Sunday, November 24, 2013

Acceptance of Oneself

I relate to three very distinct identities, and I’ll go over each one-at-a-time. The first one, being LDS/Mormon, has been deeply engrained in me as a kid and stuck with me, even during a period of time where I didn’t consider myself one. The values and morals I learned came strongly from my family and extended family, most all of them being LDS in some degree. So I guess you could say that particular others played a strong role in how I viewed myself that way.

It wasn’t always this way, however. Because I also am a member of the GLBT community, I viewed myself when I first came out to my family and friends as not involved in any way with the LDS religion. But as time progressed, I realized that I wasn’t happy with not having religion in my life, and it was my constant feeling as time progressed. Religion was what I based my life on, gay or not, and it gave me happiness in a way that couldn’t be found in any other way.  Secondly, I consider myself musically gifted, as I mentioned.

I’ve taken piano for 9 years and played for about 15 years now, and enjoy expressing myself through this medium. This is important to me because of both the particular other (my family and friends) and the generalized other in mix. The first one is obvious: I enjoy being able to touch my close friends’ lives through music, a medium that I understand and can use. However, I also want to influence society at large, and society can be taught so many great norms that I can do through music. Some of these include temperance, love, devotion, happiness, and so forth. It isn’t about attention for me but rather what I can communicate through music that I cannot otherwise.

Finally, I consider myself somewhat of a geek. This was engrained on me since childhood, as I was considered very smart and into new things. I constantly wanted to be challenged, and even some of my old teachers mentioned that I would get bored easily because I felt like I wasn’t being challenged enough. Plus, I found I love using technology, namely computers and so forth. I’ve worked in technical support for a major wireless company, which I loved doing and could fix virtually any problem that was presented to me. At first, I considered it a negative label because I didn’t have many friends and was constantly teased as a kid. But as time went on, I accepted this as part of who I am, and quite frankly, I love knowing that much more than some of my peers. It’s an identity which I love to show out there.  Moving on, there were many identities that I have that have changed over time, such as being a Democrat/Liberal, open-minded, humorous, and pro-gay.

I will elaborate on being open-minded, for I wasn’t there for a time. It was a difficult change for me because in the LDS religion, you’re taught to view things of a negative nature as bad and to not explore them for fear of temptation to do evil or sin. I’m sure this is how it is with many religions, but it is strongly expressed in this religion.  Well, I did because I knew I was gay, something that completely contradicted the church, and so I ventured out into that aspect of myself. These experiences made me realize that I need to accept things objectively. Great and awesome ideas come from those outside of the church while at the same time hurtful and detrimental ideas also come, which made me inquisitive into how everyone works out to be. It’s simple really: I can be exposed to anything I would like but don’t have to take it at face-value. I can, for myself, decide whether something is of worth to involve myself with or to shun out based on my personality and beliefs.

Being involved with the LGBT community has taught me that. Now I’m happy to be open-minded to anything and everything and not take a side until I understand both sides.  Finally, on the activity of those who gave me traits, I was pretty surprised at what people view me to be. I consider myself very shy just because I don’t have many friends and don’t like talking one-on-one with people. I get intimidated and scrambling for things to say because I don’t usually stand out in a crowd. Why I mention this is because I had nearly half the class say I have an outspoken or outgoing personality. I do definitely in class because I’m passionate about learning (always have been), so in that respect, I can see why people would see this in me.  I will admit, however: I would love to be known as outspoken in real life. I guess it’s my past that changed how I viewed myself. I was always shy as a small kid, and I guess it carried over into the person I am today. Maybe I should get out more and enjoy life and talk to people. I’m sure they can’t hurt me, right?

(Excerpt from my Thinkpiece III assignment- COMM 1010)

1 comment:

  1. This post has stuck a cord with me. I like how you showed that your experiences as a gay individual in Mormonism were catalysts for exploring other ideas in the world. Nicely written!