in the LGBT community
78-Skunk Works
79-free agency
80-ice diving
81-I'm learning how to like myself
82-giving love
83-receiving love
84-500+ days and counting
85-my baby blanket
86-Nicole Malachowski
89-post-it notes
92-Arby's French Dip sandwiches
95-living by an Air Force base
96-Amelia Earhart
97-Hot Topic
98-crossword puzzles
100-Christmas is only once a year
101-I didn't have a cell phone in high school
104-walk off home runs
108-I live through key moments (work)
109-being able to tell jets apart
110-my car is automatic
111-junior high and high school are over
112-faith that is unique to me

18 November 2009

When The Wrong One Loves You Right

The weekend was absolutely amazing. The airshow was PHENOMENAL! I loved every second of it and got some great pictures. It was the first airshow my girlfriend had been to and she really enjoyed it too. She likes the jet noise and she liked seeing me so goofy happy.

When my youngest sister and her husband met my girlfriend last week, my sister invited us to stop by on our way back from Vegas and see their new house. When we arrived, my sister made us dinner and we hung out for about three hours. We got the tour of the house and were just talking, enjoying each other's company. It was such a simple thing but it meant so much to me. My sister very easily could have been like, "nice to meet you, see you around maybe." Instead, she invited us into her home. She took the time to talk to us and spend time with us. I can't describe how monumental that feels to me.

I know my family is having a difficult time with this, particularly with me being in a relationship. I know my parents think this is wrong for me. I'm guessing my middle sister does too. And it's easy to hate a situation when you don't know anything about it. It's more difficult to hate a person that you've met and talked to and gotten to know.

Whether or not they think she's wrong for me, she loves me the way I've always wanted to be loved. She genuinely cares for me. She's very respectful and honest and just an all around good person. And she's good for me. She's good to me. And I'm grateful that my sister got to see that.

I'm hoping there will be a day when the rest of my family will meet her and get to know her, but for now I'm very happy that my youngest sister and her husband have been so hospitable and supportive. After being afraid for so long that I would lose my entire family all together when I came out to them, feeling that support means more than any phrase could accurately describe.

13 November 2009

Nellis Safety Net

Tomorrow morning I'm going to Vegas for Aviation Nation 2009 at Nellis Air Force Base. I'm so excited, I can't even tell you! Home of the Thunderbirds, they put on a great show. I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to military aircraft on display.

My youngest sister and her hubby are up for a wedding right now. We had a long talk last night about how things are going with the family and what will probably go down at Thanksgiving. It was a nice heart-to-heart. I really have appreciated their support. It means so much to know that I don't have to stand alone when it comes to my family.

We talked about my girlfriend too and they want to meet her, so we're probably going to do that today before I have to go to work. I'm kind of nervous but I think it's going to be okay.

I guess we'll see. If nothing else, if for some weird reason it ends up being not so good, at least I know I'll still have a good time over the weekend. And if it does go well, then the air show will be the icing on the cake. Nellis, here I come!

11 November 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

I consider myself to be a proud American. I love this country and the freedom I enjoy because of the sacrifices of others. My grandpa was a captain in the USAF and my other grandpa was a Merchant Marine. I really wish I would have been able to join the Air Force, but alas, not eligible. So instead, I do everything I can to support the men and women who can serve.

I live by Hill Air Force Base in Layton and I love every second of it. The F-16 is my favorite jet and I could watch them fly all day, every day, and never get tired of it. When I hear some people ask "how do you get used to that?" or complain about the noise, it completely stuns me. I hope I never get used to it, because the sound of that Pratt and Whitney engine is the sound of freedom. They get up and train and fight every day so I can live.

In the fight for gay rights, I hear a lot of things, positive and negative, about this country. And yes, some argue that we aren't really free. Perhaps we are limited, but at least I can be who I am. I can be gay in this country.

I am grateful for the military, for the men and women who serve and do it willingly. They risk their own safety, even their lives, so that I can be safe, so that I can live.

If anyone is a veteran or active duty military, the restaurant I work for is running a promotion today to say thank you. Across the country, if you eat at an Outback Steakhouse tonight, you can get a free Bloomin' Onion and beverage (Coke product in Utah, Budweiser elsewhere if you're so inclined).

Happy Veteran's Day!

05 November 2009

When Someone Suffers

Have you ever crossed paths with a complete stranger and without saying a word, just by the look of them, you can tell they have suffered?

That was the case for me a couple weeks ago at work. I held open the door for a party and a boy, maybe seventeen, walked in. I knew right away that he was family, but there was something else about him--maybe in his eyes, his demeanor, his posture--that just made my heart ache for him. I can't really explain why but I just wanted to reach out and hug him and tell him it was all going to be okay.

I don't know what has happened in his life. I'll probably never see him again. But I doubt I'll forget him.

02 November 2009

The Rules of Opposites

This is a blog post my friend Geoff just posted and I really liked it. Thought you might too!

The Rule of Opposites

Opposites exist to contrast and compliment each other and to exist in place of each other. I'll explain.

In a pitch black room there is no light. A single lamp in the middle of the room will expel the darkness to everything in line of sight. There still will be shadows behind chairs, tables, people, etc. but the dark of the shadow is not as dark as it was without the lamp on. Light and darkness are opposites. Where light exists, darkness leaves. The light always seems brighter after a period of darkness and vice versa. A lot of people have probably heard this analogy used for religious purposes, but today I use it for something else.

Love and fear are opposites. Where love exists, fear leaves. How much is love brightening up the room in your mind? What/who casts shadows of fear for you? Is there a big couch of commitment? Does a person's past cast a long shadow on the wall? Do social pressures and expectations put a lamp shade over your love?

The brighter, truer and more open your love is, the less fear you will have in life. Raise your lamp high to shorten the shadows that are there. Take off any lampshades that filter the light. Let it shine to every corner of your life. Being loved is the best feeling in the world when you love them equally back....and two lamps are brighter than one. :)

(reposted by Ames with thanks to Weasle)


I love being a big sister. I have a sister who is seventeen months younger than me. When my dad dropped me off at my grandma's before my sister was born, he told me to be good and that they were going to get me a new baby. He says that I just lit up, and was so excited.

I have a favorite Big Sister Moment with her. When she was in kindergarten and I was in first grade, she had to get stitches in the soft spot of her hand, between your thumb and your pointer finger. Because that's kind of an awkward and sensitive spot, her entire hand was pretty much wrapped in gauze. She didn't want anyone at school to tease her, so she asked me to walk her to class for a week, because I was her big sister.

I think that's one of my favorite memories with her because we didn't really get along much growing up. We're like night and day in personality, in the things we like and do, in almost everything. Once we got to junior high and high school, she wanted nothing to do with me, because, as she told me on more than one occasion, she was embarrassed to be my sister. I was always so proud of her and I never understood why she couldn't just be my sister.

It's a wound that's been reopened in the last month. As my sisters and I have gotten older, we get along better and we're friends. Or at least, we were. I look at my parents and they don't really talk to or see their siblings except for special occasions, and I've never wanted that with my sisters. I've always been closer with my youngest sister, but things were getting better with my middle sister, and we were getting closer, getting along, being friends.

I know that it's difficult for her to know that I am gay. I know she's struggling with it. I'm trying to give her time and space and I'm hoping that someday, we can be friends again.

But I miss her.