Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Journey Through...What?

You met me at a very strange time in my life. 
(Narrator -- Fight Club)

I actually have yet to see Fight Club (big, big shame on me.) I used to tell lovers that it was a strange time in my life to somehow console them over all of the weird things I was going through at the time. I had been trying for years and years to adjust my life to something that was more traditional, more conservative. My parents had told me time and time again that if I was going to be happy, I would put away the things I considered fun and freeing (anime, conventions, protests, helping with non-profit organizations.) I would become more of a Mormon socialite and disassociate myself from those people I considered my friends. 

In that November of 2008, I decided to live as honestly as I could, as authentically as I could, a lifestyle that Jo and MJ have discussed in the comments of the blog-post just below this one. That involved a lot of changes, and a lot of spiritual experiences that I did not expect. My parents weren't happy with me, but I was finally happy with myself.  

Over the last month, I've tried seeing how much I could bring my life back into line with what I wanted to find in that dismal yet pivotal November. I was able to get myself out of Utah for a while. In fact, I went to a place called Altun Ha: 

It was a vast place of mounds, old temples, and endless forests. It was about 60 minutes north of Belize City, if I remember correctly.

Everything there held a sense of ancient majesty, even the allspice tree on that shapely hill.

A good adventure can screw your head back on right, and I was lucky enough to get to go on a Central American cruise with my family. We had a lot of fun and it was great to connect with my aunt, whom I've never really gotten to know over the years.

I talked with my boyfriend about a lot of things that I had been holding back, consciously and unconsciously. It was hard, but our relationship is the better because of it. I have found a place for spiritual growth that I highly recommend and enjoy. I love the people, the rituals, the practices, and the food there. It's very welcoming and assuring of God's love, which is something I've rarely felt in LDS services. I would say which place, but Utah is not often kind to those who don't fit into a very particular enclave, let alone religion.

Religiously and romantically, I've realigned myself and rediscovered my drive for life, that fanged, slavering thing that drags this mind and body onward. It's as if you tied a wheelchair to the back of a jeep with a ten foot rope, and placed a retired NASCAR driver-turned-cocaine addict in the driver's seat, and a severely ADHD hippie dying to go to Burning Man in the passenger seat. If you open the engine, you'll find a nuclear bomb made from the scraps of a desire to become an anthropology professor. 

Want to sit in that wheelchair? Come on, it'll be fun. You don't know where you'll be in ten minutes, let alone six months, but it's quite a ride.

Part of this realignment and refreshing of who I am also has let me come to terms with the fact that I don't really fit a stereotype of bisexual, nor do I like most of the things that lesbians/other bisexuals like. (L Word? They're all so pretty and there is enough sex going on to put Utah's Men-Looking-For-Men Craigslist page to shame. Ladies, just stay away from the Women-Looking-For-Women page, it's sad and most of the people there are just straight couples looking for threesomes. I don't mean to offend those that are into that, but that's not for me. Tegan and Sara? It's not hard to compose their music. It's about all sorts of lady-loving, which is fine by me, but goodness, does anyone know of funk LGBT bands? That takes quite some talent to create, IMO.)

^ (media snob that's been over this twice already, but is finally accepting it for herself) ^

I also realized that in my many attempts to keep my life pure in the sense that it is pure to who I am, I found that a few friendships that I broke off in 2008 would be a good idea to reinvest in. Many of those people that I have told "You met me at a very strange time in my life," have gone away in one way or another. It's time to water old gardens of friendship. There are three particular people that I am looking to reconnect with, and I hope they don't hate me for some of the things I've done. Some of the things I did, pushing a few of them away were wrought with the excuse of "I'm at a really strange time in my life," and yet, that time is never going to end. Ever. Normality is a nebulous mist that can't be held by any one person, but it seen by all, distorting everyone's view of each other.  

Anyhow, while I'm in the doldrums of unemployment and dying to get work, I am keeping myself sane and journeying through the continuous liminality that is life.

How're y'all doing at it?



  1. I couldn't agree more! Escaping for vacation let's us experience new cultures and countries AND it allows us to escape our daily routines. I have had the beautiful opportunity to do some fairly substantial traveling and everywhere I have been I have grown as an individual because of the experiences I had while abroad - all because I got to leave the bubble for a short while.

  2. I agree completely with both of you! Traveling is da' bomb. And just like you both said, it all comes down to the things you can learn while traveling: the new perspectives you gain, the people you meet, the friendships you form. I can honestly say that some of my most spiritual moments have been in cathedrals in Europe and Buddhist temples in Thailand, and I'm so glad I was able to have those experiences. And ruins? Don't get me started. :-) I'm glad that you're rediscovering yourself Amber! That trip sounds wonderful! Also, I don't know of any LGBT funk bands (sorry). But I bet they're out there, right?

  3. Love this post, Amber! My own personal living-authentically-like-myself journey was jump-started with a solo adventure as well. A lot of perspective is gained when we step back from what we consider "normal" and "everyday life." And you're right, living how you feel is right for you is usually met with opposition and disapproval (at least in my experience) because you're breaking all the "expectations" that have been laid out so nicely for you.

    PS I'm slightly jealous of your Altun Ha trip. I LOVE mayan ruins. I've only studied it in books, but it's on my dream vacation list. :)