Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, oh, oh
I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I'm actually graduating from college in a month and I actually have to decide how I'm going to start the next stage of my life.
Inexplicably, things have worked out so that I have two really viable options. The choice is between a great job with great pay out on the east coast and a good job with good pay here in Utah. I had pretty much decided to go take the east coast job but then this Utah job came up and I'm reconsidering. I can't really put a value on being close to my friends and family. I'm excited about getting a jump start on my career and everything but I think I'd be happier out west where I can look forward to doing something after work and on weekends. I made a pro and con chart and a decision making matrix, but in the end I think the decision has to come from the gut.
I should be fasting and praying and going to the temple to make this decision but I'm not feeling all that motivated. I haven't depended much on personal inspiration in recent years and I'm not sure now is the time to start. God and I kind of have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy--I don't ask him advice and he doesn't tell me. The spiritual vibes that I do get make me feel like either choice would be good. I just have to choose one and go with it.
Everything is pretty chill these days. I’ve been incredibly busy--like 5:30 a.m. to midnight every day. Not a lot of time for sleep. I’ve been doing a lot of head bobbling in class and my notes are filled with the scribbly line made when I drift into unconsciousness and let the pen slide across the paper. I haven’t had much time for blogging or instant messaging. I think that’s actually a good thing. Cause of working so much, my bank account is looking pretty healthy these days. School is low pressure. I’m feeling good.
The weather is excellent again. Something about shifting gears with good music and windows down on a sunny day makes me sooo happy.
I ran in the Moab half marathon last Saturday and the Rex Lee 5-K today. I’m fast. I suck at a lot of stuff, but I’m actually a dang good runner. That makes me happy.
Speaking of sucking, I still suck at dance, but it's okay. About 15 minutes into practicing the cha cha with a friend a couple weeks ago I realized that dancing is a lot more fun without the pressure and I broke through some kind of mental barrier and just let loose. I haven’t felt awkward about it since.
I love my friends. I’ve got some great friends who are exactly what I need. My gay friends have been interacting a lot more with my straight friends and I’ve been interacting with their straight friends. Like half of BYU was at the 5-K this morning and it was cool to see so many faces from the past—people from old wards, classes, study abroads, ex-girlfriends, roommates of friends… I feel like I’m actually part of something, kind of a social circle. It’s cool.
Soulforce is coming to BYU on April 10. Their visit is stirring up controversy across campus and getting coverage in the Daily Universe. Letters to the editor have been generally open-minded about the whole thing so far. I had a good discussion with some coworkers about the topic. I think I helped them realize for the first time ever that not all people who are gay are necessarily fornicators. I also helped them realize that even if someone is actively gay it shouldn’t affect the way we interact with them at all. Most people at BYU are pretty understanding once they start to think about something. A lot of people have just never thought about the intricacies of being gay and Mormon. If nothing else, I’m hoping Soulforce’s visit will promote more discussion and consideration of the situation.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
This has been a sweet weekend. I feel alive.
I can't really explain why, but I think it has something to do with...
- Running fast and frequently. My legs ache. I love that feeling.
- Working out. We set the goal to do it this year and we've actually followed through.
- Drinking protein shakes to get buff (yeah, I know it won't actually happen).
- Working at the coolest job ever with the coolest people.
- Hours and hours of watching Dancesport. Loved the Jive and the Cabaret. The little kids were awesome too. So much fun.
- Sleeping in.
- Helping some girls get a car out of a ditch.
- At the suggestion of a friend, deciding to interact more with the lady folk and then actually doing it.
- Hanging out with straight friends.
- Cranking the sweetest Reggaeton beats in my car all weekend and jamming my gears to the rhythm.
- Having a clean room.
- Reading the scriptures and praying.
- Friends. Thanks for being you and for being part of my life.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
One idea from Elder Bateman's CES fireside Sunday night has stuck in my head. He used charts and diagrams to show us that our mortal experience is temporary. We're born, we grow, we make choices, and then... we die.
In the context of the gospel and with an understanding of the plan of salvation, our impending deaths should be something of little consequence, just a blink of an eye and a passing to something greater.
Elder Bateman intended his talk to open our eyes to help us see an eternal perspective. By seeing this mortal experience as just another step in a long spiritual process, it should be easier to make wise decisions now and to "look forward with an eye of faith."
I've been looking forward recently, but with an eye of fear and uncertainty. Graduation and job searching has forced me to start thinking ahead and making two and five year plans. I have no idea where I'm going or why I’m going there. I fear I’m going the wrong direction. The only thing certain about my future is that, eventually, I will die.
We're all going to die. I remember the night that idea finally hit me as a little kid. Lying in my bed, I imagined my body weakening, my skin sagging, and my heart finally giving out. I imagined the people taking away my body, embalming it, and putting it to rest in a casket. I imagined the rotting, the worms... the waste.
I couldn't sleep that night. I finally went to my parents' room and just stood by their bed, comforted to see that they were still alive.
I've tried not to think about that stuff. I've tried for a long time to believe I'm everlasting. It's easier to stay calm when I think of each new day as part of an infinite cycle rather than accepting that each day lived is one tally mark on a finite schedule of my existence.
In the eternal perspective, I'm doing all right. Today will be a good day. I haven't screwed up big time today. When I do finally kick the bucket and meet my maker, the injustices and sacrifices of this life will all be made right in the eternities. It’s a Job-like perspective. All I have to do is get through the now and eventually God will even the score.
In the mortal perspective, things could be a lot better. Today is just another day in a life of stalling death. I wake up, I work, and I sometimes play. I just have this feeling that everything I study and the people I meet and the money I earn and everything I do are just drops in the bucket. In life or death, it will eventually go away. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels at full speed but really going no where. When I focus on just keeping the wheels spinning I’m fine. When I start looking up at my aimless route, I feel really, really tired.
I once attended the funeral of a 14 year old girl who had hung herself. Being at a funeral of someone that young brings things into perspective. We all realized that life is short and for a couple days we just hugged our friends and weren't afraid to cry and didn't care about homework and all that crap. For a couple days we lived like we were dying.
I don't want to die. I don't want time to keep passing me by. I wish there were a pause button so I could stop and figure stuff out before I go any further. The future freaks me out. I'm scared of looking back in 20 years and feeling like I've wasted my time. I already feel like I've wasted so much time.
I feel like I’m being beat into a hopeless corner. I can’t have what I want. I don’t want what I can have. So I while everyone else goes somewhere I just cower in desperation. I’m the one responsible for my position. I’m the only one who can change my direction.
I’m not even sure what I want. I just want something significant. I want something that lasts until tomorrow, something that’s worth living for. I want to be the next Che Guevara, or Mother Theresa, or just get a hat on father’s day that says “World’s Greatest Dad.” I don’t just want to be that guy who was in your class and you pretend not to know when you see him later or that roommate you wonder what happened to.
There's more I could say; like the fact that Elder Bateman said: "It is the eternal marriage relationship and the power to create life which produces happiness in mortality and a fullness of joy in the life to come." See, that just messes with me even more. But I'm not gonna say all that now cause I have to go to dance class, then another class, then work, then my other job, then work out, then sleep, and then it will be tomorrow. And tomorrow’s another day
This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
Yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes
This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be?
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose?
This is your life - Switchfoot
"Do you always think this much, Charlie?" "Is that bad?" "Not necessarily. It's just that sometimes people use thought to not participate in life." "Is that bad?" "Yes."
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chobsky
It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
-Jon Bon Jovi, It's My Life
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip? You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
- Lose Yourself, Eminem
Monday, March 6, 2006
"I thought you and your readers would enjoy this and I didn't know whether you'd had a chance to read my latest issue of SI.
In a players' poll, pro athletes were asked if they would "welcome an openly gay teammate?"
Here are the YES votes from the 4 major sport leagues:
MLB - 61.5%
NBA - 59.6%
NFL - 56.9%
NHL - 79.9%
Ummm, exsqueeze me? Hockey? Hockey?! NHLers are the most gay friendly of pro athletes? Not the baseball and football guys in tights. Not the basketball players with wild hair and fancy clothes. But the punching, body-checking, broken nosed hockey players. Unbelieveable. Either it's the influence of all those tolerant Canadians and Euorpeans in the NHL, or Brokeback has a point: there's a secret life to hyper-masculine guys."
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Everything feels slow paced out east. I'm actually kind of in the southeast. Maybe its a southern thing. I'm cranking "Vertical Horizon" from my laptop but the terminal is deserted so no one hears it but me. I should be studying Portuguese or reading a book or something but I'm too tired for that so I've been playing a game on my computer called Taipei, the "Oriental Game of Skill and Chance." I lost the first tow games. The third time I finally got rid of all the tiles. When you win, the computer congratulates you with a Chinese fortune.
My fortune: "unexpected offer deserves serious consideration."
I was out here interviewing for a job managing distribution centers. After two of my three interviews, I was called into a different room and met the head of the transportation department. He told me about a position he was thinking of opening in his department working with imports that he thought would fit me well. He offered to set up more interviews for me if I was interested. I was flattered, so my three interviews became six. The new position is much different than what I had come to interview for. The distribution center job is a hands-on job, managing warehouse associates. I'd be working long, hard hours, running up stairs, driving forkliftts, and throwing boxes. I'd have the option to work in several distribution centers around the country, including one in Salt Lake or one close to home. The import analyst job is housed in the corporate offices on the east coast. I would be working in a maze of cubicles under flourescent suns. My job would basically take me from my phone to my computer and back. Occasionally I may wander to the restroom or the corporate cafeteria.
I have a pretty unintimidating voice and presence. I keep trying to apply for tough guy type jobs cause it's what I enjoy but I think it may not be what I'm cut out for. I've always intended to eventually work in import/export. This new offer could be a good opportunity. Besides the cubicles, the major downside is that I'd spending at least the next couple years on the east coast. I depend on friends and family for support. I don't know how I'd deal with being so far from all of you. On the plus side, the beach is close. Maybe this could work.
I'm kind of jumping the gun anyway cause technically they haven't even offered me the job. If they do, I'll do what my fortune suggested and give this offer the serious consideration it deserves.
I miss Utah...a ton. I can't wait to be back. I've created such a nice little life there. I love my jobs in Provo. I wonder if any job will ever be as much fun as my job working with kids or if I'll ever get along as well with coworkers as I do with the other custodians. Maybe someday.
During the information sessions yesterday, someone asked one of our presenters if he liked his job. He said he didn't love it, but he liked it. "Who really loves their job?" he asked."It's just a way to get food on the table so you can do what you really like." Is that a fact? I sure hope not.
I'm really not at all excited to enter the real world. The Peace Corp is looking better and better.