08 January 2011

PE: If I could freeze time

I have officially graduated from BYU. It is such a great feeling. I am so glad to be out of there. Don't get me wrong, I had some really great classes and met some really amazing people and I value the things I did learn there. But for some reason I feel like the chains have been broken. I'm no longer stuck. I am free to progress in every way. As great as that feeling is, today I was thinking back on the last year. I asked myself, "self, if you could freeze one moment in time from last year to take out and live again and again, what would it be?"

The answer actually came really easily. Last year was crazy for me. It was full of the lowest lows and highest highs. As many of you know, I came to terms with my sexuality in July/August. So basically before mid August, the year was very painful. Self-hate, confusion, disillusionment, suicidal thoughts and plans... it really was a miracle that I survived it. But soon after I told my family in August, I was finally at peace. My family's positive reaction was helpful of course (amazingly helpful), but that peace was really rooted in my own view of self. I had finally stopped hating myself. And that changed the way I saw the world.

Now, that was a process. One that has probably been going on for years and came to a climax last summer, so what was the one moment I would choose to freeze? Well, soon after I returned home from visiting my family for the first time after telling them, I met Brig. My first and only boyfriend. After the first date we were practically inseparable for the 3 weeks we had before he had to move back to California for school. Those three weeks were full of new and wonderful feelings that I had only heard about in love stories, but never got to experience. But the moment I would choose wasn't in those three weeks.

We did the long-distance relationship thing. Luckily, we got to see each other every 2-3 weeks until now. The first period of time we spent apart was the longest. Some friends of mine and I drove down to a popular beach city that was fairly close to his school to go camping on the beach. We were going to celebrate his birthday which was just a few days prior to our visit. He drove down from school to meet us at the campsite. When he called I drove out to meet him. And here comes the moment I choose from last year...

Seeing him get out of the car and then embracing for the first time in weeks sent feelings through me that surprised me. I was not expecting to feel that way. I was so happy... as if light had filled my body. A smile could never do that feeling justice. I remember not wanting to let go. I wanted that moment to last forever. Just standing in the street hugging. It seems like such a simple thing... but it felt like a miracle. Was I really feeling this? Love? Me?

My friends were waiting and dinner was done, so we had to go. But after dinner Brig and I took a walk on the beach and continued that moment. We just stood holding each other for, I don't know how long. We both wanted that to last forever... it was like everything was right in the universe. But that walk on the beach was really meant as a distraction so that my friends could put together his birthday surprise, so I had to convince him that we needed to go back.

I mentioned in a previous post that we decided to take a break just before New Years. It was something I decided. All these feelings are so new and I don't know exactly what to do with them or what they mean. Was that amazing feeling because I was finally allowing myself to love a boy or was it because that boy was Brig? Am I unsure about it because there is a faint ghost of that person so used to denying myself these feelings hanging around me still? Not allowing me to fully embrace them? I don't know. I hope that I can figure it all out. I want to do the right thing. Now that I know happiness is out there for me, I don't want to screw it up.


Steven Lester said...

I'm glad that you are terming the separation as a "break", which gives you the ability to return to all of that wonderfulness (if that is a word) after the analysis that you feel that you need to take care of is accorded its due. I hope that you are still maintaining at least a small connection with Brig, so that the cord between you will remain in suspension.

Believe or not, I once attended a Celestial Marriage class at the U of U's Whatever-it-is-called-now, although I wasn't a student at the time, and although I have forgotten almost all of what I was taught, I do remember this little gem of 1980's wisdom.

There are three tests of a relationship: distance; time; and stress.

As an obscure poet named Gibran once wrote: Let there be space between your togetherness. Your absolute joy in seeing Brig again was hugely enhanced by your being away from for so long. And what is wrong with feeling joy, anyway? Jeesh, man, get all that you can get! Joy is the whole purpose for our existence of pain and drudgery, or so they tell me. Don't fear it; rather, embrace it fully!

My friend Brad, of whom I took note previously, has had about 10 different relationships during the last 15 years or so. He will go through that puppy love stage and then he gets all judgmental about his most recent love, and then decides to cut the bond and go on to somebody else. He never sticks with anybody for very long. The pattern is always the same, every time. Nobody ever "dumps" him because he is always the one who does it first. He insists that he isn't afraid of the joy he authentically feels, even as I try to point out the pattern to him each and every time, but he would rather flit from flower to flower to flower, endure the brief pangs of guilt and sorrow that hit him at every ending, and then start all over again. My friend Jason, you seem like a Jason to me, are you beginning the same pattern yourself? Many gay men do, it seems from my passive observation. The couplings are intense, but oh, so brief. If joy comes in spite of distance, time, and stress, then hold on to what you've got, deary; as I once heard an old and very experienced Queen tell Brad in my presence.

Feelings are feelings and they come from a source that defies just pure thought. Joy, I think, is the greatest of them! If Brig fosters that feeling in your very being, cling to that boy, dude! Hold On To What You've Got! Hold On To What You've Got! Do I need to say it again?

I wonder...you could also be an Ethan. Yes, Ethan would be a good name for you.

Gay Mormon said...

@Steven- Okay, so it is really weird that you chose those two names. Neither of them are mine, but together (with the exception of two letters) they spell my name. SO the right sounds are all there. Nice guesses :)

I definitely am not looking to go from "flower to flower" as you put it. I'm not even looking to date right now. The break has made me really consider things in a way I hadn't been able to do before. This post for example. In looking back on our relationship after being removed from it, I feel I can be more objective.

You are not the first to urge the two of us to stay together haha. And yes, we keep in contact with each other.

boskers said...

I didn't know you had a blog. I just chatted with Brig yesterday and I dumbly asked how you two were. I hadn't known about the "taking a break" thing. Now your blog has confirmed it, too.

Anyway, congratulations on graduating. I'm completely and utterly jealous.

Gay Mormon said...

@boskers- Hey- I didn't know you had a blog either! And yeah... we are taking a break, but you couldn't have known that, so don't feel dumb :)

bradcarmack said...

Best of luck in your journey. I anticipate relief when my degrees post as well.

Brig said...

Aww... i feel so special to be your frozen moment! Mine isn't the same one, but i'm sure you'll like it when you ask. :)

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