23 October 2012

Define Marriage

I've seen many a post on a many a social network discussing propositions that will soon be voted upon.

Given the diverse groups of people I mingle with on these social networks, I've seen the extremes of both sides and the smattering of those in the middle.

I've seen the "let them have their rights, just don't call it marriage" posts.

I've seen the "my relationship is just as valid as yours" posts.

I've seen the "how does one marriage demean or lessen another marriage if they have nothing to do with each other" posts.

And for the most part, I just keep quiet.  I recognize that some people like to get into discussions or debates or dramatic conversations, depending on who you ask.  I am not one of those people.  That doesn't mean that I don't feel strongly about this issue, and that I don't have the urge to jump right in and start throwing verbal punches like everyone else, defending myself and people I consider my friends.

But I've really been thinking about this "define / redefine" marriage idea.

For one, I don't think you can define marriage in the simple terms of who it consists of.  You can put a man and a woman together and have them get married.  That doesn't mean they have a marriage.  They have a contract between them to stay together.  And they have all the rights and privileges that come as part of that contract.

But a marriage...well, I would say that a marriage is something more.

There are many elements that define a marriage.  Love.  Trust.  Companionship.  Sacrifice.  Respect.  Laughter.  Compromise.  A not-to-be-taken-lightly sort of undertaking.

To name a few.

Would any of those qualities be lacking in a same-sex marriage?

Well, I know a few same-sex couples who are married.  They exemplify these qualities and more, and have stronger marriages than some straight couples that I know.  And why is that?

I would say that the components of a marriage are the same, whether it's John and Jane that get married, Jane and Mary that get married, or John and Joe that get married.  If a couple enters into a marriage with the belief that it is a sacred union, with the intent to give themselves to each other whole-heartedly, with the understanding that they are committing to a life together, then the qualities that make a marriage will be there.  No one is trying to redefine that.

There are just some of us that would like the opportunity to have that commitment recognized and upheld in the same way as some of you other people out there.

Redefining who gets to have a marriage doesn't necessarily mean that we redefine marriage.  When taken seriously, marriage would stay the same.

For those of us who come from an LDS background, marriage is the ultimate gauge of adult success.  It's the top prize.  And we are taught to prepare for it, to seek it, and to protect it when it finally becomes yours.

I'm not trying to take that away from you.  I congratulate you on your temple marriage and your commitment to your lives together.  And I'm glad that you are happy.

What I don't understand though is how Mitchell and Brayden's marriage in any way makes your commitment to your spouse less of a commitment.  How does Ella and Sarah's marriage make your marriage weaker?  How does Michael and Dustin's marriage lessen the trust you have in your spouse, the love you have for your spouse, or the sense of companionship between you and your spouse?

Because if it does, I would argue that you don't have a marriage to begin with.  You have a contractual arrangement that might need a little work.

Oh, and of course, you still have the rights that come with marriage.  You don't have to worry about not being able to see your spouse if they happen to be seriously injured in a car accident.  You get to make any needed medical decisions in the event that your spouse is incapacitated.  And if they die, you get to access to their social security and life insurance.  If it was an accident that was their fault, your conversations can be protected through spousal privilege should any legal action happen.  You don't have to worry about any of that, which might be nice, since you're so worried about how Ella and Sarah's marriage makes yours less special.

Kind of a nice contract, yes?

Just my two cents.

16 October 2012

Electoral Bookmark

This is not really a blogpost...yet.

This is me thinking "out loud," so to speak.

I was reading an article online about a woman in the Army who was killed in action.  She was legally married but her wife is not getting recognized as a legal spouse.

I was reading another article online about the upcoming election season and the four states that have marriage equality on the ballot.  The opponents of marriage equality are tossing around phrases like "you can be anti-marriage equality and not be anti-gay" and "everyone has the right to respect but no one has the right to redefine marriage."

And I've been thinking.

I don't live in a state that has marriage equality on the ballot.  If that day ever comes in my lifetime, I think I will probably expect the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to occur the very next day.

But I want to discuss marriage.  I want to discuss definitions.  I want to talk about why somebody had the right to define marriage in the first place, at least in terms of government, and why that definition is apparently set in stone.

See, up until recently, I've had a lot of people tell me who I am supposed to be and which path I'm supposed to follow and just what is politically good and right in this country and in this world.  And I think I'm pretty much over it.  So I know that nothing will come from what I think and what I write and what I put out there.  But I'm going to do it anyway...

...as soon as I formulate what I want to say.

Consider this a bookmark.  The rest of the chapter is still being written.

10 October 2012


Confidence is not one of my strengths.  I am the first person to doubt myself, the first to be surprised when things go well or I do a good job, and the first to underplay any sort of accomplishment I might actually acknowledge.  Ask anyone who knows me and they'll agree.

There are plenty of times when I almost talk myself out of doing something because I'm afraid, or because I think I'm not up to the task, not good enough for the task, or even because I'm afraid I might actually do well.  Is that crazy?  I get afraid that I'll succeed.

I've been noticing this a lot with school lately.  I am a double major in Accounting and Aviation Management.  I would love to fly, but it's not possible right now.  Have you ever looked into flying lessons?  That stuff is EXPENSIVE, not to mention that tuition is expensive enough.  But I love airplanes.  I love looking up in the sky and watching an airplane carve out a path, wondering where it's coming from and where it's going.  I love the sounds.  I love the sights.  I love being on a airplane.  And I really really really want to be a part of that industry, in whatever way I can.

So when I go to my aviation classes, they're really difficult.  And here's why: the flight operation majors outnumber the management majors.  From what I can tell, the majority of aviation students are flight ops majors.  Duh.  Flying is awesome.  But that also means that most of my aviation classes are geared towards the student with flight knowledge.  For those of us who have none of that flying experience stuff, it gets a little tricky.  And for me, I get discouraged.

I discovered that I enjoy and have a knack for accounting.  So I added that major last year.  I thought about changing my major to Accounting and making Aviation Management my minor, but I really want to take those classes and learn more, even though it's difficult.  Sometimes I think I'm crazy.  But then this little determined part of me speaks up and says, "no way is anyone going to tell me I can't do what I want to do."

No, I don't do well with the confidence, but when I find that determined part of me, I go with it.  Don't question it when it shows up.

I've also been trying to get more involved at campus.  I'm a senior this year but I've got just about two years left before I graduate (hurray for class of 2014!).  At my school, networking and perfecting your resume are things I hear about almost daily.  So I'm looking to build my resume and find opportunities to network with professionals (and if you are such a professional, wanna be part of my network?).

But again, I get scared.

So yesterday, when I was on campus and waiting for the time to head over to the Alumni House for a meeting, and planning to attend a meeting in the student union building right after that, I was trying to encourage myself rather than let my insecurities talk me out of doing things that will help me later.  And yes, as I'm sitting in my car, the thought came to me more than once that "maybe I won't go."

As part of me trying to psych myself up, I took to Twitter...because social networking can be surprisingly supportive.  And here's what I said:

"Sometimes I just want to stay in my own little world.  But I know there's a bigger world out there.  And if I keep myself from it, I could be stopping myself from doing something awesome.  So I make myself get out there and interact.  Not easy.  But I can make it happen."

Just as people make a difference in your life, you have the opportunity to go out there and make a difference to someone else.  If you hide from that, you might be hiding from someone who really needs you to be there for them in some form or another.  Where would I be without the people who got out of bed in the morning and put themselves out there, not knowing that they would make a difference in my life?  Well...I don't know, but I'd rather not think about it.

Sure, I have days where I feel like nothing I do matters, and that I can't make a mark on this big old world, and I don't have what it takes to do something amazing.  But every now and then, I have that determined moment, where I grit my teeth and believe that I can do something great, I can be someone great, and I can be more than I think I can.

I have greatness inside of me.  So do you.

27 September 2012

Crushes Through The Years

So when I started this blog, I was an angsty LDS kid who was scared of what was going on in my life. I'm not in that place anymore.  I've noticed that when a Moho blogger moves beyond that unsettled place, a lot of us stop blogging.

I'm not going to stop blogging.  I may not blog as much, but I'm not going to stop.  If nothing else, I'd like to prove that there's light at the end of the tunnel, and even more than that, life on the other side.

This post is one I've been thinking about for awhile.  When I look back on my life, there are things that make me wonder, "how did I not know?"  I've consistently had this thing for a strong, confident woman.  Something about that pulls me in.  I didn't always think about it in terms of a crush, or an attraction, but as I look back I can definitely see there was some sort of attraction there.  I guess before I came out, I thought of it as a fascination.  For example...

1st crush:
Nancy Travis as Sylvia Bennington in 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990)

I thought she was beautiful.  At the time, I was seven years old.  But I found this character fascinating.

She was strong, she was confident, but there was also something absolutely vulnerable about her.  And let's be honest, an English accent is just sexy, even if it's just part of the character and not real.

And I completely forgot about her until 3 Men and a Little Lady was on the movie channel about a month ago.  We used to watch this movie all the time.  I love it!

I remember being over at a friends house and we were playing some sort of made up game.  I wanted my name to be Sylvia, after her.

2nd crush:
Jane Seymour as Dr. Michaela Quinn in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998)

The first time I watched Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, I think it was New Year's Eve, probably in 1993.  I was ten.  I immediately fell in love with this show.  I liked the ruggedness of the setting, I liked that story, and I especially liked the leading lady.

Let's not lie about it, Jane Seymour is beautiful.  Have you seen photos of her recently?  I swear, this woman doesn't age.  She is just as beautiful as she was then.  And even more intriguing is that her eyes are different colors.

I think I bought one of those Women's Housekeeping or whatever magazines, just because she was on the cover.

3rd crush:
Lucy Lawless as Xena in Xena Warrior Princess (1995-2001)

What was that I mentioned, about a strong woman?  If there ever was one, to me it is Xena.

Also helping was that I was really into Greek Mythology at the time, so the show was a great fix for that.

She wears leather, she's a dark-haired beauty, she can take on any warlord sort that comes at her.

Xena was broadcast on Sundays, after Hercules.  When it was on during church, you better believe I recorded it on good old VHS so I didn't miss an episode.  Gabrielle was a nice addition too, and only later did I discover all the lesbian speculation surrounding the two of them.  Nice twist.

4th crush:
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001)

I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation as a kid.  I was captivated by space, wanting to be an astronaut and still being the biggest Star Wars fan you'll probably ever meet.  So when I read in the TV Guide about a new Star Trek series that had a woman as captain, I was all in.

Captain Janeway kind of had the same things going for her that Sylvia Bennington did.  Strong, no-nonsense, take charge.  And yet, when she let her guard down in a moment of vulnerability, she was never more attractive.

This was also one of those shows I would record on VHS.  Loved it.

5th crush:
Maureen McGovern, as herself, singer (probably 2002ish)

This one is actually a real person, and not a fictional character.

We've listened to Maureen McGovern's music since I was just a little kid.  My dad is a musician and when she comes to town, he often gets called to play with her.  I think she came to the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival one year and I wanted to meet her so badly!

Wish granted.

She's got an amazing voice and seems like an even more amazing person.  I went through a little phase with her.  Now I still enjoy her music, but the crush has ebbed.

6th crush:
Mariska Hargitay as herself, and as Olivia Benson on Law and Order: SVU (1999-present)

If I could type out what a whistle sounds like, I would type it right here.

Of course I love her character on SVU.  What a great character!  Very approachable, wants to help people, and absolutely gorgeous to boot.

Off the set, she seems pretty much the same way, but I think she's more humorous than Olivia Benson.  Mariska has done great things for survivors of sexual abuse.  She genuinely seems like a wonderful person.  She's very classy, which is something I find very attractive.

If ever I met her in person, I would probably melt.

6th crush:
Rihanna as herself, singer (2007)

I credit Rihanna as the crush that really pushed me into the awareness that I was, in fact, gay.  If you've ever seen a Rihanna music video, I think you know what I mean.

I had just come out to myself and was all sorts of freaked out about it.  Rihanna was proof that I wasn't making it up.

Wow.  That's all I've got for you on this.  Just wow.

Her music is good too, which is a bonus.  She can sing to me any time she wants to.

7th crush:
Kate Beckinsale as herself and pretty much any character she plays (especially in Underworld and Van Helsing)

So now that I'm aware I'm gay, I have to have that staple celebrity crush, right?  Look no further.

I kind of have a thing for that dark-haired beauty type.  When it comes to that, Kate is right at the top of that list.  As mentioned in the heading, I love her in Underworld.  I love her even more in Van Helsing.

In a nutshell, she's my Mary Poppins...practically perfect in every way.

8th crush:
Abby Wambach as herself, undeniable soccer queen of my universe
Abby gets center stage because she's my current crush.  I don't think I can even explain how much I love this woman.  I've only recently been watching the US Women's National Team (USWNT), since the 2011 Women's World Cup.  I rediscovered soccer in 2010 and since then, the USWNT has been a big part of my fandom life.  I saw them when they played their Olympic send off match against Canada in Utah.  I don't know what it is about Abby, but I freaking love her.  From her Twitter account and from rumor, which I'm shamelessly continuing, she even plays for my team, which leads me to feel an even greater connection to her.  What a woman.  Athletic, smart, funny, super cute.  My girlfriend teases me that she's been replaced, and Abby is my girlfriend.  A girl can dream.

So there you have it.  Embrace who you are.  These women have helped me do just that.

(Sorry for the gaps, but with the pictures it was kind of hard to format the way I wanted.)

29 August 2012

Elder Holland

A couple weeks ago, Elder Holland came into the restaurant where I work.  It was a slow weekday.  He was with his wife and another couple.  I didn't recognize them, but I don't keep up on the new callings like I once did.

I posted about this in one of the groups I'm in on Facebook, but I thought it might be a good topic to blog about for a minute or two.

They were sitting at a table that was in the section next to mine.  I had to walk by quite frequently.  I found myself being rather caught up in strong emotion, which was surprising to me.  Of course, there was absolutely no one at work who could appreciate that this was kind of a big deal.

But here's why it's a big deal: when I was active and listening to General Conference every six months, Elder Holland was probably my favorite apostle.  I always looked forward to his talks.  I found him to be comforting to me.  I perceive him to be quite compassionate.  As someone who always felt misunderstood when it came to Church and my ward especially, a little compassion from someone who represented the Church was something I greatly desired.  I could feel just a little bit of that sentiment when I listened to Elder Holland speak.

And here he was, two feet away from me.

I wanted to interrupt their dinner.  It felt like I had a million questions I could ask him.  "Have you ever seen Jesus Christ?  Would you say that you know Him?  Do you think He loves me?  If there is a place for me in His heart, why isn't there a place for me in His Church?"  And on and on and on.  I wanted to be reassured from someone that I had once trusted so implicitly.  I wanted him to offer me just a shred of that compassion, to help me feel some sort of healing in regards to how hurt I've been by the Church in general and the actions of some of its members.

Could he really be as compassionate as I have always hoped he is?

Could he really look at me and offer me...something?  Is there really anything he could have said that would make me feel better?

Even though I don't like to admit it, I still feel hurt.  I like to act like I'm over it.  I like to act like it's not important.  But how could something that was such a huge part of my life for so long not be important? It's still a shadow that looms over me.  It's still a thread that weaves itself through my relationships with my family.  My patchwork quilt of faith still carries pieces of the doctrine I was raised on.  And I really don't think it will ever go away.

Which leads me to wonder if the pain will ever completely go away.

And I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.

15 July 2012

Day 30: Equality

Before my ex-husband and I got engaged, we dated for about five months.  Then we were engaged for about the same amount of time before we were married.  Then we were married for a year and a half before we separated.  Then four months later, we were officially divorced.

I don't count the four months of separation as part of the time we were together.  After all, as is implied, we were separated.  I was with him for two years and four months, give or take a few days.

Next month, my girlfriend and I will celebrate our three year anniversary.  This means that we've been together longer than I was with my ex-husband.

This is by far the most meaningful relationship I've ever been a part of.  I didn't date much in high school, having been a "good girl" and waited until I was sixteen to even have my first kiss.  I can count on one hand the number of guys I dated.  One, two, three, four...and the fourth one I married.  My girlfriend and I have more care and concern for each other than was ever present in my other relationships.  We laugh more.  We have more in common.  We also have more that is opposite, which in our relationship means that we complement each other better.  We can sit with each other in complete silence and be absolutely happy, just because we're with each other.

She's absolutely amazing.  She's my Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.  I can't imagine life without her.  But it isn't enough.

Not enough for lawmakers.  Not enough for religious leaders.  Not enough for conservative Christians. Not enough for my family.

I sometimes wish I could be a fly on the wall and watch what goes on in the relationships that my family has (g-rated, of course).  I wonder how much we have in common, when it comes to interaction and emotion with the people we love most.

I bet it's more than they think it is...or more than they would admit.

And I get it.  I don't like it, but I get it.  To have to admit that my relationship with my girlfriend is just as important to me as my sister's relationship with her husband is to her would be incredibly difficult for my sister (either one).  Because then we're equal.  The way I love is just as important as the way she loves.  And that's not how it's "supposed" to be.  That's not what we were taught.  That's not what we continue to be taught.

My sister says she wants to spend time with me, can I please come alone and not bring my girlfriend?  But when I get there, I'm with her...and her husband and her children.  Apparently, that's not infringing on our time together.  What's the difference?  Why is my girlfriend less family than my brother-in-law, nieces, nephews...?

One day at a time, I know.  Patience is a virtue, I know.  Good things come to those who wait, I know I know I know.  And to say it hasn't gotten any better would be a complete and total lie.  It has.

So here we are, three years later.  The fight for equality will surely be a political point in this election year.  And we'll continue to fight on whatever front presents itself, whether that be in D.C., or in state legislation, or upon the doorsteps of family gatherings.

I am equal.  My relationship is important.  My girlfriend is practically perfect in every way.  And we have to fight for our love to be recognized.  But it's worth it.  Because I love her.

Day 29: Watermelon Memories

We have a new watermelon margarita at work. I haven't tried it. But because we have this new drink, we also have watermelon in the restaurant. We use a slice of it to garnish the rita.

If you've never worked in a restaurant, let me introduce you to a simple truth: servers like to snitch garnishes.

The first time we got to eat watermelon, it reminded me of summers as a child. I have this memory from when we lived in the Salt Lake area, when our family and a few other families were having a neighborhood barbecue. There was a house a few doors down that was still under construction. Some of us neighbor kids took our watermelon slices and played between the beams of this skeleton house. I'm sure the people building the house weren't excited about the watermelon seeds the next day.

I think about the time we spent in that neighborhood with quite a lot of fondness. I remember feeling happy and safe there. Summertime thrived on watermelon, popsicles, bare feet, and the hope that if the ice cream truck came around, dad would buy us a treat.

I wasn't expecting those memories to return to me when I bit into that watermelon. But it's nice to have them back again. It's a bit of happiness in an adult summer, filled with responsibilities, and a reminder of carefree simplicity to that kid who still lives inside of me.

13 July 2012

Day 28: The Things You Learn About Yourself

There are some situations where you don't know how you will be until you're actually in that situation.  Sure, you can imagine what you would do, you can try to set up a plan so that you're better prepared.  But sometimes you don't find out what you would do until you're actually doing it.

This applies to all sorts of situations.  Certainly, the ones that immediately come to mind are situations of a serious nature--some sort of emergency or the high stress type.  Maybe the type where you have to assert yourself and stand up against something you think isn't quite right.

But it's also true of small things.

For example, I am much more domestic than I thought I would be.

This has been kind of a revelation of sorts to me, because I just flat out thought that this wouldn't be the case.

We got our own apartment at the beginning of the year.  This is not the first time I've lived "on my own," having been married and divorced and having lived with a friend for four years.  I really enjoy having a space that is mine.  And I really enjoy having a space that I share with my girlfriend.  We've made this little space ours, and we're comfortable here for the most part.  We could stand to have different neighbors, but who in an apartment building doesn't think that at one point or another?

When I lived with my ex-husband, I was the one working.  I had two jobs.  He went to school and had a very part time job during the summers.  So he stayed home and took care of the house.  He did the laundry.  And I brought home the paychecks.  Kind of a role reversal in the typical Mormon household, but that's how it was.

When I lived with my friend, we just did our own thing.  She insisted on doing most of the cleaning, being somewhat of an OCD sort when it comes to germs (she's a nurse), and I just tried to get through the days and the nights.  Not the brightest of times for me in terms of mental health.

But now, living with my girlfriend, whom I plan to live with until the end of all my days, I'm finding that I've kind of got a bit of housewife in me after all.

We divide up the chores.  I hate laundry and vacuuming, but fortunately for me, my girlfriend insists on doing the laundry and doesn't mind the vacuuming.  She hates dishes and cleaning the bathroom, and I'll volunteer to do those chores over vacuuming any day.  It works out pretty well.

But I also do most of the cooking.  I make breakfast.  I make dinner, on the rare occasion that we're home in the evening.  I write the shopping lists and plan out the meals.  Which is really nothing new to me.  My mom was the Stay At Home Mom, and we helped her cook quite a bit.  Not always willingly, but my mom made sure that we could plan a meal, follow a recipe, and know our way around the kitchen.  I don't mind cooking, now that I'm not entirely forced to participate.  It just somewhat surprises me how much I don't mind it.

It's not always fancy, but it's definitely edible.  Simple is good.  My girlfriend says I make the best eggs and toast around.  I'm glad she thinks so.

12 July 2012

Day 27: Little Bird

We live on the third floor of an apartment building.  There is no one above us.  And currently, on our balcony, is a little bird.

He's been sitting there since yesterday.  He kind of looks like a sparrow, but I'm not sure.

He can walk.  He's been pacing.  Other birds come by from time to time and it looked like one was trying to feed it, but I'm not sure.  He can move his wings but it doesn't seem like he can fly.  If he could, I think he would have flown away by now.

I feel badly and worried for this little bird.  He sits and he watches.  Sometimes it seems like he's crouching.  Below us there is grass and a courtyard and above us there is only a little bit of roof, and then nothing but sky.  Birds were meant to fly.  But here he sits, just beyond the glass, just below the railing, bring to stay out of the sun.

We know that if we try to help him, it will probably only hurt him.  So we're just watching through the door, hoping that if he is hurt, he will heal soon.

Day 26: Revelation

Revelation has a lot to do with the LDS Church.  Without it, the Church wouldn't exist.  Joseph Smith Jr. received and founded the Church based on revelations.  That's why he was considered a prophet of God.  That's why the Church continues to have prophets today.  Those prophets receive revelation for the Church as a whole and pass it along to the members.

But I also remember that primary lesson where we learned that any person can receive revelation from God.  God hears and answers prayers.  He will listen.  And if you ask with a sincere heart and in the right spirit, He will answer you.  Personal revelation, they call it, and it's available to anyone.

So which revelation outweighs the other?

If the President of the Church offers a revelation from the pulpit that is designed for the Church as a whole, and I pray about the same issue and receive a different sort of revelation, which is correct?

And perhaps more importantly, which do you follow?


11 July 2012

Day 25: Brothers

I am the oldest of three girls.  I didn't grow up with brothers in the house.  Besides my dad, the only boys were the dogs we had.

Now that my sisters are married, I have two brothers.  I don't see them much.  They are good men.  I think they are good husbands and fathers.  I think they treat my sisters very well.

But in truth, I don't call them my brothers.  They are my sister's husbands.

I do have brothers though.  Or at least, I consider them my brothers.  They are my girlfriend's oldest and youngest brother, and they too are good men.  I love spending time with them.  We laugh, we enjoy each other's company, we talk about serious stuff, and then we laugh some more.  It isn't awkward and none of us have to be on guard.  It's easy and it's fun.

I like being friends with my sisters now that we're adults.  I also like having brothers.  It was worth the wait.

09 July 2012

Day 24: 32 Years

Today is my parents wedding anniversary.  They are celebrating 32 years together.

I'm really proud of them.  So many people just quit these days when things get rough in a relationship.  It's easier to get divorced than to stay married.  And I know they've had their rough patches.  Any relationship does and will, no matter what people say to keep face.

Three kids and six grandkids later, I wonder if their married life has gone in the direction they thought it would, once upon a time in 1980.

Regardless, I congratulate them.  Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.  Here's to at least 32 more.

08 July 2012

Day 23: Cleared

Google has cleared my blog and no malware has been detected.  *GIGANTIC sigh of relief*

According to the company hired by the FBI, my computer is also cleared.  I was really glad, because the last thing I would ever want is to be causing problems for other people, their computers, their internet, their whatever, because I decided to blog about my life.

I'm kind of disappointed that my 30 day blog idea had to be interrupted, but under the circumstances, I think it was a good idea.  Better safe than sorry.  And I'm going to finish what I started, even if it wasn't exactly sequential.

29 June 2012


I'm going to put a hold on my 30 days of post series. There are some blogs lately, or maybe it's just Google itself, that are having some issues. I've changed some settings in the hope that it will help. But I'm also going to give it a couple days to see of it kicks in.

Day 23 will resume...shortly.

28 June 2012

Day 22: Days Like These

Today is the last day of my weekend. For those of you in the "real world" out there, today is Wednesday. For those of us who work on your weekends, we take days off in the middle of the week. My weekend is Tuesday and Wednesday.

I'm sad the weekend is over. But today was an awesome day.

First: Spain advances to the EuroCup final over Portugal. Being that there were many players from Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, this was an interesting match to watch. It went full time, then extra time, then to penalty kicks to determine the winner. I love soccer like that and it's even better when the team you want to win actually does. Being a Jazz fan all these years hasn't given me much experience in that category, but I'm finding that I enjoy it.

Second, I spent all day with my best friend. I know our relationship does as well as it does because we have a pretty awesome friendship. It's really great to be in love with my best friend.

Third, we went to dinner with my girlfriend's brother and his fiancé. We love hanging out with those two. They're just dorky like we are and we always have so much fun. I'm lucky to have been accepted into a second family. I didn't grow up with brothers, but I have them now. I'm just blessed.

I love days like these.

27 June 2012

Day 21: Two Thumbs Up

I'm a fan of feel good, simplistic humor. Sarcasm is my favorite, but I enjoy a movie that can make me laugh.

Madagascar 3.

Loved it!

25 June 2012

Day 20: I Know You're Not Okay With It

I had a conversation with my sister last week.  They were visiting and stayed an extra night because of my dad getting set apart as a high councilman.  

My family has graciously said that my girlfriend can come with us on our next family vacation.

I was totally and completely stunned, because I was prepared not to go.  The last time we went on vacation, it was fun, but it sucked at the same time because I was away from the person I care about the most.  We couldn't call each other, we weren't together, and we were both missing each other the whole time.  It wasn't an enjoyable vacation.  And I vowed that, should we vacation again, I wouldn't go alone.  I'd rather stay home.  So when my mom texted me about another vacation, that's what I assumed would be the case.

I was surprised.

I am not surprised that it is with great concern that they agreed.  And it was some of these concerns that my sister, my mom, and I were discussing in this conversation.

My sister and my dad both feel like if they say that my girlfriend can come to events and on vacation, it's like they're telling me that they're okay with us being together, when really they're not.  They feel like they're telling me that little by little, they accept our relationship.

But I know they're not okay with it.  I know they'll never be.

What I hope for though, especially as time goes on, is that they'll get to know me again.  And they'll get to know my girlfriend.  I hope that the anger will fizzle and wither away.  I hope that they'll see how happy we are.  And little by little, while they may not accept it, it will be easier to show that they love me.

This is another bit of uncharted territory and I'm hoping that I won't take the wrong steps.  I know that you're not okay with it.  But maybe one day, I'll feel like you're okay with me again.

24 June 2012

Day 19: My Favorite Hymn

Hymn 304
Teach Me To Walk In The Light

Teach me to walk in the light of his love;
Teach me to pray to my Father above;
Teach me to know of the things that are right;
Teach me, teach me, to walk in the light.

Come, little child, and together we'll learn
Of his commandments, that we may return
Home to his presence, to live in his sight---
Always, always to walk in the light.

Father in Heaven, we thank thee this day
For loving guidance to show us the way,
Grateful, we praise thee with songs of delight,
Gladly, gladly, we'll walk in the light.

23 June 2012

Day 18: Upcoming

My dad was called to the High Council last week.

I have some experiences surrounding this that I'd like to share, but it's still in that raw, processing phase.  So I'm going to continue to think about what I'd like to say.

Stay tuned.

22 June 2012

Day 17: A Late Response

I was looking at the stats of my blog yesterday and I stumbled upon comments on one of my posts from over a year ago.  I don't usually get a lot of comments, so I thought it was peculiar that this particular post had 10 comments.  Turns out that some of it was a conversation between the people reading my blog, one of whom knows me out in the real world.

I hadn't seen the exchange when it was happening.  But I felt like it deserved a response, so I gave one, even though it was more than a year ago.

The post was "Treat Me Differently" from January of last year.

I think it's interesting to hear how people can perceive things that they really have no inside knowledge about.  And we all do it.  We put a spin on someone else's experience based upon our own experience, when really, no two experiences are the same.  Even when you have two people standing side by side, witnessing the same event, they will interpret it differently.

I really respect Anonymous for taking the time to look back at the experiences that I described, and taking the time to consider it in my frame of context instead of their own.

And I also appreciate Jen and FindingMyWay for speaking up when I was unaware of the exchange.

I'll try to pay more attention in the future to whatever comments are posted here.

21 June 2012

Day 16: Dawnlight

There are words
which cannot be spoken
and hearts
that will not hear

but each day the sun still rises

and whatever clouds may gather
in this uncertain
and sometimes unwanted day
will still be blessed by silver

perhaps unseen
but each day the sun still rises

hold my hand
be my hope
that one day those hearts
will listen truly

even if it is not this day
one day
grant me that day

and brighter than ever before
the sun will rise.

20 June 2012

Day 15: What Do You Thirst For?

Do you ever find yourself wondering about what will come next?

Unsure footing.  Hazy and treacherous terrain.  Clouds hiding the sky.  Some people tell you one thing is right, other people tell you the opposite.

How do you navigate?

When I first came to the blogosphere, I was desperately searching for something.  I wanted to better understand what I was feeling, and to know that I wasn't the only one feeling that way.  I chewed through blog after blog after blog, my soul begging for answers.  I found camaraderie.

As I progressed in my situation and began unraveling my plight through the therapeutic fingers of my own blog, I sought to cultivate that camaraderie.  I had found a place where I could probably belong.  I wanted to contribute.  I actually found myself believing that it was okay to take my feelings and mold them into description, give them a voice out in the world and let them speak.  I found myself thinking that it was okay to offer my experiences to this community, and to this world, and that my own small moments of trepidation could mean something...just like those moments from other people meant something to me.

Then I found a certain level of...neutrality.  I found a way to be okay.  This grain of sand had been transformed into a pearl of stagnant peace.  I took a break.  I didn't blog as much.  Instead, I went out into the world and lived my life.  I breathed that air.  I stepped into the sunlight that was above me.  I paused.  But you can't pause forever.  Life is motion, and you have to keep moving.

But then what?

Perhaps I had my oasis.  Is there another one waiting for me in this desert wasteland?  If I keep walking, leaving footprints in the sand behind me, what will come next?

I think it's human nature to want to matter.  I also think it's human nature to want to share in the experience of being human.  That's why this works.  We're not alone.  We walk together.  But we also evolve.  And what inspired us once is not guaranteed to inspire us tomorrow.

So what is it that drives me to keep going?  What am I looking for?  What am I thirsting for?

Perhaps better direction.  I'm moving into more uncharted territory as of late.  Some days, it's too overwhelming to think about.  It's almost discouraging to know that I still don't have the answers.  But I have to keep looking.  I have to keep thirsting after whatever hope it is that pushes me on, with the kind of desperation that is needed to survive.  If I don't, I know I won't get to where I'm going.  The journey continues.  Little by little, we get there.

Where "there" is, time will tell.

19 June 2012

Day 14: Summer Reading List

I'm out of school until August 22.  Whenever we were out for the summer as kids, my mom made it a point to take us to the library.  Summer reading was important in our house.  Fortunately for my mother, all three of her kids didn't mind reading.

Even though I'm a busy adult leading a busy life, I still love to read.  So I made a summer reading list of my own.

1. A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin
2. A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin
3. A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin
4. A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin 
5. A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin
6. Waiter Rant, The Waiter (aka Steve Dublanica)
7. Manhunt, James L. Swanson
8. Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, Drew Karpyshyn
9. A Picture of Dorian Grey, Oscar Wilde

Perhaps it's a little ambitious, but I've been meaning to read A Song of Ice and Fire (aka the Game of Thrones series) again.  And yes, I read Star Wars books.  

I'm already well into A Game of Thrones, so hopefully it's not too ambitious.

18 June 2012

Day 13: Katy Perry

Here's my thing about Katy Perry:

When Katy Perry puts out a new song, initially I usually find myself thinking it's not so bad.  "I could like that," I think, as I listen to her latest release.

But then every single radio station has to play it and play it and play it and play it and play it and play it, until it's so overplayed that I want to choke someone just so I have something else to listen to.

I don't mind Katy Perry, or her music.  After all, she does the lesbian theme song about kissing girls and liking it.  Currently, I'm kind of liking the "Wide Awake" song that's new.  But it's new.  I've only heard it three times.  So that might change.

Day 12: Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's, will-be Dad's, and Dad's of four-legged children out there!

Hope your day has been great, filled with laughter and love.  And if you're in a situation where you didn't see your Dad, or your kids, because things are in some way strained, know that I'm sending you love and good thoughts.  Hopefully one day, things will be better.

I hope my dad has had a great day.  I think my sister and her family are in town, so hopefully he got to enjoy his day and feel appreciated, get lots of hugs from the grandkids, all that good stuff.

Being that it's a holiday and I am a restaurant server, I just worked all day, so I'm leaving it at that. :)

16 June 2012

Day 11: Confession

My girlfriend's brother is getting married at the end of August. I don't even know how many Moho's are currently engaged, but it feels like quite a few. And then there's my Moho friends who are married.

All this wedding stuff is getting to me.

Gotta admit, I think I'd like to get married again.

But then I wonder...what would I wear? I'm not a dress kind of girl but as much as like to wear a tie, I don't think I'd like to get married in a tie or a suit or something like that.

And then there's the whole "well, what will my family say?"

I guess right now it's pretty irrelevant, being that I'm not getting married any time soon. But the wedding bells are ringing and I'm not out of earshot.

15 June 2012

Day 10: Addendum to MOM's

I've been thinking more about mixed-orientation marriages and I'd like to add something that I think plays a big part in why people opt for getting married...


Especially within the LDS Church, family is of the upmost importance.  That's the whole goal.  Grow up, find an eternal companion, get married in the temple, have an eternal family.

Having no desire to have children of my own, this is something I don't experience personally.  But I can see how that would play a big role in entering into a mixed-orientation marriage.

I'm still processing and may have more to say later, but this is all I've got for now.

14 June 2012

Day 9: Mixed-Orientation Marriages

There has been a lot of buzz about mixed-orientation marriages lately, from Ty and Danielle Mansfield headlining LDS Living magazine to the blog post by Josh Weed, and all the responses in between.

Without knowing it, I was part of such a marriage.  I say without knowing it, because during the years I was married, I was not consciously aware of the fact that I was gay.  Looking back, there are always signs and obvious clues, but I was caught up in the ignorance of my situation.

The difference between my situation and the ones that have been shared among the internet community is that neither myself nor my husband were well-informed going into the marriage.  We nearly called it off anyway, so I think that if we had known that I was gay before we got married, we wouldn't have taken that step into Man-and-Wife Land.  I can say with a fair amount of confidence that marrying a gay woman was not on my ex-husbands To-Do list.  If we would have talked about it, I don't think he would have continued to pursue a relationship with me.

Another difference in my situation and some other mixed-orientation marriages is that mine didn't last long enough for me to come out to my husband while we were still married.  Although it was one of the big reasons for the ending of the marriage, we didn't know that this was causing us such grief and drama and heartache.  We didn't know why I didn't want to sleep with him, why I had a difficult time, why I wasn't feeling attached to him, why I would have rather spent time with my girl friends than my husband.  Now of course, it's glaringly obvious.  Then, it honestly didn't even cross my mind.

For me, marriage was difficult.  I don't know if it was more difficult because I wasn't out or less difficult because I wasn't out, but either way it was difficult.  There was always this wedge between us.  As much as we tried to make our relationship stronger, it only got weaker, because we lacked that close intimacy that is needed if you're going to make a marriage last the test of time and weather.

Will Ty and Danielle stay together?  Will Josh and his wife?  I don't know.  If they do, I think that's great.  But more often than not, even if you really want it to work, it doesn't happen.  It's almost like it can't.

In my case, no amount of praying, fasting, church-going, bishop's counseling, or will-powering could be the glue that kept us together.  But I know that both of us are so much happier now that we're apart.  He's remarried to a woman who can give him her whole heart and they have the family that he so desperately wanted when we were together.  And I'm committed to a person who I can give my whole heart to, and we are building our life together on the foundation of a strong and loving relationship.  Both of us have someone who is right for us now.

Just my two cents.

13 June 2012

Day 8: Sacrifice

Sacrifice: 1: the offering of something precious to a deity or the thing offered; 2: loss or deprivation

It seems that if you are gay and LDS, you have to make a lot of choices.  Being gay is not a choice, but how you proceed after coming out to yourself is a path that is filled with choices.

No matter how you look at it, sacrifice will be involved.  At this point in history and with the Church, you can't be in a happily committed same-sex relationship and enjoy full membership status with the LDS Church.  Therefore, if you want both, you have to weigh your options and give up something.

Some people opt for church membership.  If you've never been a member of the LDS Church, this can seem rather ludicrous, even downright insane.  This is because if you've never been inside, you don't know how much your church life is intertwined with every other part of your life.  So to turn that upside down and walk away from it seems like the more dangerous choice, and definitely the scarier choice.  To take that chance is just not worth it, especially when you're talking about eternal consequences.

Some people opt out of church membership.  You take the chance that your family will say they never want to see you again.  You take the chance that everything you've believed in and been taught is somewhat skewed.  You take a chance on your personal faith that God loves you as you are, and will continue to love you, even when your temple recommend expires.

Within each of these choices, there are varying degrees of choice from there.  You can date, you can not date, you can determine which standards are important and which you will let go.  You decide what you will sacrifice and what you will keep.

And I'm all good with whatever you choose.

But sometimes I wonder about sacrifice, about what precious thing you will choose to offer to the Lord.  Is there such a thing as too much?

The Bible Dictionary says that sacrifices, as performed in the Old Testament,
"were instructive as well as worshipful--accompanied by prayer, devotion, and dedication, and represented an acknowledgment on the part of the individual of his duty towards God, and also a thankfulness to the Lord for his life and blessings upon the earth."

I can see this working from either choice.  Clearly there is an argument for staying active, staying celibate, staying in the Church.  And when I say "celibate" here, I mean it in the context that the Church asks of gay members -- no dating, no holding hands, no kissing, no nothing.  That could be seen as a duty towards God for this test in life.  That chance for companionship is certainly a precious thing, one not easily given up, one that could be a significant sacrifice to the Lord.

On the other hand, perhaps it is a duty towards God to be an example of good and faithfulness outside the LDS Church.  The sacrifice is the comfort of the Church as it was given to you as a child.  I submit that there are many blessings to be had outside of meetinghouse walls, and in leaving those walls, there is a chance to find thankfulness for blessings that are continually bestowed upon us.

I don't think there is one black-and-white answer or path that will work for everyone.  We've all given up something.  Perhaps, like Abraham of old, we have to get to the alter and actually raise the knife before an angel of the Lord steps in and says, "this is enough."

And whether or not He is pleased with the sacrifice we offer, I believe is between you and Him.

12 June 2012

Day 7: Sports

I realize that not all of my gay friends are passionate about sports.  I have always loved sports.  And in my case, knowing a lot about sports allows me to keep my gay card, so it works out well for me. ;)

For instance, I love soccer.
Right now the UEFA tournament for the EuroCup is going on.  I am so glad that ESPN has been showing the matches, because I've spent my mornings watching soccer.

For a lot of people I know, soccer isn't exciting at all.  Not the case for me.  Maybe it's because I used to play when I was a kid.  Maybe it's because now I have a tiny crush on Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe from the US Women's National Team.  I don't know.  But I love it.

Of course, the EuroCup is strictly for European nations, so I go for Spain.  I follow FC Barcelona as one of my club teams (the other is Real Salt Lake and I'm waiting to see what happens with women's professional soccer), and a lot of the players are also on Spain's National Team.  They are so methodical and precise, it's amazing to watch.  My girlfriend thinks it's boring, but the talent it takes to make soccer look that way is unbelievable to me.  Other than that, I usually go for the underdog.

This is how I'm spending my mornings for the rest of June.  Love it.

The US Men's National Team has started their World Cup 2014 qualifying matches, the MLS season is in full swing, and the Summer Games are coming up in London, so it's a good time to be a soccer fan.

I'm also excited for the NBA Finals to start tonight.  I said at the beginning of the season that Oklahoma City had become a force to be reckoned with.  I am stoked to see Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James.  I think this is going to be an awesome series, and for once, I really don't care who wins.  Both teams are deserving and as long as I get to see good basketball, I'll be happy.

Now if the Braves could just beat the Yankees, everyone in this house would be happy.

11 June 2012

Day 6: Tyrion Lannister

Game of Thrones.

This series is completely epic.  I don't know if any of you have seen the HBO adaption of these books, but perhaps you have heard of Game of Thrones because of it.

George R.R. Martin is a GENIUS.  I love these books.  They definitely aren't for kids but if war and gore and some graphic language doesn't bother you, I highly recommend you read them.

One of the characters is Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf who comes from a major upper class house.  I love Tyrion.  He's smart, witty, and he's the only Lannister that we like.  The rest of his house is the type of people that you love to hate.  The fact that he's a dwarf is always used against him.  He's not like a Lord of the Rings dwarf, he's a Little People Big World dwarf.

One of the things I love most about Tyrion though is that as much as people try to make him feel badly about who he is, he won't let them.

"Let them see that their words can cut you, and you'll never be free of the mockery.  If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own.  Then they can't hurt you with it anymore."

"Never forget who you are, for surely the world will not.  Make it your strength.  Then it can never be your weakness.  Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."

Much like we see parallels with the musical "Wicked" and Elphaba, I see it with Tyrion.  Smart little man.  I like what he says.  It gives me something to think about.

Day 5: So Normal, It's Boring

At the beginning of this year, my girlfriend and I moved into an apartment together.  For the last month, we've had someone from work staying with us.  When she turned eighteen, her mom kicked her out, so we told her she could stay here.

I've thought about what our life must look like since she's been in our home.  And from what I can see, we're just so normal that it's boring.

For example, I usually get up earlier than my girlfriend does.  I wander out into the kitchen and get my morning Mountain Dew (hey, some people drink hot caffeine in the morning, I prefer cold).  I get on my phone and catch up on the Facebook and the Twitter crowd, check the weather, maybe the CNN app if I'm feeling spunky.

When my girlfriend gets up, I usually make her coffee.  Then we have breakfast together.  Sometimes it's bagels with cinnamon sugar.  Sometimes it's eggs and toast.  Sometimes it's just yogurt.  But we have breakfast together.

Then I do dishes.  She does laundry.  We pay bills.  We run errands.  Then we have to get ready for work.  When we come home, we usually watch some SportsCenter or something on the DVR to unwind. We get a little something to eat.  Then we go to bed.

Yes, it is probably boring.  But it's also really nice.  It's nice because we have this life together that is so normal.  It's comfortable.  It's what I imagined when I thought about my life with someone.  We don't talk about taking over the world or corrupting traditional marriage.  We don't discuss straight people much at all, actually, not in that context.  We don't talk about politics or the economy or religion...much.  We are just living our lives, doing our thing, being normal -- and boring -- together.

09 June 2012

Day 4: For The Strength of Gay Youth

A few weeks ago, I was perusing the website of Affirmation, a group for gay Mormons of any level of activity.  It had been awhile since I'd been on the site and they've made a lot of changes.  It looks really good and there's much more information available.

When I was first coming out, Affirmation was a group that was suggested to me by the therapist I was seeing.  She was not LDS but knew that this group could be supportive for someone from an LDS background.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on Affirmation's website, looking for answers, looking for resources...looking for hope.

One of the things I found as I was on the site a few weeks ago was a resource that probably would have been very helpful when I was a coming out.  It's called "For The Strength of Gay Youth" and it's based upon the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
As someone who grew up in the LDS Church, the Strength of Youth pamphlet was used in my life all the time.  When we had to speak in sacrament meeting, often we were asked to choose something from this document.  We had lessons in Young Women's about it.  I was given numerous copies during interviews with the Bishop for various callings or even tithing settlements.  I was very familiar with this church publication.

Reading through the FTSOGY pamphlet on the Affirmation website was very interesting.  I think it is a wonderful tool and even though it is not sanctioned by the LDS Church, I really like that Affirmation is putting a familiar spin on what can be unfamiliar territory.  Coming out is not easy, and there are kids coming out at very young ages.  That takes a lot of strength and courage.  I am constantly amazed by what kids these days can do.  But for all their bravery, sometimes I worry, because time and time again we are shown that the pressure can be suffocating.

I haven't gone through the site like I did years ago, but I think I'd like to.  We all need positive messages and support, and sometimes it's nice to be reminded that you're not alone.

08 June 2012

Day 3: Pride

Pride 2012 was probably the best Pride out of the four I've been to.

We always look forward to Pride but it seems like I was especially looking forward to it this year.  We had a lot of people from work who wanted to go, and quite a few had never been before.  We always like seeing the Imperial Rainbow Court in the parade.  My girlfriend's brother and brother-in-law spiff up the Jeep and it always looks AMAZING.

Also this year, I was really looking forward to seeing Westminster College in the parade.  They asked for ideas on Facebook about what to put on their t-shirts this year, and they chose my idea.  It wasn't anything super fantastic, but I thought that was pretty sweet.

I was probably most excited about Dustin Lance Black as the Grand Marshall.  I watched his Oscar acceptance speech from "Milk" probably at least a dozen times, because I found his words so comforting.  I find him to be a very eloquent speaker, always inspirational.

What I was not expecting was that he would be followed by such a large group of active LDS Church members in their Sunday best, waving rainbow flags.
I was aware of this group's existence.  I had been invited to the Facebook group for Mormons Building Bridges about three weeks before Pride.  At that time, they were hoping to get 100 members to come walk with them.  The purpose was to show the LGBT community, especially the LGBT youth, that not all Mormons were unsupportive and/or hateful (hateful is perhaps a strong word that doesn't accurately describe the struggle between the LDS and LGBT communities, but I think it adequately reflects the emotion that occurs when trying to reconcile to the two from an individual standpoint).  One thing that both groups can agree on is that we've lost too many young people to suicide.  They have been victims of the lines that divide us, and neither community wants to lose any more.

When I saw this group of clearly more than 100 come around the corner, behind Dustin Lance Black, I was pretty much immediately moved to tears.

Normally it's just the PFLAG group that makes me cry, but this was an especially moving sight.  Both my girlfriend and I were in tears.  Several members left the group for a moment to hug us and tell us we were loved.  We thanked them.  We told them we come from Mormon homes.  They said, 

"and we love you."

It was an amazing experience.  We were so fortunate to be there.  And while they may never know how much it meant to us, I hope they had a good experience as well.  Everyone stood up and clapped for them.  No one around us showed anger or distrust or frustration that they were the group leading the parade.  It seemed to me that they were welcomed.  I hope they felt that way.

We are also very fortunate that we have a lot of people in our lives who love us and support us.  A lot of them were there with us at Pride.  Those who couldn't be there asked us about it and were glad that we had a good time.  

If you were there, I hope you had a great time.  If your Pride festivities are upcoming still, I hope you go and have an amazing time!  My favorite part of Pride is going as you are and knowing that you're okay, you're surrounded by family, you're accepted by family.  Happy Pride!

07 June 2012

Day 2: School

My school life is interesting.

I added a major last semester, so now I am an aviation management major and an accounting major.  Both of these are business majors, so a lot of my classes count towards both.  When I figured it out, it's only taking one more semester to get the credits needed for both.  So I went for it.

I have four semesters left before graduation.  Two years.  It sounds like a long time but every time I look at how I've got my classes laid out, I get that little nervous/excited butterfly feeling.  Sometimes it seems so far off, but it's really not.

I have absolutely loved my business classes.  I have a mind that was made for accounting.  I think it's fun. People think I'm crazy.

My aviation classes have been somewhat frustrating, which is really disappointing to me because I love aviation so much.  But I'm not a flight operations major, and that is what all the aviation classes seemed to be focused for.  I would fly if I could, and perhaps I still will one day.  Right now I don't qualify for a medical certificate because of my past mental history.  If I decide to jump through all the hoops and get a SODA that says I am cleared for medical, it will be when I have time to fly on my own and enjoy it.

It's frustrating to want to know more, but not be given the information, and not know where to look for it. It's frustrating to feel like I'm trying to catch up.  I'm not above working hard for my education.  I'm not afraid of having to put a lot of effort in.  And yet, that willingness often seems to be wasted, because I don't know where to find information that will help me learn the material.

If I had one major complaint about the program, it would be that there is so much attention given to flight ops majors, and not enough given to management majors.  I wish that some of the flight ops kids could come sit with me in an accounting class, just so they know what I feel like in the aviation classes.

Don't get me wrong, I have been enjoying school.  It's an interesting perspective to me.  I really want to be there.  I'm paying for it myself.  I've had quite a bit of life experience.  And to sit next to teenagers and listen to their conversations, see how much or how little effort they put into something, feel how young they are and notice how some of them take it for granted...it makes me feel old.  I don't look it.  I look just like them.  But I'm almost 30.  And that makes a big difference.

If anyone's interested, I'll be taking fifteen credit hours next semester.  I have two accounting classes, one aviation class, and one speech class.  The speech class is the only general requirement I have left.  I got my Associate Degree from another school where speech wasn't required.  Everything else is covered...except this class, which is taken directly from my nightmares.  So I'll knock it out and be done with it.

Class of 2014.  Yeah baby.

06 June 2012

Day 1: Summer Plans

My summer plans actually started Memorial Day weekend with the airshow at Hill Air Force Base.  It rained both days and I still managed  to get sunburned, rain delays and all.  I'm very white.  But summer officially started with Pride weekend, because I'm actually out of school now for the summer (hooray!).

I'm going to dedicate an entire post to Pride, so I won't go into much detail here, but it was a really good experience this year.  We had a tremendously wonderful time.

So where does the summer go from here?  Well, I'm probably going to find a second job.  I'm still at the restaurant in the evenings, but there is doom and gloom on the horizon--we will have a Texas Roadhouse opening later this year.  Needless to say, I'm going to need to find a second source of income for when that happens.  Our company estimates that it takes about a year to recover normal business.  I'm not even surprised that Roadhouse will be opening right when we're supposed to be getting into our busy season.  Diabolical.  But I get it.  They're running a business too.

Work work work.

But there are good things too.  I've got tickets to see the Women's National Soccer team play Canada here at Rio Tinto Stadium at the end of this month.  I'd like to try and get to a Real Salt Lake match as well.  We've got tickets for Wicked at the end of July.  We'll be bartending the Emerald and Ruby Ball again this year for the Imperial Rainbow Court in Ogden (if you're interested in going, please let me know!).  Then my girlfriend's brother is getting married at the end of August.

I think the best part will be the time that I get to spend with my girlfriend.  We are loving having our own space and the apartment has been so good for us.  It seems like every day just gets better and better.  She's going to try and get through the summer with just one job.  She's had up to three since I've known her and I'm excited for her to have a little bit of a break.

Seems like two and a half months out of school is a long time, but I'm sure it will melt by faster than I'd like it to.

Happy Summer!

05 June 2012

Blog Everyday Challenge

I've seen people do "Everyday" blogs and vlogs before and I've wondered about doing it.  I've thought about this for a couple months, because, as I explained in my last post, I feel like I have a lot to say but unraveling it into a blog post is not happening.

Perhaps if I challenge myself to blog everyday for the next 30 days (since we're already 5 days into June), I can say what I've been meaning to say.  Obviously, creative control of this blog is solely mine, but for some reason, I'm putting pressure on myself about it.  I just need to let go.

So challenge extended...not for anyone else really, just for me...so without promises about greatness of content, for the next 30 days, I will blog every day.

"Do or do not--there is not try."

What Do I Want To Say?

I feel like I have a lot that I could write about.  I feel like there is a lot that I want to write about.  And yet, I'm having a difficult time writing anything at all.

May was a really busy month for me.  I'm glad that I was in May term and that I got those classes taken care of.  I am really envious of those who just graduated.  As much as I love going to school and taking all this information in, I am finding myself feeling anxious about taking the next step and moving into the career world.  My girlfriend and I talk about it all the time.  "Two more years," we tell ourselves.  We think about leaving Utah.  Part of me likes living here.  Part of me really looks forward to the day when I can live somewhere else.  I'd like to see what it's like.  I'd like to be away from the pressure.  Sometimes, I'd just like an easier excuse to bail on family activities.

I am still processing through Pride.  What an amazing experience we had.  My girlfriend and I both agree that this was probably one of the best Pride's we have gone to.  I think it will take some more processing before I'm ready to write about it, because there were multiple elements involved for me.

My girlfriend and I have had fun and excitement over the past two weeks.  It's been really awesome to get to spend time together.  She's down to one job instead of three and I'm out of school for the summer.  It's been almost three years and in so many ways, it's just flown by.  I love being with her, and it seems to get better and better all the time.

Random, random, random, but this is all I feel like saying right now.

05 April 2012

Navigating Conflicts Between Religious Liberties and Gay Rights

I went to an event last night at school.  As part of the diversity lecture series, Clifford Rosky presented a lecture that was titled "Navigating Conflicts Between Religious Liberties and Gay Rights."  He is a law professor at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law and he specifically studied law regarding sexual orientation because he has a brother who is gay.  He works with Equality Utah as well.

This was a very interesting and thought-provoking lecture for me.  My responses are still being processed, and perhaps there are too many thoughts for one blog post, so I'm thinking about breaking it up over a series of posts.

Suffice it to say, I was very impressed, and I'm glad that my school offers events like this.

02 April 2012

Just Another Weekend

I'm not really sure about what I'm going to blog about, but I feel like I ought to have something to say.  After all, this was kind of a big weekend in the Mormon world.  Spiritual nourishment from a pulpit in the good ol' SLC.  But I didn't trouble myself with it, other than to wait on large parties of white-shirt-and-tie clad men on Saturday.  Every six months, like clockwork, they descend upon us.  And inevitably, as soon as the clock reads eight, someone will come around the corner and announce the White Shirt Alert.  Good times.

There were posts on Facebook about one thing or another.  The only one that possibly intrigues me is the talk given by Elder Uchtdorf.  As of yet, I haven't brought myself to read it.

I find that I used to get stressed about what might be said, who might be saying it, who might be taking it to heart.  This is the first General Conference where I genuinely have not cared.  That sounds different than I would like it to.  I guess what I mean is that I was completely nonchalant and neutral-feeling about what was going on.  It was just another weekend.  I didn't bother with the usual emotional stresses.

And it was really nice.


I am a speck of dust
      a pebble beneath the blanket
      and froth of a swirling stream
      but not blind
            and not without feeling
            as often regarded
      and thought perhaps to be
as thoughts
when small
      and born in haste
      may perhaps be
though sight
      when for granted it is taken
as dust and pebbles

27 March 2012

Redefining Faith

I have come to the realization that I don't consider myself part of the LDS Church anymore.  When I think about the Church, it is something that I see as part of my past.  It isn't part of my future.

In the present, the ripples from my involvement as a member continue.  The reflections and shadows that are cast by the LDS Church still exist as well.  They always will, I'm sure, because of my family's devotion.  And after all, I still live in Utah.  As long as that is true, the LDS Church will have some presence, despite my best efforts to understate it.

Regardless of how you leave the Church, the absence of something that has played such a large role in your life is easily felt.  How you feel it is much more personal.  Some are angry.  Some are sad.  Some feel completely liberated.

How do I feel?

Some days I think I know.  Some days I don't.

In the present and for the future, I think I am going through the process of redefining my faith.  I know that I believe in God.  I know that I believe in Jesus Christ.  I know that my faith is something that I hold very dear.  While faith and the importance of faith has been instilled in me from the time I was very young, the importance I place in my faith is something that I have determined on my own.

You often hear that people who leave the Church can't leave the Church alone.  The pieces of the Church that still stretch through my life make it difficult for me to leave the Church alone.  The Church's involvement in political matters that directly impact my life also make it difficult for me to leave the Church alone.  And I know that I still hold a lot of anger and resentment towards the Church and its leaders specifically.  That is something I need to work through, because at the end of the day, I don't want the Church to have that kind of hold on me anymore.

I know my faith matters to me but I don't know where I stand with my faith much further than that.  This is a process.  This is a journey.  This is where I'm at right now.

24 March 2012

The Little Things

I don't know what it is about little things, but they seem to make quite a bit of difference.

I can't tell you how many times we get callbacks at work from people who ordered takeaway and have missing items.  It's not a steak or a chicken or a salad that get forgotten.  It's the salad dressing.  It's the potato toppings.  It's the au jus or horseradish for prime rib.  It's the butter for the bread.

Why do customers get so upset when you forget little things?  Because the little things are important.  They make the meal just that much better.  Yeah, you can open your fridge and pull out a bottle of salad dressing.  But it doesn't have the same flavor that a homemade salad dressing has, especially when you ordered that salad "just for the dressing."

So if it's so important, why do we forget the little things then?

I find that this goes beyond the walls of a restaurant.  Think about the last time you did something that you thought was a "little something" for someone.  Text someone to say hi.  Smile at someone on the street.  Say hello.  Do the dishes when it isn't your turn.  It makes a big difference.  It says that you were thinking about someone.  You were looking outside yourself.  

Why does that make a difference?  It's validation.  It's saying that someone else matters.

I'm still taking this grain of sand and spinning it into something more well-formed, but I've been thinking about it so much that I thought I would start formulating it out in the real world.  

Little things.  Interesting.

23 March 2012

Never Stop Fighting

21 March 2012

Prepping for Pride

This will be short and sweet, but I'm starting to get excited for June.  Pride will be here before I know it and I can't wait!  In Utah, Pride weekend is the one time a year where we can go and be gay and be in public without the extreme level of caution that we most often exercise.  We get to let our hair down, so to speak.

I'm SO buying a Tyler Oakley shirt for the festivities!

As usual, we invited a bunch of people from work.  For a few of them, if they really go, this will be their first Pride.  I'm just happy that they're so excited to go, and that they're as supportive as they are.

I really am blessed with wonderful people in my life.  Hurray for my PFLAG, and hurray for Pride!

10 March 2012

A Private Club For Members

I wonder sometimes about doing what some of you have done, and composing a letter asking that my name be removed from the records of the Church.

Sometimes I don't know why I haven't done it already.  Whenever I have to fill out a form that asks about religion, or if someone asks me, I don't identify myself as LDS anymore.  I usually opt for Christian-Other. If someone asks, I tell them I am non-denominational Christian.

I do believe in Christ, very deeply.  My relationship with Him and with God have become very personal and there is no way I could ever deny that they know and love me.  Little old me, just doing the best I can, living a life where I follow my heart and try to be a good person.  Those are the boundaries I set for myself and the standards which I hold myself to.

When I think about organized religion of any sorts, I recognize that people as individuals have many different spiritual needs.  There are many different spiritual hopes, which in turn has led to different denominations and sects and all sorts of faith.  What is good to one person may be completely strange to someone else.  I think at their core, most religions try to help people have good lives, teach them good principles, and try to encourage society as a whole to be a more loving place.  Unfortunately, these core threads are sometimes buried beneath the emotion that runs on the surface.  People use their religious beliefs to justify a lot of things, not all of them good.

I have always been the type of person who bristles when someone tries to tell me who I am, or how I should be.  I am perfectly capable of making that determination on my own, thank you very much.  A little guidance is fine but any mention of "should" implies judgment that I'm not willing to accept.

And yet, there is something stopping me from writing a letter and signing my name.  Maybe it's enough for me to not go to church every Sunday and not pay tithing and consider myself Christian instead of LDS.  I no longer feel like a member, and maybe that's all I really need.

Maybe it's that I know it would break my mother's heart, and I know I've already put her through a lot of heart wrenching stress anyway.  She likes to remind me that she hopes for the day when I'll "come back."

Maybe if the Church and the records department can feel better about their membership numbers by including all the people they freely hurt and who don't support them anymore, then that's their problem and not mine.  I certainly don't lose sleep over it.

Maybe...maybe I don't even know what.

If you have sent a letter and resigned your membership, what was the major factor and/reasoning behind your decision?

Something Good

from the Sound of Music

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Nothing comes from nothing
nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good


Sometimes I feel exactly like this.

04 March 2012

Engagements and Marriages

It seems like there are a lot of people who are engaged right now.  I see a lot of them on Facebook, and most of them are Moho guys, but I think there's a straight couple here and there.

Engagements are something I love to see.  I'm so happy for everyone who is finding this happiness!  I think it's a very exciting time and I'm glad that the opportunity for marriage is now reaching people I know.  To have two people recognized for the deeply committed type of love that each must bring to a marriage is a truly amazing experience.

Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know that I was married once.  I was married in the Salt Lake Temple.  When I got divorced about two years later, I very firmly committed to never getting married again.  Having not had the best marriage experience, this thought was one that brought me so much peace.  I knew that I could be okay if I was never married to a man again.  It wasn't something I remotely wanted.

As more states are embracing marriage equality, I am finding now that I actually do think about getting married again.  My girlfriend and I have been together for two and a half years.  That's practically a lifetime in LDS terms.  If we were a conventional LDS couple, we would have already been married for two years.  We talk in terms of "forever" when we consider our relationship, but we're not in a hurry.  We've even talked about "when we get married..." but it is always a distant future sort of thing.

As I think about the possibility of getting married again, I actually find that I would like to get married again.  I want to.  And I think it's because it would be a marriage I could actually bring something to.  It's a marriage I want to be a part of, not one that I want to run and hide from.  I love my girlfriend so much and I never want to be without her.  I'm pretty sure that she feels the same way about me.  We have genuine care and concern for the others well-being and state of happiness.  And I know that I could be married to her for the rest of my life.

It doesn't feel like a foreign idea, wanting to get married again, because in a lot of ways, I think it would be like getting married for the first time.

And if that's the case, it would be my first and only, which is how I've always wanted my marriage to be.

03 March 2012

What I Learned From Andy

I feel like I've been in a weird frame of mind for the last month or so.  I feel like I've been doing more soul searching than I've done in a long time.

I think part of it comes from thinking about Andy.  I've learned more about the circumstances of his death and it's very rattling to me.  Drugs were involved.  Andy had struggled with addiction for a long time.  Even his obituary says that he lost his battle with drug addiction.  I have found that to be a sobering reminder.  I've been an addict myself, though not to substances.  To be reminded that the fight is never really over is tough, to say the least.  You can be sober for years and still be close enough to the edge that one misstep will send you falling, perhaps to never get up again.

And unfortunately, when you start thinking about and worrying about your addiction, that addiction becomes a much more present force in your life.

In grieving for Andy, I've been trying to remember what he taught me.  He was such a light, filled with so much positive energy.

"Today I will only expect great things!  Today I will only be the LOVE I wish to experience in my life!  Today I will excel in my forgiveness of my negative thoughts, and only feel the positive flow of the universe ever working in my life!  Today I will be HAPPY!  Today I will be me!"

"In this day and age, life can feel as though you are struggling, and things just aren't as they seem...for a few weeks my life has been on an up sweep of loving energy that I know is moving me forward into more and more blessings!  My higher power blesses me more and more each day.  It's my awareness to this energy's presence that allows me to feel as amazing as I do!"

Life doesn't stop, even when you want it to.  It's funny how important a small moment can be much later.  As we try to move forward, I hope to do so in a way that I can be proud of, and that will not turn my life towards shadows I have moved out of.  Just because I cast those shadows and they follow me doesn't mean I have to walk back into their arms.

TODAY I know that good things are ahead of me.  As I work towards what I want from my life, I know I have to enrich my life with good and positive things.  TODAY I won't ask for my obstacles to be removed, but rather I will ask for strength and courage to face them until I can overcome them.  TODAY I will remember that I am blessed.  TODAY I will thank God for Andy and for all the wonderful people who bring positive energy to my life!