28 January 2008

Surveying My Stillness

In the past, and even now, I've bristled when I hear grown men (younger or older) lamenting how torn they are or how awful their plight is, like it's something outside of their control. I've marveled as I've seen guy after guy (I haven't interacted with enough lesbians--sorry, ladies) have a sexual and/or romantic fling, then run off back to church with renewed vigor and zeal in his testimony, then have another fling when the next best thing comes along, then back to ultra-churchiness when they "realize" what they are doing conflicts with their beliefs, etc. If you have a burning testimony of it, why in hell would you act so blatantly against what you believe? Or is the truth that you DON'T, in fact, believe as you claim to or used to, but when the reality of a "relationship" sets in, it frightens you, and you go running back to the folds of mother's dress where nice people will reassure you that you're a good person for having left that dreadful, gay world of sin and licentiousness? That seems more plausible to me. I am not, mind you, criticizing the desire or action of recommitting to the church. If it's true, you'd better commit to it sooner or later, and isn't sooner better than later? But if you're just running back to mommy and the comfort of familiarity, in contrast with the uncertainty and doubt of uncharted territory in what was likely a shallow, lust-driven relationship, own that and admit it for what it is.

I also don't recommend jumping into same-sex relationships or leaving the church just because you're doubtful. If people left things whenever they were doubtful, we'd have only shreds of family and society. It would be a mess. In many cases, you work through your doubt, but you're not likely to work through much by abandoning what you do know. I'm not one to advocate leaving the church to be "genuine" every time you feel a lack of faith or belief. Sometimes, the best thing is to carry on with what is familiar and has worked in the past until you have another plan firmly in mind, if there is to be one. And if there is not, then you'll be glad you stayed committed when you come back around. That applies with most things in life, I think.

Still, despite my irritation at the chorus of whines and cries at our painful plight, even though I think there's value in not whining and instead owning your own decisions, I've found myself, recently, in a really difficult place, emotionally. Having been attracted, in different ways, to both guys and girls, I know that the attraction I've experienced with guys, and the brief stints of romance, have far surpassed the degree and completeness of emotionality and the feeling of fulfillment I've had from the same with girls. I recognize I may have just not met the "right" girl yet, but when I've had 25 years of experience with a small handful of crushes and relationships with girls and 2 years of crushes and relationships with guys which are so much more...eh, I realize how juvenile it sounds, but so much more exhilarating and fulfilling...they've brought so much more out of me, made me feel so much more motivated to just be better and love more and...I don't know how to describe it. You'll just have to trust me when I say it's been different.

So why not then? Why not just try a same-sex relationship and give it a chance to flourish and grow and fulfill me and bring so much joy and love into my life?

1) I still have this nagging suspicion that it just may not be quite right. That maybe God really doesn't want me to, or that God would at least prefer something else, maybe. It's not that he wants me to be lonely. It's not that he takes pleasure from the hardened coating I apply to my heart when I realize this tenderness and affection and trust and love and excitement at having a beautifully unique relationship with someone and then realize it's not supposed to happen this way. But maybe there's something greater than that involved in all of this. And if there is, it's probably worth a temporary sacrifice. I have to figure out how convinced I am that that's true.

2) I don't put much value in experiencing something just to experience it. You don't need to experience something to know whether it's good. At least not fully.

3) When I think it through in a long-term perspective, I'm not sure which I want more: to have kids or to have a male companion. If I had kids, I really would want them to have a mother. A female mother. *grin* There's something so beautiful about mothers that I would hate to automatically deprive my children of that. So I would probably have a childless companionship. Probably. So in a way, even if I weren't LDS, I might still hesitate and might still be torn about what to do. I still have some core beliefs to determine and sort out.

So why not find a girl with whom I can have a committed, quality relationship, even if there's not the same "spark" of romance as there would be with a guy?

1) I first need to know that I'm not selfishly "taking" a girl to fulfill my "duty" of marrying and having a family and that the relationship isn't only about raising kids. That's a beautiful and lofty goal and purpose, but I would HAVE to go into the relationship knowing that I am not acting selfishly.

2) I don't want a girl. Not that way. I want a guy. I used to say that but would simultaneously think it must be just a trick of my own mind: I couldn't possibly want a guy that way. It's not natural. Yet, knowing that it's not "natural", I want one anyway. Physically, yes, but also romantically and emotionally and mentally. Intellectually, I think that in the definite majority of cases (maybe even almost all cases), men and women complement each other and challenge each other more than two members of the same sex would, and yet I think it's possible for two men to complement and challenge each other very well and productively. I think.

Something has been coming to mind more again lately: this really is my choice. If I'm convinced, deep down, that a same-sex relationship isn't "right", then there's only one valid response: turn wholly away from that possibility, realize I'm making a conscious decision, and leave it behind while pursuing the rest of what life has to offer, and refusing to pine away for what might have been, because it isn't. If I'm convinced it's right to be in a same-sex relationship, or at the very least that it's not wrong, then that option is before me, and there's nothing but my own hesitation stopping me from seeking that out.

Well, those are my rambling thoughts for now on that matter. It's one that is taking center stage often lately, as reflected in my blog posts. Maybe I'm approaching a critical decision point. Or maybe I'll just eventually put this on the back burner with other things I can't quite figure out about life. For now, I may be painfully "torn" in certain aspects of my life, or maybe I'm just deliberately and thoughtfully "still". Probably both.

23 January 2008

Determining truth

*** Published, unfinished, title added, 27 Oct 2010 ***

Am I justifying myself, or justifying the church? At what point do you stop acting on some vague, distant "knowledge" and simply say, "I don't believe it anymore. I have to stop pretending and hoping that someday, I will believe like I used to." At what point does integrity stop demanding that you act on old knowledge and step away from the hollow actions?

When you get right down to it, as I've said before, your choices determine your truth. They indicate your priorities and ascribe meaning to the aspects of your life you choose them to.

So if your greatest belief is that the church teaches truth exactly as the prophets and apostles have been declaring for decades, then you believe that a homosexual relationship cannot bring as much happiness, from an eternal perspective (which is the ONLY one that matters after this life), as a life lived in either meaningful singleness or finding the deeper aspects of love in a heterosexual relationship. You are willing to make that trade.

If you claim to believe the church but are not willing to live by its precepts, are you not fooling yourself and essentially declaring that God's promises of ultimate happiness and eternal peace are naught? By seeking that which church doctrine and practice proscribe, you are decidedly declaring that you either a) lack the integrity to stand by what you believe or are caving to temporary desires, exchanging eternal ones for them, or b) do not, in fact, believe the church is exactly as it declares it is, nor its doctrines.

I've talked with and am aware of people of various perspectives between full church compliance and faithfulness and complete departure from the church lately. One who will remain active in the church as long as he is allowed to and will serve and attend as long as allowed but who is open to having a relationship with someone of the same sex. Another whose testimony is stronger than ever, he says, but whose behavior troubles him, as he's not sure he is willing to give up what feels so good and right in this life for what he believes to be true for eternity. Another whose testimony has dwindled to a flicker but who is still completely behaviorally in-line enough to maintain a temple recommend, assuming the questions about testimony can be answered honestly. Another who is in an openly gay relationship but who wants to maintain ties with the church and has had spiritual experiences which have brought him back to it but not yet spurred him away from his partner. Some have had spiritual experiences and revelations that they are to be open to same-sex relationships and that God would rather they learn and grow from that experience than have them simply live alone their whole lives, some who even believe God not only would give them an exemption but actually wants them to find a husband and fear disobeying that counsel. Another who is deeply convinced that even if he weren't Christian, God would frown upon him being with a man.

I'm torn sometimes. I feel deeply conflicted. But that's not me being "stuck" between a rock and a hard place someone else put me into. It's me not knowing what I want most, looking at various unknowns and wondering which are most "real" and most meaningful to me, to my life, to making the world a better place not only for myself but for those around me and those to come after.

Is It Really Just About Sex?

I had a conversation with a heterosexual friend (a mobro?) a few weekends ago in which he probed with questions about how much I put myself in situations where I could connect with a girl to whom I could potentially be attracted. He talked about his marriage and how he didn't have some of the chemistry, perhaps, with his wife that he has had with other girls, but that he is fully committed to the relationship and how it's the communication and commitment that matter most. He talked about how men tend to objectify and focus more on the physical aspects of relationships than is helpful or healthy and that those are going to fade anyway. He mentioned some other things. What he said was good, and most of it rang true, even if the application was hazy.

I told him I understood what he was saying, and on an intellectual level, it makes a lot of sense. I understand choosing to invest in a relationship and basing it on deeper principles of communication, trust, commitment, respect, pure love/affection, etc., and letting go of the transient, temporary feelings of "chemistry" and infatuation. I think, at least, I understand that.

But I also told him that it's not just the physical that is different. It's the most obvious, describable difference, but it's not all there is to it. Why is this so hard for so many people to understand? They think it's just a sexual preference, nothing more, and since sexuality fades with age, why not just stick to what's important? Is that all it is? Really?

It doesn't feel like it. But is that mainly because I've had that "sexual preference" for so long that I've trained myself to wrap up all romantic attraction and point it in the direction of my penis? Or has it just taken this long to strip away the cultural constructs enough to realize that my attraction to members of my gender is more than a sexual thing?

Maybe that doesn't matter. In the end, isn't it really the part of us that chooses which determines our direction and places value in that in which we invest?

Still, my friend had mentioned that he had a friend with whom he seemingly effortlessly connected, and they used to joke about how life would be easier if only they were gay and didn't have to worry about finding a girl, and how that was an example of how you can have a great relationship without a sexual component (because, being straighties, they didn't feel a desire to get it on with each other). I asked him to consider what it might take for him to marry this close male friend and make babies with him (assuming physiology cooperated with such an endeavor), then, if that's what his religion and society demanded. He didn't seem stunned by the thought, but he didn't have much to say about it, either. I'm sure we would've continued the conversation, which I was finding very intriguing, but we ran out of time and each had to go. Maybe later.

Coming Out Over Time

Maybe it has something to do with decompartmentalizing my life more, but I've been getting tired of dragging this whole "coming out" thing out and therefore always having it more on my mind because there's someone new whose questions I'm answering, someone new to consider telling, another fallout to consider.

The fact is, I did need to wait until I had the energy to handle the questions and counsel and feedback and deal with potential fallout, but the other fact is, there has been less fallout, so far, than I might have expected, and just getting it out of the way with most everyone close to me and moving on with life has felt good.

Now, my life seems to be moving back towards being one whole as opposed to fractured compartments. I feel more integrated, internally. And I feel like the decisions I make are made more openly, with eyes wider open.

20 January 2008

Dry Blogging

Wow, two years ago, before I knew anything about blogging, I would've thought "dry blogging" sounded like a nasty, uncomfortable, and fairly embarrassing medical condition. But this is not the case...

It has occurred to me that my blog entries have lost some entertainment value in their heavily analytical nature. Bummer. They've become so dry, I'm not sure if I'd read them if I weren't me. Congratulations to those of you who still manage to make it through the entries.

Wait, maybe they've always been dry. Shoot.

You're Not Fully Alive Unless You're Zestfully Alive

OK, I'll begin with a confession: in my opinion, Hairspray is just an "OK" movie. Not amazing. Not life-changing. Not absolutely fabulous. Not worth watching every week, even if my roommates' friends do get giddy like schoolgirls and dance and sing along while watching it, or other friends who are otherwise quite straight-acting can't help but sing along with queer delight. You know who you are.

But I actually enjoy the last half hour or so, from the protest through the end. There's just something about seeing people stand for their right to be considered as human and respectable as anyone else and realizing how recent an issue racism is, as well as the zestful and exuberant enjoyment of being alive portrayed by the dance, the romance, the acceptance of self and others, and the simple statement that "without love", life is lifeless.

It makes me want to be more zestful in life. I don't think the richest in life is found by joining a choreographed dance number or by being exuberant in everything you're doing. I think it's more than that: to learn to allow yourself to simply enjoy life and its quirks and joys even amidst trouble and pain. Sometimes, when I start feeling a little manic about life (deliriously upbeat), I remember the trials other people are going through and the living conditions of people in certain societies, and it sobers me up. Sometimes, when I'm feeling weighed down by the gravity of life, I have to pull back and just be grateful for my blessings and guiltlessly enjoy life a bit and help others do so to keep from uselessly wondering what I can do about the suffering all around.

I want to act! I can't wait for others to stand up and take action to change the world for the better while I just play the system. There will always be reasons (usually involving self-preservation) not to defend a cause or an underdog or invest in changing the world for the better. There are too many battles to fight: they must be chosen carefully if my efforts are to be worthwhile and not meaningless token efforts spread thin. But to stand up and make your voice heard and make your life an example in some way, that is truly living.

I want to love! I hate the feeling of stomping out these amazing feelings of love, warmth, devotion, patience, tenderness, motivation to be better, and general motivation to be a better person I've felt when romantically attracted. However that is to happen, it would be really nice to allow myself to continue to feel it. There must be ways.

I want to dance! Figuratively. Maybe literally. I want to feel so good about life that I can't help but dance. Dancing is one of those things I've never really enjoyed doing, though I'm not sure why. There are some things in life I haven't done because there's simply no reason to try them: for example, I don't need to try illegal drugs. But there are other things in life, like dancing, I haven't done because I haven't really wanted to, yet I feel something stir inside when I see a great dance performance. I share the enthusiasm of the people performing and want to have the ability of showing that kind of expression in my movement. And to be honest, I wonder how much of my resistance to dancing is the simple fact that I feel completely out of place and unable to express myself in dance because I haven't done it, and I wonder if I learned how to be expressive with my body in that way, if I'd actually start liking to dance? There's something that feels good and happy about seeing people celebrating with their whole body in motion, and maybe part of me really does want to learn that joy.

...leave it to me to turn a feel-good movie into an analytical essay. *grin*

19 January 2008

Some Questions on Coupling

If the point of marriage is ultimately to form an eternal family unit, then what is the point of a sexless or childless marriage? Maybe adoption becomes the noblest option? Are mixed-gender marriages who never have children really more "correct" than same-gender couples just because of the genders of the parties? Aren't both about companionship?

Maybe the value of a mixed-sex couple is that men and women are complementary creatures? Is it possible that two men can learn as much from a relationship as a man and a woman? Or are they alike in all the wrong ways? Does God really intend for so many people to deny themselves romantic companionship in favor of a more solitary life? Does deity really insist we hold out for the vague possibility of a heterosexual relationship?

Are those people who insist same-sex, romantic relationships have made them happier and more motivated to be better people and more loving actually just justifying their disobedience and leaning on shallow infatuation? Is it possible that a same-gender companionship can have all the complementarity and beauty of a mixed-gender companionship?

Is it possible to fill the void left by lack of romance by simply having close, loving friends? Is romantic companionship just a passing fancy, or is it part of a wholeness of intimacy that no person should be without, if they have the option not to be? Is that intimacy irreplaceable, or can it be fulfilled in other relationships of a completely non-romantic nature?

Is this all a peripheral aspect of a gospel of love, applicable as needed for individual circumstance, or is it a core doctrine of the gospel, a firm directive from heaven, independent of cultural construct, that all of God's children are to either marry the opposite sex (or work towards that) or shun all romance in their lives and focus on other things? Is it a matter of right and wrong, or more a matter of certain blessings versus others?

That's all for now...I don't have the energy to try to answer my own questions, and I actually don't think I'm very interested in a lengthy discussion about this. They're just thoughts, questions which have floated through my mind on occasion, in relation to my own experience and understanding and also posed and sparked by conversations with friends.

17 January 2008

Looking Deeper

For a while now, I think I've been on the shallower side of attraction. I've finally understood why most people always seemed so physically attracted to people. I've looked around rooms and thought, "Wow, he's hot," or "He's really adorable," and I've thought that if I were a dating man, I'd want to date them.

But due to several recent developments in my life, I think the newness of allowing myself to see attractiveness around me is wearing off, so even though I'm not about to stop noticing attractiveness around me, I think I'm more conscious about it and maybe processing it a little more maturely. Maybe. At the gym last night, I had a couple of interesting experiences that indicate, to me, that I may be in a healthier place than I have been for a while.

First, I noticed a fellow near me who was, for reasons I shall not expound on, totally physically unattractive to me. In just about every way possible, he was the opposite of "my type". And my initial thought was, quite simply, "Ew, no way." And I caught myself. I thought to myself, "Wait, you don't have any idea what's in that guy's heart or what goodness his character and personality hold. You've never interacted with him in any way. You've found it completely possible to love friends who are not 'cute' by your standards, so why not anyone else? Why say 'ew' about someone you don't even know? I mean, acknowledging they're not physically attractive to you is one thing, but thinking, 'ew'?" And I realized it was because I had made a habit of evaluating people as romantic potentials rather than just as people, so if someone didn't seem like a romantic "potential", then they were "ew, no way". It's a twisted line of thinking, I think, and a shallow one based on appearances.

The other experience was the flip-side, in a way: I noticed a guy from afar who had a very nice build which was being very nicely shown off by his gym outfit. As he walked toward where I was, I thought, "Oh, yes. Come closer. This one's a potential. Mm-hm..." And I caught myself again. I thought, "Wait...for what? You're not going to pursue anything. You know nothing about this kid. Why even entertain the thought of whether he's a 'potential' based on how physically attractive he is?" When he came closer, I realized he wasn't so attractive after all, mainly because of his expression and general demeanor and what I saw in his eyes.

Granted, you can build on an initial attraction. If you're looking for someone to date, I'm not sure there's anything at all wrong with finding someone attractive and then interacting to see what else there might be. But there's something refreshing about relearning to not be so caught up on the outward appearance that you forget to even be mindful of the person beyond the shell.

Long story short, I was reminded that rather than simply look people up and down, I'm trying more and more to get back to looking them in the eyes. And it feels good to remember that.

14 January 2008

Letter From a Friend

This is an e-mail message from a long-time friend of mine who does not share my LDS background but who could be described as a spiritually-aware person who does share the experience of being attracted to members of the same gender and who grew up in a fairly conservative household. He is a friend I love for his sincerity and honest thoughtfulness.

I asked his permission to share most of his e-mail with the world on my blog, which he granted. So please, understand the perspective this is coming from and treat it with the respect and love in which it was given. I think it's refreshing to hear a voice from outside the moho sphere and glean wisdom and perspective from it as well, even if you may differ on certain points:

I was poking around for your blog today since I hadn't read it in some time... you've written a lot while I was offline. You may or may not realize this, but I do quite enjoy reading your blog, even though it works me up a bit in doing so. I appreciate your candid way that isn't overkill, just fresh and real. On a psychological level, I'm glad you write since, in my experience, it is a great way to work with all the stuff going on in one's head. I hope things are going well for you right now and that [where you live] is still a kick in the pants (was it ever?).

So, while reading the blog, there were two things that struck me that I wanted to write to you about. The first is from the list of reasons not to come out. It was about the fear of being labeled gay. I remember that fear from way back when and I think it's a very easy fear to have, especially with the way gay people are sold these days. But I think it's pretty much ill-founded though. Actions speak much louder than labels. I'm not a person that's incredibly forthcoming about my sexuality, but I don't hold it back either because I've found it as a catalyst to bring people closer to me, particularly straight guys. Because I am simply myself at any given time, people feel at ease and comfortable with me. I mean, a lot of straight guys flirt with me because they know I'm not a threat and they can let their guards down.

Because they can see me and my motives, there's actually a bond that grows. But if I wasn't being me and was instead trying to be gay, complete with all the lies about what was supposed to make me happy, then people would not be as receptive to me as they are. But that goes for everything. I think part of my draw is my disinterest in convention and my interest in sifting through all the crap I've been taught and trading it in for truth through experience.

That's not meant to toot my own horn, it's just what I know about myself and I have to accept that. I guess the reason I'm writing this is because being gay can be used to our advantage to educate people and also to simply improve the relationships we have. Honesty with tactfulness is an incredible tool.

Opening yourself up to people without fear is one of the greatest experiences that I've been able to have. And I've only found all this out recently (within the last year). There comes a time when the gay folk have to stop feeling sorry for themselves and stop fearing the world and realize that this can in fact be a gift. Sort of on that level, in terms of becoming close to people is the issue of sex. I think I danced around this with you before, but I think I've learned a lot lately that may take it a step further. There's been a lot of talk on the moho blogs about the issue of sex and its somewhat lesser importance in relationships. To me, and I don't want to be an ass, I just want to be honest, it seems like an elaborate way of trying to convince oneself that they can still be straight even when they aren't, or that these heterosexual pairings can really work out well. I don't really buy it. Sex is an important part of a relationship. There is a soul communion that occurs during the process that, when properly used, can really elevate a relationship to another level. It has little to do with appearances or lust, but everything to do with connection and spirituality.

There isn't just a physical nakedness, but an emotional and spiritual one as well. But, like previously mentioned, that vulnerability can be used to take our existence to another level. I think that's what the church talked about when discussing sex. But it's also something that needs to be cultivated over a period of time, which is why it pays to be monogamous. But the "plumbing" doesn't matter, because the physical arrangement isn't the whole deal, but it is a part of it. And gay folks have figured out how to work around that.

I've also seen other relationships (and even my own) fall apart because of issues with sex. I had to realize at some point just how important it is to sexually validate someone with whom I was in a relationship with, even if it wasn't explicitly stated. Not many people can handle that level of openness without being validated on some level. And then it's a real mess when that doesn't happen.

I find it hard to believe that being gay and in a heterosexual relationship can find this level of satisfaction. Maybe that's not the right word. Evolution, perhaps. I'm sure people can be content in some sort of way (that I don't get), but I always thought that a relationship should raise the bar and make both people even better than they were before.

But I guess if making babies is the real goal, then nothing I've said matters. It really comes down to priorities in the end. And if a person is content living in fear of god, the church and the beyond. I guess that's what everyone's taught on a certain level. It's too bad because instead of really helping to craft relationships, it finds some great ways to blow them up. And I've seen that happen plenty.

Anyhow, I'm not writing any of this to try to convince you to change your life. I do hope that ultimately you will make healthy choices (and I do believe having sex is a healthy choice when properly expressed) and that the questions surrounding this issue will end up being answered. I want to make sure that you hear a voice that comes from a similar background but one that is not embroiled in the same struggles. A fresh point of view can help sometimes.

I do care about you, [O-Mo], which is why I communicate with you and follow your mental wanderings. I so often want to scoop you and your friends up and tell you all that none of the crap we struggle with really matters. It's just us against ourselves. The real importance in life begins when we get over ourselves and our parochial views of life. Then we can see that things are far more amazing than could have been imagined.

So I guess take this for whatever it's worth. I hope it doesn't piss you off, because that's not how it was meant to be taken. I hope you're well and that you have a fantastic Christmas. Give the mohos my greetings.

13 January 2008

Cass Identity Model

Go fig, I hadn't heard of this until I saw it one someone else's blog today: the Cass Identity Model. It was apparently developed in 1979 and has faced criticism regarding its cultural bias or applicability in a changed society, but it's interesting, nonetheless.

I wonder how the moho model compares? The same? Similar? Different? Looking through it, I think I've experienced those stages in some form or another, actually, as is reflected in my recent post Feeling Real at the Matises. Just this weekend, I told a friend that those stages I describe regarding the monthly firesides at the Matises' home are also indicative of my life in general for that time period.

And my other recent post, Integration, may be a sign that I'm somewhere in the final stage of the model. Hm...

Living Love

A good friend recently told me it seems like I'm in my head all the time, possibly at the expense of other important learning. "What else is there?," I questioned. And I meant it. What matters most is whether something makes sense, or is right. All else is superfluous. Experience for experience's sake? No thanks. And emotions are pretty meaningless in and of themselves. Logic, however, retains its identity and applicability independently, as far as I can see. Of course, logic and reason are...bland without passion and limited without experiential framework. But true intelligence stands on its own. Being "human" involves more than logic, but logic is what frames all else, so why "leave my head"? Why leave reason aside? It makes no sense.

I've had some thoughts on this as it relates to love and relationships.

I have, indeed, felt detached from those who have been closest to me and wondered how to feel love and affection better, outside of romance. Romance has, in the past, brought out some precious parts of me, but maybe that's not the only way? Then again, it seemed so effortless then. And in the aftermath of romantic attachment, it's easy to pine away for that kind of connection again when you're as old as I am and have felt it so seldom. It's then easier to lazily invest less in non-romantic friendships because it takes so much more effort to feel so good in them. But it's also easier to move on once the freshness wears off and its animating influence seems like a distant memory. And you're left to act on your understanding and knowledge rather than the intense motivation of infatuation.

The concrete and discernible things in life are goals and decisions or, regarding relationships, whom I choose to interact with. But in that sense, what, then, is love anyway, besides a decision about where to spend energy? Are romantic attachments meaningless because they're just hollow emotion? Is affection little more than a selfish need to feel wanted or feel "good"? What is the attachment people say they feel? I don't normally get "attached" to people easily at all, but somehow, I have become attached very quickly in a couple of friendships-turned-romantic, and I've also been burned.

While I enjoy the company of some people in my life more than others and appreciate their opinions and value their dedication, I'm most often not sure I understand "love" as some ethereal bond. The bonds exist only as much as actions back them up. "Love", in the ethereal sense, seems meaningless to me, even though I have, a few times, desired it in a romantic form so intensely it hurts. I understand feeling attached (in that exciting way which has spurred me to trust without justification and feel vulnerable but looking forward to exposing more), but it feels shallow and meaningless without action, and unnecessary (but nice) with action.

It would be nice to really know what I'm saying when I tell someone I love them, even though I only say it when I feel like I mean it. Others seem more confident with the expression. Much of the time, I think I mean something like, "I appreciate your presence in my life and feel some kind of affection I'm not sure I can 'explain' other than to say I would miss your presence in my life." When I was a child, I just knew who I liked and trusted: I "loved" them. Now, it seems less cut-and-dry.

During the conversation which sparked these thoughts, I thanked my friend for being patient with me through my self-absorbed times when I seem to think about these dilemmas incessantly and when most of my conversations with him involved my frustrations and my efforts to reconcile different, seemingly conflicted emotions and knowledge. It probably takes someone who really cares to patiently go through this with me or keep spending time with me even when I'm not as "fun" or giving as I could be. During those times, the nature of each friendship is revealed, those who dwindle, those who stand by, those who engage.

A couple of friends have told me they really "value" my friendship, and I'm pretty sure I value theirs. But what do they mean when they say "value"? Do I have friends without whom I would be less happy or fulfilled? And if so, why? And should I? Is it just about selfish fulfillment and what I get from the friendship?

Once you're past the friendship "honeymoon" stage, where you no longer feel excited to spend time with this now-not-so-new person, what keeps you coming around? Or should you just move on? I try to maintain friendships which I believe to be mutually beneficial past the honeymoon stage. Is that "love" because I see reason to dedicate myself to that person even when it's not "comfortable" or "easy" or entirely "natural", anymore, to do so? And if that is love, isn't love more an action than an emotion? But then, that action leads to an increased desire for that person's welfare and happiness, which I suppose I could call love.

And again, if that's the case, is that love a selfless force, or do I want that person's happiness mainly because I have invested my own energy and time and dedicated it to that person, so I want that to pay off so it isn't wasted? Then that love is, at its root, a sort of selfish thing. Yet it was borne of selfless action made when something in me chose to dedicate myself. So in a way, I increase my love by investing myself in and connecting myself--spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally--with those around me. Is love both the motivating force and the fruit of becoming one large network of acts of selflessness?

I reject the notion that it's simple, that you love someone or you don't and that's all there is to it. It's a copout, to me, and seems like a limited, self-centered perspective that will simply carry you in and out of shallow, transient relationships your whole life.

No, I don't obsess about these things, except for the 15-60 minutes I spend writing them to get my thoughts expressed with some semblance of coherence. But I have wondered, from time to time, throughout my life, if I have often missed the mark when it comes to love or unnecessarily and detrimentally suppressed my expression of it through many years of "controlling" my emotions. And it seems to me that the best way to increase the love I feel is not just to find someone who finds me attractive and desirable and for whom I feel the same but...to decide and to act and to trust in a more conscious way. To try to show, through my time, through making myself vulnerable to them, through expression, how I value them.

But then, that's just me being heady and logical. Bringing the topic full circle to my original conversation with my friend, there's something for an "over-analytical" fellow such as myself to remember. I believe we, as a society, have the technology, science, and philosophy we do thanks to heady and overly-analytical people who wouldn't accept the surface answers as the end-all and be-all of understanding and reached deeper for more. However, there is something I'm learning, albeit slowly: my analyses will never mean much in my life as long as life passes by while I'm trying to figure it out. In order to increase my frame of reference, expand my paradigm, test my reason, and truly feel the joy, pain, and passion of living which I think we all are meant to experience as complete souls, I simply have to take a break from the deep, dark reaches of my inner world, rest my mental muscles, get off my butt, take some risks, and go gain experience and the strength that comes from exercising my agency by choosing to live life.

So I'm trying. Obviously, I'll start putting that into action after posting my blog entry... *wink*

11 January 2008

Chat with Danish Boy - L'Ombelico!!

Danish Boy [3:56 PM]:
[A mutual friend] told me to tell you that he wanted to see your belly button. Weird?
Does that make any sense?

O-Mo [3:57 PM]:
lol, huh?

Danish Boy [3:57 PM]:
inside joke?

O-Mo [3:57 PM]:
Ha, wait....has he been reading my blog?

Danish Boy [3:57 PM]:
oh yeah
that's right
ha ha

O-Mo [3:57 PM]:
The only thing I can think of is that I mention I have an inny.

Danish Boy [3:57 PM]:
You have a cheerio.
not an inny

O-Mo [3:57 PM]:

Danish Boy [3:57 PM]:

O-Mo [3:57 PM]:
A Cheerio?

Danish Boy [3:58 PM]:
ha ha

O-Mo [3:59 PM]:
I don't think I get that.

Danish Boy [3:59 PM]:

O-Mo [3:59 PM]:
It doesn't look like a cheerio
That'd be an outy.

Danish Boy [3:59 PM]:
so you have a raised bump around the inny

O-Mo [3:59 PM]:

Danish Boy [3:59 PM]:
kinda like a cheerio
I should come down
ha ha

O-Mo [4:00 PM]:
I have what I think is the ideal belly button, though, I must say.

08 January 2008


Had a good talk on the phone with my mom tonight. A lot of emotions came flooding back to me as we discussed my situation. I realized, tonight, what a dam I had built up.

Backing up a bit: I sent an e-mail to my parents and my brother and his wife last weekend explaining the fact that yes, I am attracted to members of the same gender, and yes, it's hard sometimes, and yes, I'm OK. It was a long e-mail. Maybe I'll post it here sometime. Their responses probably couldn't have been better. Short, sweet expressions of love and gratitude, followed by, "Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about our upcoming family ski trip..."

Tonight was the first time I've talked with any of them since the e-mail. I've played some phone tag with my bro and his wife, but my mom was the first I've talked to. She's been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster and just wanted to hear my voice. Normally, I would assure her I'm fine and send her on her way to rest easy and go to sleep. I didn't. I did say I'm fine, or OK. I didn't want to go into the nitty gritty with her right away. I don't want to overwhelm her with details or the tougher nuances of what I'm going through.

But something in her tone told me she has been worrying about those nuances for years already, and she confirmed that's true. The news had come as no huge shock to any of them. They've all suspected, of course. I mean, I'm on my way to 30, totally single, disinterested in girls, and hey, I'm not totally hideous or bankrupt personalitywise, so why else would I be so very clinically single? OK, so there are lots of reasons to suspect me.

Anyway, as our conversation unfolded, I surprised myself. Apparently, I have some desire to share myself and my life with my parents, after all. I didn't know I had it in me. I have felt so disconnected in some ways for so long that I thought we had just sort of drifted apart. But as I expounded on my struggles and my perspectives on the whole wretched mess, and as I also tried to assure her that I feel like I'm in a pretty good place, emotionally, right now, I found myself daring to expose myself in a vulnerable way and risked saying things that might upset her a little but trusted in her ability to deal with it. As I told her how Dad's advice about just choosing someone to commit to regardless of shortcomings but based on mutual love and bringing out the best in each other finally made sense to me when directed towards a male friend I felt romantic feelings for over a year ago, I broke down. I couldn't talk for a minute. The sorrow around feeling disallowed from putting my dad's advice to use proved greater than I thought.

She was patient and strong and told me I didn't have to talk about it if I didn't want to but that if I did, she was listening. I gathered my strength and told her how hard it has been to finally realize what that kind of emotional connection feels like only to force it away and how foolish I felt, sometimes, for not having been through this 15 years ago like a "normal" person and how I felt kind of stupid over a recent infatuation that reminded me how little those feelings can really mean but how much I want to experience them together with--or allow them to build to--real, genuine trust and respect and love. I shared my realization that there are deeper aspects to relationships and that I recognize the transience of "chemistry" and infatuation and that a real relationship is built on much more. I shared that recent experiences have helped me remember the importance of tried and tested friendships built on mutual respect, dedication, and selflessness in action. I shared my worries, my dilemas, my hopes, my sorrows... I shared with her without reservation for the first time in as long as I can remember. For once, she was really "Mom" again.

She told me how hard it was for her to see me withdraw as a young teenager, gradually and deeply. It pained her to watch her beautiful, "whole" boy become a withdrawn, fractured teenager. I told her about a recent realization I've been having. In my couple of friendships-turned-romantic, I have caught glimpses of an old me, a tender me, a sensitive and affectionate me I had thought was mostly lost or forgotten. And I've been realizing that as I am bringing the fractured parts of my life back together, the gay and the straight, the friends and the family, the tough and the vulnerable, into one integrated whole, I'm rediscovering myself in some ways. I'm learning that it's not necessarily just romance which brought out the more tender, beautiful parts in me I have shoved so deep. It's the intimacy, the vulnerability, the trust which I have trained myself to withhold so thoroughly unless unleashed by romantic attraction. It's time for some deliberate effort to bring those back and allow it all to meld back together. To not wait for fleeting romance to bring it out but to bring it out by my own choice. It's time to try, at least, to bring back more of the "whole" me.

This doesn't mean I'll be changing my demeanor with everyone. It doesn't mean there's a "new me" everyone will have access to. I don't really know what it means, to be honest, but I just feel something "real" in all of it. I feel like a dam burst, and I was truly vulnerable to my parents, with little to hide, for the first time in my adult life. I remembered that they've lived long lives, themselves, and they've been through the ups and downs, and a little hell, and they've experienced doubt and hope and fear and loneliness and infatuation and confusion and indecision... They don't know exactly what I'm going through, but they know me pretty well, even after all these years of careful compartmentalization. I now have far fewer details of my life to restrict from them. As she said to me, "I don't have all the answers. I can't tell you what to do with all of this. As your mother, I feel a bit helpless. But I believe you're doing the best you know how, and I trust the Lord to help you with it. You've been emotionally withdrawn from us for so long, leaving us to wonder. Now that's all out of the way. You don't have to do it anymore."

I don't. I didn't think it was that big a deal. Now, I realize it was.

07 January 2008

Feeling Real at the Matises'

When I first attended a monthly fireside at the Matises', the couple who opens their home to all kinds of homos, and family and friends of homos, I was a touch...tentative. I didn't exactly engage much. That's usually my M.O., being the very introverted person I am: I sit back and observe the surroundings at first. I take it in before engaging. I was the quiet new guy in the corner. I also felt a little like the fresh meat being dangled in front of the starving lions. I'm sure the Grahams would have protected me had they been there, but alas, they were not. (If that reference went past you, it's OK.)

Then, by the third month or so, I was feeling more comfortable at the gatherings, and it was just really nice to be around people who were totally comfortable with the whole idea of esperiencing homosexuality as a member of the church. I loved that people from many different perspectives and "journeys" could come together in a spirit of unity and acceptance and share an uplifting message and simple fellowship. It was nice to feel "normal" and totally at ease with it all, at least once a month.

By month five or six, the newness was wearing off, but the fun was in full gear. I no longer felt the need to feel "normal" once a month but was now enjoying the messages given and the fun of seeing people I basically only saw once a month. And to be quite frank, it was hecka fun to get a little flirting in here and there. I do enjoy a good flirt now and then, but I'm a bit of a tease, I guess, 'cause I rarely follow through at all. It's just fun sometimes. Testing body language. Verbal foreplay with no intent on following it up. It's fun. Call me dirty.

Sometime around month seven or eight, I realized the extent to which I was flirting and decided my behavior should probably match my intentions a little more closely. I began to curb the teasing and spent more time reconnecting with those people I see once a month, catching up, and maybe getting to know a couple of new people each time. Just enjoying the company.

Then month ten or twelve, I felt apathy. If I didn't love the Matises so much and enjoy the speakers, I might have started skipping here and there. The magic had worn off, I was feeling distant from mohodom, and I didn't know if it was necessary to be going at this point. I probably would have skipped in November if I hadn't been the one who made arrangements with the guest presenter, who I wanted to hear.

This month: I went probably only because I was curious about the speaker, and I wanted to see the Matises. ...OK, and I had nothing "better" to do. There was something noticeably different about this month, though: I wasn't interested in flirting with anyone. I wasn't interested in finding the cutest faces. I wasn't even interested only in catching up with my monthly contacts. I was more interested in talking with the guys who seemed to be standing around by themselves. So I talked to them. I'm glad I did. They were nice guys. I realized that my motivations and interactions felt more pure, more focused on others, more meaningful. Suffice it to say: it's nice to feel "real" again for now, to feel sober from self-gratifying interaction and shallow flirtation.

Don't get me wrong, I think there's a balance to be struck, and I've never really been a social slut, nor do I believe all interaction should be serious and laboriously meaningful. I didn't consider my visits with these guys who were standing alone to be charity cases at all. I just wanted to talk to them, and I enjoyed the conversations. I guess it's hard to describe, but I just felt more real, more like me, more down-to-earth than I have in that kind of setting in quite a while. By focusing on others, I felt more like myself. What kind of sense does that make?

And maybe it's also related to my recent efforts to decompartmentalize my somewhat fractured life. Just being me, as opposed to being the church me, the family me, the moho world me, the straight friends me...it adds a dimension of self-accountability and a desire to simply be genuine. I've also been thinking about my relationships with my good friends and what I really value about them and letting that motivate me to try to magnify, in myself, the traits I most value in people around me.

When I tried to leave by saying good-bye to a few people, I enjoyed our brief conversations, and 45 minutes later, I was heading out the door. Man, it seems impossible to get out of there before 10:30. But hey, I guess I like it that way.

Random thoughts about friendship

***Posted 16 Oct 2010***

Talking with a few gay and straight friends about intimacy, I'm becoming convinced most men just kinda suck at it.

What do you do with friendships with people who have treated you poorly but claim to like you? When do you disconnect despite seeing potential in the person, or when do you give up on them or the friendship?

I believe a person's character is revealed by their interactions with people they don't have to play nice with to keep them on their side, or for whom they don't feel particular affection or attraction.

Chat Conversations - Walls and Doing What's Uncomfortable

The following is a transcript of an old chat session between me and my coworker and friend, Danish Boy. There's a lot more to the conversation which I'll probably post more of with his permission and as appropriate. I've also changed names to Blogger names and ommitted irrelevant sections of the conversation, but most of it is here in its original form:

O-Mo [11:11 AM]:

Oh, and did you read my blog entry about [agirlwho] and me chatting last night?

DanishBoy [11:11 AM]:

yes. Wonderful. Wish I could have been there.

O-Mo [11:13 AM]:

I told her I'm well aware you're "worried" about me and that you told me going to [a friend]'s farewell would have been "good for me" and when I asked why, you backpedaled and said something like "because we all wanted to see you" or some such thing. Then when I heard that he gave a really good talk, I knew why you had said that. You meddlesome chap, you.

DanishBoy [11:15 AM]:

oh, please. some one has to. You don't let anyone else in.
Not that I'm in.
But then again even if we got you drunk. ha! yeah. like that would ever happen.
Even if we did you still wouldn't let anything out. You're a vault.

O-Mo [11:16 AM]:

Uh-huh. It's funny--I don't even understand what you mean when you say I don't let anyone "in".

DanishBoy [11:17 AM]:

Hm... How do I word it right.
I need to take a language class on how to get the point across.

O-Mo [11:17 AM]:

No, I just think you don't understand how I work.

DanishBoy [11:17 AM]:

no one does. that's the point.
But apparently you understand how everyone else does
It's not fair.
[People your age] get to have so much fun.

O-Mo [11:18 AM]:

Either that, or I'm so "closed" that the concept of letting someone "in" doesn't make sense to me...but I just don't think that's it, somehow.

DanishBoy [11:18 AM]:

Meddling with other peoples brains.
Oh you have walls. Don't deny it.

O-Mo [11:18 AM]:

Ha, no meddling. I'm mostly totally upfront.

DanishBoy [11:18 AM]:

They're quite visible.

O-Mo [11:19 AM]:

Meddling implies behind-the-scenes work. [...]

DanishBoy [11:19 AM]:

I love reading posts from your journal. The authentic [O-Mo] [...]

O-Mo [11:20 AM]:

I prefer to work face-to-face with people. No orchestration. Or orchestration with their permission.

DanishBoy [11:21 AM]:

hmm... yes. That is totally how I prefer it.

O-Mo [11:21 AM]:

But part of what fascinates me about the movie "Uncorked" is the idea of a meddlesome relative turning out to have known what was best for their loved ones all along and making it happen, helping them realize what they really wanted when they would not discover it for themselves.

DanishBoy [11:21 AM]:


O-Mo [11:21 AM]:

Interesting movie.

DanishBoy [11:22 AM]:

You do that for me in a twisted way. I was talking with [theimpossiblek] about it last night.

O-Mo [11:22 AM]:

lol, and I love that my way is "twisted"!
I kind of feel happy about that.

DanishBoy [11:24 AM]:

well you always have ways of asking these probing questions that get me thinking. Then you make jovial comments that have this way of making me frustrated and a little upset that I didn't come up with the answers myself. You point out the obvious in a very tactful way.
you also bring the real issue to the front.
sometimes in a not so tactful way.

O-Mo [11:24 AM]:

Sometimes, it takes a little discomfort to look at things plainly.

DanishBoy [11:25 AM]:

yeah. Definitely for me.

O-Mo [11:35 AM]:

For everyone, I'd say. For example, it's pretty uncomfortable for me to look with an open mind at a couple of things [agirlwho] and I discussed because they would require giving up some....things I really like and desire and hold tight to. Like how good it feels to be with...anyway.

DanishBoy [11:35 AM]:

yeah. That's the point though.
It probably is going to be way uncomfortable. In the long run I think it's worth it.

O-Mo [11:47 AM]:

Well, it depends on what's true.
That's the crux.


02 January 2008

Thank Goodness for the Discomfort of Friends

I have not been writing much lately. I'm mulling over a few things. Focusing on different areas of life a little more...or trying to. I've written a lot that I haven't posted. Maybe someday, as appropriate.

But for now, I just wanted to express my gratitude for my friends. We all have different kinds of friends. Fun ones. Occasional ones. Recreational ones. Heady ones. Brief ones. Lifetime ones. Romantic awkwardness ones. Roommate ones. Sometimes the types overlap. Sometimes they don't.

But the ones I'm feeling grateful for right now are the ones who don't always only "make me feel good about myself" all the time. They care enough to make me a little uncomfortable sometimes. They tell me things I don't necessarily want to hear. They remind me of uncomfortable truths or difficult questions, from whatever perspective, I'd just as soon set aside. I may not always believe them to be completely right, but I know that they actually care enough about me to not smile and nod when they hear me say something they question or see me doing something they foresee as potentially or probably detrimental.

They say things like:
"You can do better"
"I don't see how that matters"
"You're not sparkly perfect"
"I'm concerned when I hear you say..."
all in context with other words of encouragement, usually, of course.

They seem to love me for who I am. They care about me, for whatever reason. And it will be hard for them if I make decisions they don't understand or don't believe to be best for me, but they'll not stop caring about me because of it. And they don't try to force anything on me. They don't harp on things. They just show their love by not pretending that anything I do is fine because hey, it's my life, right? Yes, the decisions are mine to make, but they remind me that I'm not the only one making tough decisions. And they sympathize with me but don't let me spend TOO much time wallowing without gently reminding me that others have reason to wallow as well, even if only by sharing their own struggles and questions. And I am reminded that we're in this together, and that even while trusting others to make the best decision for them, there is room for reminding each other of uncomfortable truth which can, seemingly paradoxically, alleviate discomfort in the long run.

It's late, and my thoughts are probably unhinging on their way out, so I'll just wrap up with a simple "thank goodness for my friends who show that they really care by not pretending that everything I do and say is perfectly fine yet do so without derision or personal judgement."

01 January 2008

Chat with a friend about goals and guy troubles

*** Posted 26 Oct 2010 ***

Yeah, some things never change.

O-Mo [11:28 AM]:
I'm wondering if some of my depression lately is magnified by the weather. Maybe I need to go tanning more.
Actually, no, I probably need to have a goal or two in life. That would probably help a lot.
So....how're things?

Friend [11:29 AM]:
ha ha! I agree. That' s why I swim to get the endorphins.

O-Mo [11:29 AM]:
Ha, I thought I'd just start off our chat on a "light" note.....

Friend [11:29 AM]:
It gives a very noticable difference.
ha ha

O-Mo [11:29 AM]:
I haven't been working out as much either. That might help.

Friend [11:30 AM]:
you've been busy. It's only normal to drop stuff like working out. I do it too.

Friend [12:27 PM]:
You have goals don't you? You've done school already. Are you going back for more?

Oh, the reparatives could have a heyday with this one, if this were the only context they were given:

O-Mo [1:47 PM]:
Oh my gosh. I'm pathetic. I just spent 10 minutes clicking through [G]'s pics on Facebook, fondly remembering...
....wishing it were different....

Friend [1:48 PM]:

O-Mo [1:48 PM]:
Ha! I never thought I'd be so...weird.

Friend [1:48 PM]:
that really makes me sad.

O-Mo [1:48 PM]:
Eh, it's not all that sad. Just....meh.

Friend [1:49 PM]:
Just to hear that you still feel so... ya know what I 'm saying. I can't think of the exact word.

O-Mo [1:50 PM]:
I don't know that I feel "so" anything. Just remembering. Wondering if there's something there that I'm missing.

Friend [1:52 PM]:
I wish I had wise words to say. It's not gonna help cause I haven't been there.
All I know is that I am still not over the whole [H] thing but I get closer everyday. Sometimes it really really hurts.

O-Mo [1:53 PM]:
A couple of friends insisted I shouldn't waste too much energy. That there was much better out there for me, whatever I were to choose, but I still hate being wrong about people, so that only helps so much.
[H] is that big a deal for you? I'm not sure I knew that.

Friend [1:53 PM]:
yes. You don't seem to let go easily when so much has been invested. At least in your eyes.
Yeah it's still there. I do a lot of comparing. It's totally different from the situation you're in. I could only hope for that. ha ha.

O-Mo [1:55 PM]:
Eh, I don't let go easily, no. This has only happened about....eh, 3-4 times that I can think of, where I really thought there was more to someone or to a friendship than it seems they did.
But I do let go....but it's hard when they seem interested but their actions don't follow up.

O-Mo [1:59 PM]:
It's usually with a certain kind of personality. Maybe it's just that every once in a while, I try to mesh with people I just don't mesh with. And it fails. [One female friend] was like that. We SO could've been tight, yet we just never quite got there. And when she moved, we spoke rarely. When our mutual friend...got married (she had fallen for him), she stopped calling back entirely.

O-Mo [2:17 PM]:
Is [H] still ignoring most of your texts?

Friend [2:19 PM]:
I'm on a call so I was going to respond to the last stuff you wrote but was busy. [H] isn't ignoring it's just that I think I'm still wanting a codependent relationship or something cause I want to know everything. It's silly.
Plus [H] just looking perfect in my eyes doesn't help me feel any better.
I just want to be truthful about the way i feel and don't know if I really am. ugh! frustrating is an understatement.

O-Mo [2:29 PM]:
It's not silly. I know what you mean. Maybe it's codependent. Or just dependent. But yeah, you want to skip right to intimate and completely trusting. Believe me, I know.
[H] isn't perfect. But he may be in all the measures you wish you were. Or something.

Friend [2:31 PM]:
you pretty much summed up everything perfectly. Dang!

O-Mo [2:31 PM]:
That's kind of like [G] for me. Athletically skilled (in athletics I actually care about), all-American good looks, successful in school and work...
...sings beautifully, has fun, outgoing friends who seem to want him around all the time...

Friend [2:32 PM]:
It's like the term "hurt so good!" You are hurt but at the same time it's good. That doesn't make sense.
It's like i feel bad or am jealous about the traits but then it turns into this desire for complete acceptance. huh?! did I miss something. That sounds so backwards.
Oh, the joys of this thing I call my life!

O-Mo [2:36 PM]:
Heh, I don't feel that as much. I think there are things that [G] and I could really teach each other to round each other out. I'm not scheduled enough. He gets things done. I'm quiet and introspective, he's vocal and says what's on his mind. I'm serious and analytical, he takes nothing personal seriously. It's not so much jealousy as wanting to learn from each other. Ha, I even take things slow and steady, and he jumps right in aggressively.... *cough*
But I do understand the jealousy thing. I've been there, too.
You want the traits, and you want to know that someone who measures up in all those ways really can embrace and accept you. It's nice to know that people we look up to appreciate us and maybe even look up to us in some ways, too. Nobody wants to be ignored or frowned upon by someone they respect.
When we are, but we keep respecting them, that's an abusive relationship.

Friend [2:39 PM]:
that's exactly it. I feel like I am succumbing. I hate it. "No I will not." I tell myself but its like " oh I want to feel like Im in control of the situation." I'm just going to let go.

O-Mo [3:22 PM]:
So are you really "just going to let go", or are you going to tell yourself you're going to do that but not really do it?

Friend [3:25 PM]:
ha ha. I have tried to let go and just trust before. It's against all my natural inclinations. I think you know me pretty well by now. Hence the whole "or are you going to tell yourself you're going to do that but not really do it? "
It's definitely worth a try. Letting go would be such a relief.

O-Mo [3:28 PM]:
Yeah, I suppose it would.