After a two week whirlwind of applications and travel, I'm installed in a house in Berkeley, California. I love it here. I fell in love with the city while I was here doing my first publishing internship, and coming back is delightful. There are flowers everywhere, like I remembered, and it's cool in June. The buildings are all old and, well, crappy, but in the right frame of mind "crappy" becomes "filled with character," and I have the right frame of mind these days.
My parents came to help me drop off my couple-few boxes of stuff and take a look around, and they happened to meet one of my roommates. There are two of them, friends I met shortly after graduating, gay guys who got together soon after I met them. One has LDS history, the other doesn't. My mom is very pleased with the arrangement because apparently the missionaries stop by for dinner every few weeks and give a little lesson, and she hopes I'll come back to church someday. Long odds on that, but I'm happy that she's happy with my friends and what I'm doing.
I'm certainly happy with it all. I love that I'm at a point in my life where I have solid relationships with people who've known me post-BYU. My history is slowly flaking away like dried mud. Or . . . dandruff. Or something. It feels inexpressibly good to know these people who didn't know me when I was in denial or depression. It makes all that negativity seem further in the past. It makes my current happiness seem more effulgent.
The next few months will be interesting. I set up a Grindr account the other day, and my roommates and I had fun going through and deciding who to block right off the bat. From that interesting service, I already have a couple of coffee dates. And in the past few days I walked down to the university and found an armful of places I want to go, including a gay and lesbian center; I went to an old movie night at a local theater, and after that to another gay couple's apartment for wine and witty, innuendo-laden conversation; and I had the first of an unknown number of dinners with the missionaries. I had my first day of nonprofit interning, and submitted the last papers for my Navy officer application. (Forgot about that, didn't you. So did my recruiter.)
My life right now is full of movement and laughter and introspection and light. Hope. I hope yours is similarly outfitted.