I just had a thought: what if I approach the idea of marriage like I approached a mission: I wanted it, even though it did not fit my personality type exactly, and I approached it WITH mission, with purpose, understanding it was not "for everyone" to serve a mission but that I was fully capable of facing the challenges that were to be presented, and that I would have strength added to my own to fulfill whatever command I was confident the Lord gave.
Yet even now, remembering this and believing that I am, in fact, fully capable of "handling" the challenges of marriage and carrying through with that "call", I am still not sure how genuine it would be to do so. I mean, obviously it's the ideal according to LDS doctrine and culture. I just am not sure it is what I want, or what I even believe to be best. I'm not sure marriage really is the Lord's call to me, but I feel some draw, right now, to it.
I desire the fulfillment and happiness I felt in the one or two sort of romantic relationships I've experienced with male friends mixed with the depth of communication and connection I've felt with some non-romantic friends (male or female). Just that small taste of what it might be like to be coupled with a great guy, and that "completeness" of attraction, left me wanting more and made life in a romantic relationship with a woman seem totally bland and bleak in comparison.
Yet right now, after reading what would normally seem a thoroughly and irritatingly preachy e-mail response to my "coming out" to an old roommate who is now married, in which he proclaimed some simple (even simplistic) principles of the gospel and the joy marriage has brought him...I'm in a strange, almost ethereal mood, in a sort of peacefully familiar, although somewhat nebulous, perspective. I have a strange feeling that I can, in fact, navigate successfully through a marriage with a woman, and a faint glimmer of a desire to try it. That I could do it honestly. And that I would feel an abiding peace in doing so, even if I would have to give up the thrillingly romantic feelings I long so much to allow myself to feel.
But I remain, as of yet, extremely wary and will wait this out. Perhaps there is a war going on for my soul right now, heteroangels against homodemons duking it out to win this tortured soul, each with their own brand of healing.
Maybe his fervent--even if overly simplistic--e-mail has actually been just what was required to prick my heart with the Spirit at the right moment.
Maybe I'm on the rebound in the aftermath of a semi-romantic relationship from which I've painfully distanced myself and am now grasping for the next most comfortable thing, and the only thing I feel I'm actually allowed and could feasibly achieve (a sort of consolation prize that doesn't seem half bad after facing the reality of the loss of a more desirable prize), the familiarity of a good old-fashioned marriage and family. It feels like home, but it also feels a little like a lobotomy, like there's a vague sense that a piece of me is missing, but the part of my brain that recognizes the missing piece has been neatly disabled, so I'm blandly complacent.
Maybe it will pass.
Maybe I'll abandon my "testimony" as a lost cause and go after what I "want" with less regard to established doctrines of which I am not sure and may never be again.
Maybe I'll determine my "testimony" was a nice story I told myself for a long time and which helped me through a lot, and now the training wheels are to come off, and I am to embark on a lonelier (yet less divisive), more down-to-earth journey in a starker reality towards new depths of understanding.
Maybe my "testimony" will be rekindled in time, with a little effort on my part and help from friends and family, and I will find the strength to do things I am "scared" to do or am just not sure of at this moment.
I just don't know right now, but even now, in my dreamlike acceptance of the potential joy and peace of marriage and children, I'm sort of blandly, emotionally open to any of the scenarios above.
This, no doubt, is worrisome to many of you: that I'm dangerously, spiritually apathetic and open to a path that can only lead to distance from God, eternal damnation (loss of progress), denial of my divine worth and potential, and moral degradation. Loneliness in the eternities when I am separated not only from my earthly companion but from my friends and family who, presumably, will have made it to the Celestial Kingdom without me.
Others of you may be worried in another way: that I'm perched precariously on a downslide into the self-deceptive entrapment of tangled, man-made practices and doctrines that can lead only to a diminished and robotic, Stepford-style existence, seeking the praise of those who would be moral arbiters in exchange for the liveliness of my soul and needlessly giving up my true self in a self-loathing gesture of resignation.
Maybe I'm ripe for the picking? Nearing readiness to be sifted or tempered, perhaps?
Or I'm just in a mood and writing about it in the moment, and in an hour, I'll be back to the daily grind.