28 October 2007


I almost completely outed myself last night - to everybody.

We had a big, regional mid-singles Halloween dance last night. There were almost 500 people from all over Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. It was a fun dance. I like the whole costume thing. It allows me to assume a different persona for the evening - and it's totally acceptable because everyone else is doing it too.

Part of the festivities that always happen at these big gatherings for the 30-somethings is Speed Dating. No, it's not the type of dating where you have to partake of illegal drugs to get through the night (although that might help). And, like always, I got roped into doing it. I'm a fairly good conversationalist, so I can make people laugh and feel comfortable around me. It helps out, because a lot of these members of the female persuasion are single because they have lousy interaction skills. One of the reasons I think that I got roped into it this time was also that the person in charge of the activity is one of the girls in my ward that I came out to several months ago. I've helped her through some really tough times in the past so, bless her heart, she is trying to help me out now that I've told her everything. I love her dearly for genuine concern and desire to help, but it can also be annoying.

So, as I'm rotating through the pool of dead fish, on a few different occasions the girls were asking me about my ward and why it hasn't worked out for me yet. The third time this happened, I had one of those moments where you are in a conversation with someone but your mind is off having a conversation of its own. I don't really remember what I told her, but in my mind I was debating on whether or not it was time to finally just come out to everyone. I juggled the thought around for a while, thinking about how easy things would become if I just told people the truth:

The truth is that I don't really like girls, I like boys. That is why it hasn't worked out for me. It's the simplest answer there is. I'm surrounded by dozens of great people who I'm sure will make wonderful wives for whomever ends up marrying them. Why am I not marrying any one of them? I feel nothing for them. No feelings. No spark. No interest. Nothing whatsoever. That's why I'm as attractive as I am, have a great job, own a home, have investments, am musically gifted, well educated, etc, etc, and am still single. How can I be all of these things yet not be married? I am the definition of a paradox.

As those thoughts churned through my mind I crept closer to the edge of letting go of my fears and reservations completely. I loosened my grip on the rope that holds the curtains which are drawn to hide this part of me. I nearly let go.


10 October 2007

A Meaningful Self

In the ups and downs of my life there are times when I've felt like my life truly had meaning and purpose. There have also been times where it has all felt completely meaningless.

Recently I've been leaning on the meaningless side of the fence. I have few close friends that are single and that I actually socialize with on a regular basis. Work has become dreary. I've stagnated in the business I've been trying to start on the side. Church has been dull. I haven't cared about my callings. My telephone conversations with my family on the weekends are fairly short and uninteresting. You name it, it's probably happening to me.

In a few short months I will turn 35. Halfway to the standard retirement age. And, unless I live to be 105, more than a third of the way to death. What have I done with my life that has been worthwhile? What have I done that hasn't? What things have brought me closer to the Lord? What things have carried me away? What blessings have I received? What blessings have I lost out on because of not following the commandments?

I think that my search for a meaningful life needs to move beyond the boundaries of same-sex attraction. To often that is all I focus on - as do most of you. But you know what? I think that most of us are fooling ourselves. Us Mohos are so fixated on the fact that we're different from the norm that we don't realize how normal we actually are.

I have a very close non-girlfriend girlfriend that I confide all of my innermost feelings to. She attends my singles ward. The other day we went out to dinner at Pei Wei (delicious) and were discussing our lives. She is my age, along with the 60 or so other mid-30s singles in the ward. We were talking about being older, single and with no real prospects for marriage. Guess what? Straight people hate being single just as much as Mohos do.

Being older singles has given us all the opportunity to date many, many people. There are reasons why all of us are still single. There are always compatibility issues. Some of our compatibility issues stem from personality traits, physical appearance, social abilities, homosexual attractions, etc. There are always some big issues that keep us older singles from getting married - in spite of the fact that there are dozens of other "available" singles around us. In the past we have actually sat down with the ward directory, gone through all of the single guys and easily pointed out (usually multiple reasons) why none of them are compatible with her.

Why don't all these people just go out and get married? Why do they accept suffering in a church that incessantly preaches about the virtues of marriage and family? Why do they go back week after week, only to see the married families that comprise the other half of our ward come in with their children and flaunt their happiness? Why don't they picket general conference and demand that special attention be paid to them as single members?

There's a few answers to that. The first answer is that we have a bishop that really cares about us as singles. Our previous bishop was awesome too. He was instrumental in enmeshing us in with the families of the ward when we all got sent there. We have a nice, supportive set of local leaders that are in tune with our needs as single members of the church.

The other answer is that most of these singles who are the most active, always have the best attitudes, and seem to be coping the best with being single so late in life, have focus in their lives. They do things to add meaning to their lives. They don't sit at home and wallow in self pity all the time. The get outside of themselves and serve others. They are actively involved in the spiritual and social aspects of church.

So, as I've been recently pondering how to better have a meaningful life, I've paid much closer attention to my peers. I've been trying to stop seeing myself as some three-legged, one-eyed, leprous black sheep, and just see myself as one of the herd of varied black sheep that I see in church every week. We are all struggling with life. None of us has had our life pan out the way we thought it would. All of us are lacking in terms of emotional and sexual fulfillment.

The less I see myself as a sideshow freak, and more like one of the rest of the carnies, the better I feel.