(Warning: these next two posts are likely to be contemplative and emotionally expressive. With it being the end of the school year, I am having a major case of “the feels” that can only be alleviated by writing them down).
From my personal experience with the intersection of my gay and Mormon identities, an interesting thing in coming out as gay has been the shattering of many personal long-held beliefs, and rethinking them so that they better fit me. Most recently, I’ve been forced to reevaluate my future and what it looks like now that I no longer hide behind the façade of a heterosexual Mormon male.
I can only speak for my own self and experiences, and not sure if anyone else has thought this too, but I always used to see myself eventually reach a point of “settling down” with a wife, kids, “the quiet life.”
Obviously, the wife part no longer applies here, but what is interesting to note is the belief in the existence of an end point. A point in my life where the struggle and pursuit of happiness has reached its completion in a “happily ever after,” as many fairy tales have coined it.
I should know better than this. I myself am a child of divorced parents, obviously proving that marriage and settling down with people does not guarantee an end. I personally think this craving for an end point comes from a desire for comfortableness and stability, something many people want. Is it bad? No. It’s just important to be critical of our desires and where they come from/what they cause. And in this case, it comes from religious teachings and social norms that we’re taught as members. Not only that, but now it comes from a place of fearing to experience life to the fullest. All of these sources cause me to miss out on the current opportunities in my life.
Living is constantly achieving balance and working things out. It will be tomorrow when I debate in class about if America has made any progress within the past half-century, and it will be when I’m old and preserving my health as best I can. There’s no end point in sight.
What I’m about to say may sound incredibly morbid, but it struck a cord within me at the queer conference I was at the other weekend, when the presenter stated it. Looking past the gloom of it, it actually holds some wisdom: the only end point is death. Once I accept that, I accept that life is a constant balance and fluctuation, and it will never end. I am no longer dependent on any end point to make me happy, no longer in search of permanence or a cure-all. I accept everything for what it is and enlist in the process of continually developing myself as a person, as well as my responses to the shifting conditions of my life. I also enlist in the fight for my happiness and well-being, which should never end even if I find the love of my life and a quieter lifestyle. I will always be me and I must always take care of me.