Thursday, November 19, 2009
No I’m not talking about sex, although that would be interesting and you all are dying to know. I’m talking about the ways that I express love to others, and the ways that I perceive love coming back to me. The idea that we, as humans, give and receive love in differing ways is a fascinating topic. Realizing how love plays into my own life provides answers to so many questions. I have been thinking on this subject for the past many months and I have finally boiled my observations and self-discoveries down to a few paragraphs and it helps me understand the world better.
How do I perceive love from others? Good question right? But why is it even important? The best way to communicate love to someone is to discover the channels through which they most strongly perceive love. Some people like to receive love notes. Some perceive love through words of affection. Others prefer practical works of kindness, like having their oil changed when they didn’t have time to do it themselves. Occasionally, the way we perceive love from others is not the way we GIVE love. For example, my father is a DOER and a PROVIDER. He makes sure his family has all of their physical and financial needs taken care of. He simply provides safety and security and that is how he loves his family. Yes, he says the words “I love you” and he gives gifts, but loves truly flows from him what he is providing the basics of life to his family.
When I was growing up, I perceived love in a different way than my father showed it. So even though he was loving me through my growing-up years. . . I didn’t feel it as strongly from him as I could have. We communicate love in conflicting ways. I know now that he loved me VERY much. I just didn’t speak his “language.” That may explain why I felt so alone and isolated as a child. Not even my identical twin brother related to me, or so I felt. I honestly did not feel loved, growing up. I am guessing, now, that’s because of the unique ways that I perceive love from others.
So here’s the question.
Q: How do I feel love the most? What needs to happen for me to truly recognize how much somebody loves me?
A: I need one on one time. I need time devoted to me; time to talk and listen. When I am alone with someone and we are sharing our thoughts and ideas, and they are truly listening and understanding me, I feel a sense of bliss, gratitude and true love. I feel valued. I bond.
I have felt true love many times. Here are some memories:
Grandma Joan talked with me. She shared about her latest book. She talked about family gossip. After she caught me up on her life she asked about what was new in mine and she didn’t butt in. Not a single word while I told her about my life’s dramas. All my walls came down. I know she understood me. She felt my pain. She understood my loneliness. She hugged me often and then offered to make lunch. Grandma is a DOER like my Dad. She showed love by making food and providing and controlling. But she magically knew that I needed to be heard. I needed time to just speak my feelings. That is how I know Grandma loved me.
I have a friend, Scott, who listens to me. He knows I occasionally get overwhelmed. He is a very good listener and he actually gives me his time when I need someone. I know he cares. He’s my best friend. That’s what friends do, and Scott knows I need it sometimes, so he indulges me.
My twin brother has been calling me, and visiting me and taking an interest in my life. He says he wants to meet my friends. He is interested in my music and my writing. He didn’t seem interested in those things for most of my life, and he wasn’t interested in my life, my friends, my music etc. But now, it seems things have changed and he comes around. We talk of important issues like God, family and relationships- and we see eye to eye. We do lunches together. We cook together. We laugh. I feel SO LOVED by my brother, Jason- more than ever. He spends time. He GIVES me time. He takes an interest in everything that is important to me. We’re bonding again because of it.
These are three great examples of people who have shown me love in a way that I have felt it powerfully. So if anyone wishes to show me how much they love me, and want me to really feel it- give me your time, your attention .. . . and your interest.
(ATTENTION WHORE!!! Pppththththb!)
So that brings us to an equally important question:
Q: How do I show love to others?
A: I show love through touch and thoughtful concern. I call when I think about you, just to say hi and I was thinking of you. I leave a short note on your car windshield while you’re at work, also to let you know I thought of you. I remember your birthday and leave a card on your doorstep at midnight. I cook dinner for you (a damn good one). I send flowers. I give back rubs. I listen to you. I try to understand you. I offer a shoulder to cry on.
(I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. . . too much)
I could list a few examples here but that would take forever.
Knowing how I give and receive love helps me understand so much about my life and my relationships. Here are some ways I can see how I have messed up my relationships because of how I give and receive love.
1) I find myself apologizing to friends and family members when I share my true and deep feelings, for fear that I’ve over-stepped a boundary or shared too much. Maybe I have learned over time that my feelings are not valid? I feel guilty for sharing my feelings because I thought (perhaps incorrectly) as a child that sharing feelings is a burden to others? That is why I feel so much love when someone spends time talking to me. (OMG Jer- you are damaged)
2) I find sometimes that when a friend actually DOES spend time talking with me, I begin to feel so appreciated and valued that I interpret that feeling as a crush. It makes me want more. I can see now, how this has played out badly in some of my friendships. I must bridal this tendency to mistake simple friendship for love or romance. (Look out- that’s drama!)
3) I don’t accept compliments well, and I second guess true love and admiration even if it stares me in the face. I feel unlovable sometimes. (Wow Jer. Really? That’s sad.) YES REALLY, now stop interrupting! (cuckoo, cuckoo) And yes it is sad. I actually struggle to believe that anyone would take an interest in me. That is why I value the attention so much, and sometimes attention scares me because I fear it’s not real or won’t last. So when a date compliments me or flirts with me, it often goes completely unnoticed.
4) I don’t like big groups much, because I feel I fall through the cracks. Big groups suck the life out of me. I prefer one-on-one get-togethers or small groups.
So the question: “Jer, why are you still single?” gets asked a lot. I can’t just say “Cuz I’m damaged. . .lol”. That’s too close to the truth. I just say I don’t know. But truly, perhaps the answer really is that I just require a bit more love and attention than most, to actually get me feeling like there’s a connection. Perhaps I’m just scared that love won’t stay? (Maybe you’re high-maintenance!!! Did you think of that?).
I love people TOO MUCH. It scares them away. It’s stifling. Nobody wants to be stalked by a lover (Jer, just tone it down for gosh sakes)
So that’s the deal with me and love. Apparently I am a high maintenance lover. (Is this really how you intended to end this blog, Jer?) No, but its true.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Sometimes life becomes too much. We spend so much time doing the right and good things. We spend our efforts and our time making things happen and making others happy. If your a parent, a volunteer, a friend, a human being, you know what I'm talking about. Reality weighs heavy sometimes. Tonight, I gave reality the bird and it feels wonderful.
I have a list of things going on in my life that are weighing heavily on me. I can feel it bottling, mounting for a future eruption. So tonight I did something I haven't done in a long time.
I called up some friends I haven't seen in a long time (not my usual group of friends) and I went to a night club and danced with no inhibitions. We took our shirts off and didn't care. The amazingly loud music, the shirtless chests and tight pants, the fog machines and lazers, the smell of sweat and pherimones, shoulder to shoulder bumping and grinding. . . Totally made me forget my worries for a few hours and just be in the moment. It was Carnality at its best and I LOVED it!
Thank you Cody, Natalie, Rob and Bryson for a wonderful night. Lets do it again!
If you're being weighed down by life's pressures, I recomend a vacation, even if for a few hours. Take a step out of the box. Get out of your comfort zone. Do something spontaneous and enjoy a night off. Do it safely. Enjoy the moment.
I am so happy right now!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Here are my thoughts:
I remember when I cuddled with a man for the first time. I was 22. Until that point I had never cuddled with another human being in my life. I was taught by the youth leaders in the LDS faith that cuddling was wrong. Cuddling leads to fornication. That was the mantra. In addition to my upbringing, I was also VERY inhibited by my own self-loathing fears of being gay. I intentionally denied myself the pleasures of physical intimacy with males AND females because I felt I was wicked and twisted in my homosexual desires.
SO, when a gay man (whom I refernced in a previous blog as "my first kiss", marcus) snuggled up to me for the first time, I was unprepaired for the intense borage of emotions and hormonal combustion.
That sets the stage and back-ground for the following response that I offered to a friend's blog about his ideas of male-on-male cuddling. He is a married man, with little experience in homosexual cuddling (like I was when i was 22). So he is still experiencing the "pre-cuddling" condition and posted a message that talked about the innocense of homosexual cuddling, which is a very cute idea to me. I decided to illaborate on this.
I suppose its only fair to provide the actual link. Just reference "Dichotomy" and his most recent blog post.
As a man who is very aware and accepting of my own sexuality and of my various states of sexual arrousal, I would be very curious to hear him tackle this same topic AFTER he's engaged in various cuddle-sessions with men. I agree with mostly all of his comments, except that his ideas regarding "male-on-male" cuddling to be a bit juvenile and naive. He approached cuddling with the expectation that it can be completely "non-sexual" and I think this is a very niave expectation. Sexual tension tends to sneak up on the male creatures even when it is least expected.
Now, let me illistrate something to help stir the pot. (I love this part)
On occasion I enjoy going dancing with my gay male friends. I never go alone and I never go with the intention of meeting a stranger at a dance-club. I am always with friends. A phenomenon happens while dancing on the floor. I end up dancing very closely with my dearest gay friends, whom I consider my brothers. While we would never engage in sexual behavior together, it is very common for all of us to become aroused while dancing together. We know it happens. It's a natural reaction. We don't draw any attention to it. It's just a very normal thing for all of us to be turned on while dancing together. In some ways it is a bonding experience. It affirms, validates our masculinity. It says "yep, I'm still gay and the plumbing works like normal. We're all normal gay men." And we enjoy the moment. Could this be construed as a "sexual experience?" I think it could be argued that way by some, but I have a different perspective on the phenomenon.
My point is, even if my friends and I are not explicitly engaged in sexual intimacy, it is certainly not a completely "non-sexual" experience. It's a sexually AFFIRMING experience to dance with another man. Lets compare that to cuddling. Take two male bodies and pu them in close proximity to one another.. .no add the catalyst of homosexual attractions. VOILÀ. (that's french. But as they say in spain- ERECCIÒN) But you are right in that it takes plenty of will and mental power to NOT engage in further sexual intimacy.
Here is my MAJOR point that I want everyone to consider.
Sexual arousal among gay men is much more of a "social" issue and a "male-bonding" issue. Arousal and sexual intimacy means something different for gay males than it does for heterosexual males. Since the issue of "marriage and procreation" is not a possibility for homosexual males, sex takes on a whole new meaning, its a different conotation. It's slightly less of a "amore' " meaning. It's more of a social meaning.
Consider the following:
I used to be soooo upset when friends, strangers or potential dates and romantic interests would ask me "are you a top or a bottom?" Because I looked at that statement as being purely a personal and intimate question. However, only last year I finally realized that being a "top" or a "bottom" simply denotes one's social status within the gay community. Tops don't date other tops because they know when the magic moment finally happens, there will not be a conflict. You see, heterosexuals do not have this problem. A man must never ask his female partner, "when having sex, do you prefer to penetrate or be penetrated?" You see how rediculous that sounds? But among "all male" populations, it becomes important. Its a social status-thing. . NOT a personal, intimate thing. I learned to NOT be so offended when I am asked about my sexual prefernce, because it is actually important to know, where my dating-life is concerned.
All my str8 readers are cringing now. . ha ha. Love ya Elizabeth. You so didn't ever want to wrap your brain around this.
So. . .next. . . is sex any less important to gay men than to heterosexual men? That is a very interesting question. . . one that I will leave open-ended for another post.
Please feel free to comment.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The theme of my life.
Making friends is like breathing. It comes naturally. I meet a nice guy and we’re friends for life. I enjoy friendship so much. I love having a large circle of great friends, brothers, and acquaintances. I go on lots of first dates and end up being “friends.” Good thing right? Yes, in a way. I am very blessed that way. The weird thing is. . . none of my dates result in romance. I end up being everyone’s friend OR they end up dating my friends instead or they become members of my social group “the escape.” Romance just isn’t ever a result with the guys I date.
So here’s how conversations usually go during a date or a casual meeting over coffee or jamba juice etc. When I date a nice guy, they find out that I’m a therapist, a counselor, a composer, violinist, writer, and volunteer etc. Then the compliments start flowing, but they aren’t the typical kind of compliments. They almost always are along these lines. “Wow, you’re so deep.” “Dang Jer- you’re so well-rounded.” “You’re such a good friend.” “You have such a calming spirit.” “I feel completely at ease with you.” “I feel like I can be completely honest with you.” And here’s my favorite. . .”Jer, you have an OLD spirit.”
And then when I hear from them next, I get “you have really nice friends. Can I hang out with you guys?” or “I want to join your group. How do I do that?”
I would LOVE to be loved. I would like, for once, a date to actually be interested in ME as a person and not as a therapist, group leader or a friend. I would like for a date to be interested in ME and not in my friends.
Seriously people. . . . what is it about me that says I’m friend-material and not LOVER material?
I have a hypothesis that I might be dating the wrong kind of people.
Monday, May 4, 2009
"I wish I were dead"
WHOA JEROMY! Where did that come from?
I know right? As soon as I thought it, I had to laugh and follow up with "Wow, Jer you haven't had that thought in a long time. You're not suicidal!?!? Sowhat's the deal?"
I laugh. I laugh to keep the tears at bay. It's healthier to laugh. (who am I kidding? I cry too, but not until after midnight but lets say I'm always strong enough to hold back the tears. That just looks better.) So, I laugh at myself and my situation, because its so very human. I am just so very, very human. . and flawed. . . and prone to get crapped on by life. (now that's an image. . . a big certain kind of "life" stepping over me and crapping?)
That is why I laugh. But why would I think about dying? Because at certain points in my life I realise that I am alone. I have been rejected several times beyond one too many and I feel misunderstood and devalued.
I'll tell you what has led up to this. . . I am a walking contradiction, a flaw in the human genome, an anomaly in the natural order of fauna. If the human species depended on me to perpetuate its existance we'd have issues. Homosexuality doesn't make sense, and yet. . . . I'm down with it. I've accepted it and I'm cool. I have already gotten past all the emotional contradictions of morality and religion and such and I'm fine. I totally accept my peculiarities and embrace them.
Tonight I went to the Matis Family Fireside again. . . at least I started to. I showed up on time, exactly at 7pm. I went right to the front row and sat down. . by myself. I sat for 15 minutes and nobody seemed to be in a hurry to start. So all I could do was look around. I looked at all the clean-cut, innocent and struggling young men. A few thoughts went thru my head then. All of these boys are cute. All of them look like returned missionaries. All of them seem to be in the same situation. Some of them are here because they are sad and lonely and confused. Some of them are here to socialize and hang our with other str8-laced mormon gay boys. The vast majority of them are here because they want to STAY in full-fellowship with the LDS church and yet still be gay.
That's all fine. Then the thought crossed my mind. What if I want to be here for all of those reasons (which I did) but be sitting here next to another man who was also here for all these reasons and hold his hand and touch his knee when I feel particularly moved? (gasp) What a nice and natural thought. Why SHOULDN'T I turn to my lover and companion when I feel moved? My sister does it. My brother does it. But they're str8. If I came to a Matis Fireside to feel the spirit and sing hymns and mingle with other homosexuals who want to do the same thing, but bring my lover and express affection to him the way my brother and sister do to their lovers I'd get asked to leave. You know I'm right. Then I realized that I am on a totally different plane in this setting. An actual smile crossed my face and I laughed to myself. I would anger that group so fiercely because I would be able and willing to do what they are all LONGING to do but believe they can't. That's the point of the whole Matis Family Firesides. . . to learn to be happy about being gay in a church where it's not allowed. I really laughed when that crossed my mind because it marks a profound realization for me. I have moved on and don't seek or want the approval of these people. . . I was in the wrong place. I left quickly and deliberately.
But this liberating realization left behind one problem. Once again, there is no place for me. I don't belong. . . .yet again.
I feel a sense of loss, isolation, and rejection. I value life. I value beauty. I also value honesty and understand, which sadly seems to be in short supply these days. That is why I wanted to die tonight. This confused world doesn't understand me and perhaps when this life is over, I can finally put my guard down and be me. I feel I've been swimming upstream my whole life and I'm tired already. God bless the tired homos down here. We're misunderstood and lonely.
Friday, April 10, 2009
I think I am that little ball player. I don't exactly feel at ease in the gay community. I don't embrace all of their ideals. I sometimes feel very small and unsure. But then I'm not altogether on the Mormon team either. I certainly don't agree with a lot of their ideals. Who's team am I on? When I try to win friends on either side, I'm losing on the other. One crowd roars while the opposite crowd ignores me and looks at the ground. So I keep running up and down the field, kicking goals for both teams and I am just EXHAUSTED!
Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
Sadly, I'm a kind of person who (stupidly) values acceptance of others. So I give it my best when others are watching. Sometimes when I'm among gays in the city, I have to be a certain kind of person to fit in. It's not a comfortable position for me to be in. But when I am with my conservative friends, str8 LDS friends included I have to bend my behavior and values in their direction to feel accepted.
Specifically, I have a personal example. Since all of my close friends moved up to the big city, leaving me in Provo (small Conservative college town) I sometimes find myself feeling lonesome. Lonesome is a particular feeling that I don't handle very well. I can do pain, anger, and malice, but lonesome. . . I loath that feeling. So I log on to web sites, I make phone calls and send texts. I start making plans just to avoid the quiet moments when I'm alone and feeling that terrible feeling of "lonesome." By the time I've gone on 3 dates in 2 days, made out with several pairs of lips and possibly pawned off my virtue to a couple of strangers, I've degraded myself a few levels. . . all to keep the space filled up so I avoid "lonesome." Where does that leave me? Let me tell you. . . "lonesome" catches up in those quiet moments, and its worse off after a weekend of trying to blend in with the gay crowd.
Sometimes all I want to do is talk and enjoy the sunset. I want to listen to good music and share stories about childhood. I want to go to a church meeting and then drive to the top of a mountain and consider the peaceful moments. I want to hold someone and be held in a healing embrace. I want to cry and not be embarrassed. I want to identify with a fellow-believer and share testimony. I want to hike to the top of the cliff with a friend and throw a paper airplane off it. I want to kiss someone and be kissed back and feel like I'm being uplifted and not down-graded. The guys I meet don't like these things. Most gay men drink. They want to skip to the make-out session. They don't want to pay for dinner, or let me pay. They're non-committal. They have no concept of God. They are bitter. They aren't accepting of their own sexuality. They care way too much about the way they look or the way I look. They don't like conversation (cuz guys don't talk- gee I shoulda thought of that before I decided to be gay right?). So pretty much everything I want or wish I could enjoy in the presence of a decent man, it just a fairytale.
I have made some friends recently that tell me I'm special. I am thinking of about 5 new friends who say that I'm different from most other guys. They pay me compliments that I really enjoy. They say they want to be friends. They buy me dinner and tell me I am always welcome in their home, because they trust me. All of these things are so appealing to me. Yet, all of these 5 new friends have eventually propositioned me for casual cuddling sessions and just plain sex. In some cases I have indulged them because I want to keep hearing the compliments and feeling the acceptance (is it real?). I am now in a sad state, because I have let down my guard enough that I am even defining myself by these less-than uplifting relationships. I'm a ho. That's my fault. I have been playing on their team. . . scoring for them because I like to feel included.
"Jeromy," I say to myself. "What's going on here? 1) Why are you so eager to please those who applaud your unique virtue and then degrade it? 2) What is it about you that makes you so appealing to these kinds of people? Finally, 3)what are you doing to make yourself available to such friends? Aren't there other avenues to explore, more wholesome and good?"
All very good questions
I realize this is very personal. I heard from some other friends recently that this is not a unique problem. We all play for the wrong team at some points in our lives, and we feel badly about it later. One friend of mine decided recently to erase his profiles on all gay dating websites, because he felt he was devalued by the gay community. So, I see I am not alone in this. I am honest enough with myself to make an example of my life, if it proves a point.
1) Why do I please those who applaud my virtue just to take advantage of it? Because I am bitter against the team I WANT to play for. I am angry at my rightful team. I feel I have been sold out, unwillingly and I feel already degraded and powerless. I speak of the LDS faith. I speak of its members and my friends who are of that faith. I have profound feelings of betrayal and abandonment. Accepting their love and praise sometimes feels like voluntarily drinking poison from their glass. I have a hard time with love and praise because it has too often been tainted with bigotry and hypocrisy. The alternative, is to cater to those on the other team, the only gay team, who accept me for what I am. Sadly their acceptance forces me to fit their mold and ideals, one that makes me feel dirty. Eventually I start acting like them. . .dirty.
2) What makes me appealing? I think its the talents and inner-light that I refined while once still in the fellowship of the gospel. I have faith. I'm optimistic. I value family. I play several instruments. I write fiction, poetry and music. I am constantly striving for my better self. I still pray. I have try to lift others up and encourage love and happiness. I learned all of these things from a great example. . . my father and mother. . and from a church which teaches faith on Christ. All of this is appealing to others who don't have the same upbringing. It fascinates them that one of their own could be accepting of this down-trodden state of homosexuality and yet still maintain all the positive parts that the LDS faith has afforded. (geeze jer- no wonder you're feeling bad. Whose team are you on? Do you even know?)
3) What am I doing to make myself available to those who like me, but don't value the things I do? Good question. I work all day long in a very conservative office where every single co-worker is LDS. I come home and turn on my computer and immediately log on to 5 different dating webpages while I cook dinner. I do this because I guess i am desperate (no kidding Sherlock) for friends who might possibly understand me. Over and over again, I think I've met someone who knows how I feel, and eventually I realize they're just like everyone else. They don't really get me. No-one does.
k guys. . I'm feeling a little like poo here.
I am playing for the wrong team, but the right one is so darn mean. You tell me, what is a guy supposed to do?
(Dang Jer- you sure know how to bring us down. Pick a brighter topic next time, mkay?)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Jeromy: I did WHAT!?!?!?
JEROMY: I went to a Matis Family Fireside. (A group designed to provide a loving environment where gay lds men can support each other in striving to maintain temple-worthy lives. It was started by Fred and Marilyn Matis, whose son killed himself on the steps of a stake center in Los Altos, California).
Jeromy: But I thought I hated stuff like that. I’ve accepted my sexuality and I’m fine with it. I don’t want to change it. Why would I go to a Matis Family Fireside?
JEROMY: I know it seems out of character for me. And yes I’m a little surprised, myself. I guess I have many reasons for going.
Jeromy: I’ve been to those meetings before. They’re kind of preachy aren’t they? I thought only married gay men, insecure, unstable and undecided gay men go there. They teach celibacy. The Matiss voted YES to prop 22 and YES to Prop 8. Doesn’t that bother me?
JEROMY: I am keeping a positive attitude, and trying to walk on higher ground here. Yes I expected to meet a variety of ideals there. But I didn’t go for political reasons.
Jeromy: Why did I go, Jer?
JEROMY: Because I am sad and angry (sangry?). I am lonely. I have lost a spiritual connection with my savior. I have lost the direction I once had. I feel the bitterness creeping into my soul, that I have detested in others and I want it out of me. The only way I have ever known to root out bitterness is with the purging power of the holy spirit. The best way to feel the spirit is to testify of true doctrine. Last night at the Matis Fireside, there was indeed true doctrine taught, and I did feel the spirit. Sister Camille spoke brilliantly. She was funny and entertaining but also very personable and poignant.
Jeromy: Do I feel satisfied or healed?
JEROMY: A little. Does one session in a tanning booth make me HOT?
jeromy: No. It takes many layers with many isolated visits.
JEROMY: That’s my answer then. I need many good doses of the spirit to peel away the hardened part of my heart before I feel good again, or satisfied.
Jeromy: Why else did I go?
JEROMY:Because I have need for humility before the Lord. And believe me Jer, sitting in a meeting (as a willing patron) that I once looked down upon was incredibly humbling. I felt so out of place.
Jeromy: Why did I feel so out of place?
JEROMY: Because I am the founder of a supportive fraternity for openly gay men. I encourage acceptance of homosexuality- the exact opposite ideology to the Matis family.
Jeromy: Then why in the world did I go?
JEROMY: I know right? It seems to be so contradictory. But I went to feel the spirit. I went to affirm my place in God’s plan. I went to combat the hatred in my heart for Mormons who hate me, as a gay man (because you know they exist in plentiful supply). I don’t want to hate. I want to understand, and promote an open dialogue. I feel I have a legitimate claim on Christ’s atonement. I feel I am able to be a whole person both as an open gay male and a latter-day saint (even if only in faith and not practice).
Jeromy: Then Jeromy, if I feel I have claim on all of these blessings, why did I feel so out of place and isolated in a meeting that speaks both to gays and Mormons at the same time?
JEROMY: Because there were many there who obviously were opposed to having me in their midst. I didn’t know what (or who) to expect, but I DID feel purposefully judged. I was introduced to several really nice guys. I was also introduced to a group of guys who I did not know, but who obviously knew me and felt I was not worthy to be in their presence. The sideways glances, fingers pointing (yes they pointed at me for real) and the whispering one to another while staring me down let me know that I was an outsider. I felt condemned. I think its because I've been around the block, and they knew it? Am I paranoid?
Jeromy: Yes, I think. You sound paranoid. Besides feeling the spirit did I get anything else good out of this fireside?
JEROMY: Yes, I made some very good friends and gained a better understanding of gay men in the gospel. I met several married men whose wives accompanied them to the meeting. I met some gay married men whose wives were completely supportive of their sexuality, within the bonds of fidelity of course. I also met some very kind souls who were happy, successful and celibate. I never knew or believed that was possible. But it seems to work for them.
Jeromy: Do I think they are deluded or suppressed?
JEROMY: I have no idea. Maybe, maybe not. But, from a psychological perspective it doesn’t matter. They are happy now. It isn’t my business to say to them “You THINK you can be celibate forever, but you’re just naive.” How dare I say that. They seem to be happy. I don't know why it works for them and not for me. No need to dwell on differences like that.
Jeromy: Stuart matis was celibate until he died. What are my thoughts on him?
JEROMY: Honestly, I have to ask this question, is Stuart Matis in a better place for having never acted on his homosexual feelings? I don’t doubt it.
Jeromy: But Jer- am I in a worse-off place than Stuart Matis for being sexually active with men? I had a partner for 3 years and am still inclined to date once in a while. I haven't ruled out the possibility of sex.
JEROMY: I honestly don’t know. Stuart Matis killed himself, a deplorable sin. Nothing frustrates God’s plan for salvation more than to deliberately cut a life short. I dare say, while homosexuality frustrates God’s eternal plan of salvation to a fundamental degree, suicide does more than frustrate it, it STOPS it dead. (I didn't intend the pun, but it works) Plus, maybe Stuart Matis would have acted on his sexual impulses if he lived long enough to come to a greater understanding of his sexuality. I don’t know. I’ll never know because he died. The grading scale is completely different. And by the way Jer- don’t compare us to Stuart Matis or anyone else on this matter. It’s unhealthy.
Jeromy: What other kinds of people did I meet there?
JEROMY: I was thoroughly surprised by the variety of people I met there. I was greeted by a very kind soul who was older (a grandfather). He talked to me for quite a long time and shared a very nice conversation with me. He was so welcoming. I also met several other bloggers who were so nice. I had no idea there was such an underground blogging brotherhood. They know and respect one-another. I want to be "IN" with this group so badly. They’re all great. I met lots of guys who were in full fellowship in the church and want to keep it that way. I met several guys who were simply cruising for dates or hook-ups. (that surprised me) Strangely I felt turned off by them because I came for spiritual enlightenment only. The “meat market” feel was uncomfortable and out of place. I’d expect to be ogled at the gym in Salt Lake, but not after a spiritual meeting followed by a prayer and an amen. I also saw several guys who were friends of the notorious “Mike Cramer” in SLC. Almost everyone there was seriously good looking in a very clean-cut kind of way. I was thrown off my game a little bit because part of me was startled by the physical beauty of all of them, but I knew I was thre for a spiritual purpose and I didn't let the gorgeousness detract from that purpose. Maybe, having the spirit makes you hot? Hmmm, I should go more often.
Jeromy: oh Jer- don’t leave out the juicy dirt. Stop saving face. Tell them what they want to hear. I know what I’m talking about. I’m proud of it in a twisted kind of way and I know it.
JEROMY: ok, ok. . although it felt strangely inappropriate I did get a phone number.
Jeromy: I KNEW IT!!!
JEROMY: for a HAAAIIIIIRRR appointment! He’s a stylist and offered to give me the feaux-hawk I wanted.
Jeromy: whatever! (rolls eyes). I know he held me a little too long when he hugged me goodbye and said I’m sexy.
JEROMY: k, fine. . . . I couldn’t resist.
Jeromy: Am I going to mention CRAZY JERRY? Cuz I know our readers want to hear about it.
JEROMY: OMG you guys!!! Crazy Jerry was there. He followed me around and talked to me several times. He said “I went to the Mayan (restaurant) the other day and I thought of you.”
Jeromy: and what did I say? I know I hate him!
JEROMY: I said, “Funny, I remember that time at the Mayan too, and I haven’t been back since.” And I walked away. But that wasn’t the last. Apparently some other guys noticed he was present as well, and they have had similar negative interactions with him. I felt totally vindicated.
Jeromy: What else did Jerry do or say? Give details.
JEROMY: I was standing alone (which happened a few times cuz I was so awkward in the new group) and he came up to me, uncomfortably close, and said “You know I don’t hate you.” So many things went through my mind. I wanted to blast him. But, as many may know about Crazy Jerry, he thrives on contention. That is the ONLY reason he still tries to get my goat. He gets a demonic thrill out of watching people squirm. So, I maintained my composure and said “Okay.” And turned and walked away briskly, hoping to make a point without saying anything more.
Jeromy: Did he have any cronies with him this time?
JEROMY: Well, he was chummy with a few people, and some guys did sit next to him. But he didn’t seem to have his favorite twinky Bishop’s son with him this time. He WAS dressed in all black (perhaps he thinks it’s slimming?) which added to the demonic affect.
Jeromy: What did I take away from the meeting. . .final thoughts.
JEROMY: I still need a spiritual awakening. I’m working on it. I want to go to the Matis Firesides again. Maybe next month. I want to go to OTHER firesides as well, maybe a Motab concert?. Perhaps I will even go to a real church meeting. I like the feelings that I felt while the speaker was speaking. I like feeling close to Christ and the Father of all. I feel Brother and Sister Matis provide a wonderful service for those who want to be openly gay, but also feel the spirit. I have so much soul searching to do. I’m a work in progress. I wish I could talk about these things more openly with my friends. I’m a bit embarrassed to say “hey guys, can we talk about the spirit?” . . lol. Nevertheless, I’ll deal with this longing in my own way, quietly and dignified. You lucky readers get to peak into my soul and see what’s cookin.
Friday, March 27, 2009
1) I will get a passport.
This costs money and takes time, but I need one for many reasons. My good friend, mentor and editor has invited me to go to England this summer. A passport is the first step in making that trip. . AND possibly others abroad.
2) Workout at least 3x a week til June 6
I need to be comfortable in a speedo by PRIDE this year. In order to do that I need to workout at least 3 times a week, with plenty of cardio and upper body strength. I'm already well on my way, but the word HOT needs to come to mind when I see myself in the mirror and that hasn't happened yet. I'll let you know!!!
3) write 5 chapters of my book before July
I have been challenged by my mentor and editor to write 5 chapters before July. I am totally on board with this. It's doable and it will be fun.
4) Move to SLC by August
I have my current rental contract up for sale. I need someone to buy out my contract and then I can move to SLC. If nobody buys my contract, it will expire in August and I will move then anyway. Roommates anyone?
5) Get a job in SLC that meets my needs.
Hopefully in the field of social services.
NOW!!! You know my goals. Feel free to encourage me.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I was a 22 year old Mormon boy with virgin lips when I had my first kiss. I returned from my mission and moved to Utah, ready to start a new life on my own. After a few months, feeling quite lonely I posted and ad on MSN. I was struggling with feelings of isolation and depression. I thought that I might be gay and wanted a friend to understand and help me. Someone named Marcus, a returned missionary from Brazil (22) replied to my message. He invited me to meet him at an institute class at BYU, which I did. Yes I was nervous. I had never met another gay man before, nor openly admitted that I was gay. I was so lonely. I desperately needed a friend.
I went to the institute class on BYU campus. That class changed my life. I did meet Marcus. He was very nice and very good looking. We instantly formed a bond. While sitting together in the class, a devotional was given by a girl who looked very familiar. She was reading a scripture. She looked up from the podium and scanned over the class. Her eyes met mine and she let out a high pitched squeal. "Elder Robison!!!" The girl was a sister from my mission, Sister Darla Danielson. She didn't' even finish reading the scripture. She jumped off the rostrum and ran down to meet me. She gave me a very tight hug. The feeling was incredible. She and I also bonded at that moment. Within 20 minutes I had forged 2 very powerful friendships that I would remember forever.
Consider this peculiar coincidence. Looking back I can see how this moment was so pivotal and highly ironic. I met, at that time, both my soul-mate/girlfriend. . .and my first gay lover. What a combo?!?!
I ended up spending a lot of time with Darla. Every free moment I was at her house. Her roommates considered me a part of the house-hold. We laughed, played games, watched movies, went on picnics, camped out. We Had a glorious time. Darla was a very cheerful girl, prone to laughter. She was incredibly loving. I likened her to a Heavenly Mother. She cared for every pure thing and she had such compassion. I could not keep secrets from her. She saw deep into my soul as if I were completely transparent. I can honestly say I loved her.
Marcus and I also hung out together. He had a charm all his own. He was tall, with darker features. He was masculine and had an exotic foreign charm. He captivated me. He seemed to be OK with his homosexuality. He wasn't as scared and confused as I was, yet he was kind and compassionate to me. We had fun times together. We watched Simpsons and played video games. He baked some very delicious Brazilian food. He also worked in a factory that made scented candles. So his apartment always smelled delightful, as did his skin (I came to find out).
The three of us, Marcus, Darla and I did everything together. I really enjoyed having my two best friends around me so often. I longed to be with them so badly when I was away at work. I looked forward to the weekends of fun. I looked forward to singing songs around Darla's piano. I looked forward to sharing mission stories with Marcus. I was completely overcome with a feeling of pure happiness and acceptance. I Had never before felt such a thing at home. This was a new world to me, and I loved it.
Time passed. Months went by and the mood began changing. Darla got a job and wasn't always available on weekends and nights. I had become so addicted to my new friendships and the feelings of codependency that I couldn't stand being alone. I began spending more time with Marcus. We watched late-night movies. We went on long drives. We spent time talking about issues that were important to me. I felt free and comfortable to share the parts of my life that I had always considered to be shameful. He made me feel validated. The first time Marcus touched me was while watching "The Mummy." I barely remember the movie because of the anxious electricity going threw my body. Marcus had put his hand on my shoulder. I was concentrating only on that. My heart began beating faster. I was sweating. I felt feverish. It was like being electrocuted. . paralyzed but unable to let go of the live-wire that was his hand.
When the movie was finished and the credits kept running we just sat together on the couch basking in the heat of the moment. Finally I got up to turn off the movie and he invited me to stay the night, which I did. He laid down on his bed and took his shirt off. I also took off my shirt and laid down next to him on the twin-size. I faced away from him, and he wrapped himself around me and pulled me in til I was completely enveloped by Marcus and the smell of candle wax. The feel of his skin against mine was intoxicating. I felt a tremendous release of energy flow out of me, and my physical body reacted by surrendering to the moment. I inhaled and took it in. I just laid there in an ocean of ecstasy that I never knew was possible. The thought went through my mind, "Is this bad? Something so wonderful can't be bad. Then why do I feel like I should run away right now, run from this feeling of peace and safety. It MUST be bad. I like this. I want this. I'm in touble. . . ."
Hours passed in darkness and heat.
That was the first time I experienced the touch of a man. We hadn't comprised our temple covenants that night. We remained semi-clothed. I refused to remove the clothes below my waist, even though his fingers tried to wander there.
I continued to date Darla. Our discussions grew more serious. We spoke of having children and careers. We talked about where we wanted to be married. She seemed to be unsatisfied with my level of excitement about the topic. She seemed worried. Plus Darla had some family troubles that began to bother her. Her thoughts turned more inward. While we talked about our future lives, I could sense that something was not right. Was it suspicion?
Meanwhile, my sleep-overs with Marcus were continually more intimate. I hadn't crossed any real moral lines, but the passion that was developing between us was intense. Marcus was becoming more and more aggressive in his insistence that we see more of each other. His hands continued touching me and searched under my clothes in places that made me very uncomfortable. The level of intimacy he wanted scared me. I was growing weary of his advances. He began playing off of my vulnerability. He knew I enjoyed his touch and the closeness that we shared. He also knew I was feeling weak and confused and not ready to commit to going further. I was becoming weak, and signs of depression were setting in again.
Marcus was preparing for an extended trip to Brazil. He was going home to see his family and he asked me, very seriously, to return to Brazil with him as his boyfriend. This was def con 5, now or never, all or nothing. I had seconds to think it through. The word "boyfriend" was deafening. He had caught me off-guard with such a monumentous proposal. I reacted defensively and I chose to abandon ship in order aleve the anxiety. I told Marcus that I was not his lover and not ready to commit myself to him. I was not ready to accept my sexuality openly. I was not prepared to be openly gay. The idea of running off to an exotic country with my gay lover scared the SHIT out of me!!!
Marcus, suddenly angry and rejected, asked me how it felt to be with him. It felt wonderful. His touch was so powerful. The attraction I felt to him was ionic. Being near him made my body do things that weren't normal. My heart raced, my palms sweat, my fingers ached to be entwined in his. While my mind was preaching virtue, my body was demanding to be connected with his in every intimate way possible. With all of these things blazing through my mind, Marcus asked me the question that flipped the switch. "Do you feel this way with Darla?" Boom. . .mushroom cloud.
Not even in the slightest. My feelings for her were completely emotional and appropriate and temple-worthy. I felt no such feelings of lust or affection toward Darla and I think she knew it, Marcus knew it. . but it had never occurred to me. I was SUPPOSED to ache for her. I was SUPPOSED to touch her, hold her and kiss her. I was SUPPOSED to long to caress her neck and shoulders. Those thoughts were so foreign to me. Yet here I was completely flayed before Marcus, longing to be physically united with him. Marcus was the one my body ached for and he wanted me just as much. But Marcus was not the one I was considering to marry. HOLY CRAP!!! I was in checkmate.
The weight of the impasse broke through my tear ducts and I ran out of Marcus' apartment with tears trailing. I knew I was in love, and Marcus knew it. But if anyone else knew, my world would end. I thought my family would disown me. My church would excommunicate me. My lovely soul-mate, Darla would never forgive me. I would never forgive myself. I drove home.
Marcus followed me. It was raining (ironically appropriate). Marcus came to my door. He begged to let me in. He was both sad and angry (sangry?) I was a miserable mess. The desperation that I felt, to hold on to the wonderful feelings of acceptance and bliss, was my drug. Was I willing to steel for it? Sell myself to the night? Betray my loved ones? Forfeit my integrity for that wonderful feeling of ecstasy? . .
. . .I opened the door.
Marcus came inside. He looked pathetically beaten and unable to accept defeat. He grabbed my shoulders, flipped me around and pinned me against the door. Soaking wet, he placed his hot, quivering lips on mine and penetrated deep with his tongue. The virginity of my soul was sacrificed that night, along with that of my lips and my body. I gave in to the magnetism of our bodies. The rest of my life would resemble that proverbial struggle between two seemingly contradictory forces: love and lust.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I generally welcome conversations from most people who have those things in common with me (having gone to BYU myself and being of LDS-background).
Then. . . the train jumped the track.
This person, who named himself Drew, said "I'm not gay, but I used to be."
Think about that statement for a moment. . . "I used to be gay."
Is there such a thing? My initial reaction was to laugh at the statement. According to all I've read and learned in college about sexuality is that it is unchangeable; and trying to do so often results in catastrophic problems. But this guy, Drew, was positive he was no longer gay.
I asked him what a straight man would be doing browsing gay.com at 2:30 am. He replied "I'm just curious."
I said, "straight men do not entertain curiosities on websites such as gay.com at 2:30 in the morning." He simply stood by his reasons for being curious. He wanted to reminisce about past temptations, even though he was no longer tempted. I found that fascinating and said "it's interesting how we sometimes keep our past so close to our heart, even when it was once so painful. Too bad you keep your gayness so close." He was offended by my comment. I"m not surprised.
So, you can see the problem here. A gay man, goes to therapy and decides he is no longer gay and now identifies as a straight man. He then feels a curiosity about old temptations and indulges in them. Is this man REALLY straight?
I ask you. . . is there such a thing as "used to be gay." I want to know your thoughts on this.
Before reading on, take a moment to think about that and respond.
Now. . . Something went terribly wrong. Our conversation turned into a train wreck when Jeromy opened his big mouth.
I said "Drew, you go to BYU. A statement such as "I used to be gay" sounds an awful lot like the words of a man named Jeff Robinson. Do you know him?"
Oh boy. I should have just kept my mouth shut. Jeff Robinson, if you don't know, is a very well-known therapist employed by BYU who specializes in re-orientation therapy, a therapy technique denounced by the American Psychological Association, as being devastatingly harmful. Jeff Robinson seems to be the LDS church's go-to guy on homosexuals and one of the only group of therapists in the US who still practice this form of therapy.
That explained to me why my new friend Drew thinks that he "used to be gay."
Unfortunately for me, the mention of Jeff Robinson's name opened a can of worms. Drew asked me to explain how I reconciled my own homosexual feelings with my faith. But Drew wasn't ready to listen to my story. He obviously wanted to make himself feel better by bashing a real gay man on gay.com (and yes he verbally bashed me with extreme prejudice). I found the whole conversation incredibly rude and hypocritical. The worst part was when he said that he wanted to spread Christ's love to the gay community. But really, I think he just wanted to pump himself up with a twisted kind of gratification that he had made it to an exalted path, and was better than the measly, groveling homos that he used to include himself with.
Was I hurt? yes. Was I angry? yes. Did he make me question my own morals? Sadly yes, because I am humble enough to second-guess my own values in the interest of personal growth (but leaving my heart open to manipulation).
CHRIST'S LOVE, MY BIG TOE!!!! There was nothing Christ-like about Drew's condescending feelings and self-hatred. There is nothing healing about his supposed-transformation from gay to straight. This poor gay soul crawls back to gay.com to wallow in his confused and suppressed sexuality. He feigns righteousness just to mask his inner-sorrow. At least that was my impression of him. I got no confirmation of the spirit while chatting with him. I felt no righteous indignation in his criticism of my ideals. He was simply self-righteous. He called me narrow-minded. He said it was useless to even talk to me because I was a lost cause, having acceptd my sexuality. WOW!
I blocked him from contacting me both on gay.com and on MSN messenger. Interestingly he sent me an email titled "Coward!". . in which he said my whole idea of reconciling my sexuality to my faith was left without a leg to stand on. Again. . WOW! The audacity.
How dare he accuse me of hypocrisy. How dare he judge me. How dare he claim to serve Christ when he is the servant of his own selfish and corrupted gratifications.
After this conversation I felt the need to affirm what I know to be true. I am a son of God and he loves me. He knows my struggles. He knows I'm gay. My family loves me. My friends love me. The atonement of Christ will set things to right in the end. The gospel of Jesus Christ is still true.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
To me it means a wealth of things because he knows I’m gay
And loves me anyway.
If God were half the man Dad is, I think I’ll be ok.
A boy of ten and prone to sin, my Dad would chasten me.
And when in bed, he touched my head and said that he loved me
And he was proud to be
My Dad. He had, when he as mad, a righteous empathy.
In later years, with many fears and awkward youthful woes
Dad came to find I had in mind a different kind of beau;
And even then he chose
To let me grow and come to know a love my very own.
I can’t imagine how he felt to know I killed his dream
Of burping bibs and bouncing kids up high upon his knee
But never do I see
A trace of disappointment or resentment over me
At twenty two I had to move and set out on my own.
My Dad agreed but if I needed to, I could go home
But further I did roam
To taste the fruit and further mute the stranger I’d become.
With broken will and broken heart I prayed and made the call
When desperation pulled apart my soul after the fall.
And it did take my all
To speak the words that must be heard, a ruined prodigal
My Dad a man of little words who rarely offered tears
Hung up the phone and hit the road and closed the gaping years;
and quelled my raging fears.
And once again he called me friend, assured me “Son I’m here.”
And to this day, although I’m gay, My Dad’s my biggest fan
He tells me so and even though he’s old, he understands;
And loves me like Dads can.
And God would love like Daddy does if God were half the man.
So I had a dream last night; a most peculiar and fabulous dream.
I was among the chosen few to be competing in Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model; yes me. Now stay with me here. There were 2 other male models and several ladies. We were all in a room together where Tyra was explaining the next challenge. We would each be photographed on a set that would be chosen specifically by the team of experts to accentuate our inner personality.
One of the girls was taken out to hair and make-up. (My dream was already edited by the way, so everything happened in precision timing.) Within seconds her photo shoot proofs came back and she was FABULOUS. They turned this homely woman into a fabulous and SEXY star with the cunning use of a python.
Next was MY turn, yes me. Tyra looked at me and said the team was going to bring out the inner wild side in me. I was swept away to air and make-up. They took a blow dryer to my hair and made it BIG. They gave me these tiny hot pants to wear, leaving little to the imagination and then covered my body in white paint with psychedelic splatters of color here and there. Then they took me to a desert scene with one gnarly tree and tied me to it. It was a man-eating tree with people inside of it working the branches like arms, clawing at me. Tyra was behind the camera yelling at me, “You’re scared. You’re defiant. You’re FIERCE Jeromy FIERCE!”
The proofs came back and everyone looked at them on a big screen. I was FREAKIN HOT! The look on my face said, “This tree knows who is Boss. Who’s its Daddy?!?!”
Then thought thought occured to me. . .How about I never wear denim hot pants again. . mmk?
I woke myself up laughing. I often remember my dreams, but I only record the ones that are particularly crazy or meaningful. This falls under the category of CRAZY! And that usually means I am of sound mind and have little else on my mind to bother me in my sleep. Thank goodness for being of sound mind during the day and CRAZY in my sleep!!!!!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Once upon a time there was a little fish in a little pond. He was not like the other little fish. He had one colorful fin and that made him different. While the little fish was loved by his family, he was not happy. He wanted more than what his little pond had to offer, and maybe just maybe there would be other little fishes that were colorful like him.
The little fish swam upstream to find another little pond in which to live. It was filled with friendly plain-colored fish. But among the, lived a few with colorful fins. These colorful fish kept to themselves. Sometimes the plainly colored fish made fun of the more colorful fish. The little pond even had some rules against having colorful fins. The little fish found that he liked the colorful fish and he made a home with them and that made the little fish happy. Friends always make life in a little pond happy.
Over time, the little fish learned where to find all the good algae to eat. He found a wonderful place to build a little home. He invited all of his colorful friends to come and play in his new home. The little fish held colorful fish-parties and all the other little colorful fish in the little pond loved and trusted the little fish. The little fish went to fish school and learned how to become even more success. He found even better algae to eat. All of the little fish’s success attracted more fish, both colorful and plain, who wanted to make their lives in the little pond like his, happy and successful. The little fish grew to become a big fish and as he grew his colorful fin became even more colorful.
As time when by and the, now, big fish lived his life in happiness, his colorful friends one by one went their own ways. After several happy years the big fish found that he no longer had very many colorful fish around him. As the big fish grew, he found that he was liked more and more by the plain fish and he learned to live with them in happiness. In fact, he was completely surrounded by plain fish. As time went on, they learned that his colorful fin is what made him so happy, successful and big and the plain fish wanted to be near him. Sadly, the big fish wanted to be around more colorful fish and the big fish had grown increasingly larger. He was too big for the little pond.
The time had come for the big fish to find a new pond in which to live. So he told his plain fish friends that he loved them, but that he was not happy anymore. He needed to find a bigger pond. So the lonely big fish began swimming upstream in search of a new home.
TO BE CONTINUED. . .
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here's the situation I am in:
I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology which has little application in the modern world. But it leaves my schedule wonderfully free and open. I am no longer anchored to a morning schedule.
I am becoming more financially liberated. That leaves room for more options to spend (Do I buy a house? Do I get a new wardrobe? Do I pay off my car?)
I have worked in my current job in the corporate world for 5 years. I desire a change in a major way. I want something new and exciting that will challenge me and pay me for it.
There are positions available within my corporation that pay well and offer benefits, but also involved sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day.
I really want a change of scenery. I want to be in the service of others.
I am desperate to move to SLC and be closer to my friends. I want to date quality guys who aren't in the closet or under the watchful eye of BYU.
The economy sucks you guys! Jobs are scarce. Upward mobility it stagnant. Nobody is hiring and anyone who currently holds down a good job is a seriously lucky duck. I fit into this category. Do I give that up?
So, Jeromy what's the problem?
Do I risk my current good-paying and stable job to follow my dreams and desires by moving to SLC and getting a less-stable lower-paying job and a house of my own, and thus giving up stability and upward mobility in my current job and living situation?
THAT IS THE QUESTION.
Checklist of personal biases:
- I hate Utah County
- I am usually afraid of change. The idea of moving and getting a new job scares the crap out of me. So moving to SLC would take some big-time courage and willingness to take risks
- SLC is a much bigger pond. Socially I'll be the new guy. (which can be hot in a way, but also lonely at times)
- My taste in housing and roommates is extravagant. Moving to SLC would probably include going cheap on both fronts. I'd have to lower my standards at first, to make ends meet in SLC.
I am afraid to pray about this because I know that I need to be more aware of my own feelings and impressions BEFORE I consult a higher power. I'll be able to approach the Father with more poise and humility if I'm more self-aware. And I'll be more open to new ideas if I've cross-examined myself first. That way a stroke of humility won't be so surprising if and when the Father decides to put the smack down.This is my situation. Feel free to advise me.