Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Part Where I Had My First Crisis of Faith

I was fifteen.  I was at EFY.  And I was absolutely and terrifyingly alone.

I had gone to EFY the year before and had an incredible time.  I made some great friends (and I met a boy who I was in a sort of relationship thing with for like four months afterward) and I just felt like my testimony grew so much.  I felt closer to God and more desire to live the gospel than I had ever before experienced.

My second year was so different.  Every single other person in my group had come with a roommate.  I had gone potluck.  For some weird reason, that year half the people who roomed blind wound up getting stuck in RA rooms i.e. a single.  No roommate.  I kind of felt like an outsider.  Which was too bad, because the group as a whole was so close that year.

On Tuesday night, I found myself in bed staring up at the glow in the dark stars someone had stuck up on the ceiling long before me.  And for the first time, I realized how alone I was.  Not just without friends or family at my side, but the absolute crushing aloneness of realizing that God is not there.  That your prayers are inside your head and nothing else.

I cried.  So much.

And when I came home from EFY that year, I wasn't the happy talkie person I was when I came back after my first year.  I didn't have a million stories for my mom.  I went up to my room and went to sleep for about six hours because the world was different and I didn't know what that meant.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Part Where I Didn't Want To Change

I have really bad eyesight.  Like really, really bad eyesight.  The first thing I do when I wake up (after trying and failing once again to destroy my alarm clock for dragging me out of my nice warm bed) is put on my glasses because I won't be able to see anything or be any sort of useful without them.  I don't function without my glasses or contacts, I just don't.  Some people I know just don't wear their glasses because they don't like the way they look in them.  I can't get away with that nonsense.

It's kind of funny, actually, how I wound up getting glasses in the first place.  The school nurse sent a note home with me saying that I should go see an optometrist because I was having trouble reading the board in class and I had failed my eye exam at school.  Well my parents were just like, "Oh, that's nice honey."  I had wanted glasses since I was about six and so they thought I was faking my way through my eye exam!  It wasn't until we moved the next year and I had to have my eyes tested in the new school district that they realized that I wasn't screwing around about this.  After I got my glasses, I totally wigged out.  I was in the car next to my dad with my face glued to the window going, "Oh, my gosh, Daddy.  You can see each of the individual leaves on the trees.  Like every single one."  And I think that's when he realized that we maybe should have done the glasses thing sooner.  Well, that and when he saw that my prescription was more powerful than his.

I hear ads on the radio all the time about how it saves you a ton of money in the long run not having to buy contact lense solution (which PS I totally believe, what is with it costing ten dollars a bottle for a bottle of neutral liquid?) and contacts and contact cases and new lenses for your glasses and new frames for your glasses.  And also I've heard that people with good vision only have to go to their eye doctor once every two years instead of every year like people with bat vision (such as yours truly) do.  Cha ching.  Despite all these financial benefits and the fact that it would be super easy and nice to be able to wake up in the morning and already be able to see, I don't want to get Lasik.  I want to keep my glasses and my contacts and my hassle.  I don't even know if I have words for why exactly I would prefer to stay defective rather than go in for a tune-up.  But I still don't want perfect vision.

I had knee surgery a couple years ago.  It was a pretty big deal.  I even had to stay at the surgery place overnight.  I was on crutches for weeks and I had to wear this big huge leg brace.  This was particularly obnoxious because at this point I was in one play and directing another and not being able to get around was kind of a downer.  (I totally stopped using crutches and my leg brace way earlier than I should have so that I could perform in the play, by the way.  Don't do that.)

Once the bandages had come off my knee and I was starting to heal up, my mom told me that she would get me some Mederma so that my scar would go away.  But I told her not to.  I kind of liked my scar and I didn't want it gone.  I didn't really have a good reason, although I teased about my "war wound" and my "battle scars."  It didn't bother me that it was kind of ugly and funny looking.  ("It" by the way is one big long scar about four inches long with three sister scars around it that are small dots where they scoped my knee.)  During the summer when I wear shorts, people all the time will be like, "What happened?"  (And then, inevitably, they want to touch it.)

When I was first starting to figure out and accept my sexuality, I realized that I should probably go see my bishop.  That's what everything I had ever read on the subject said.  It was that homosexuality was a serious sin and if you were experiencing homosexual feelings to talk to your bishop.

But I didn't want to.

Even though this was a part of myself that wasn't supposed to be there, I didn't want it gone.  Even then, it was a part of me.  And I was terrified that if I told anybody, they would try to kill this part of me.  I knew it was an imperfection and it was something that should just be taken care of.  Nipped at the bud.  But I kept it a secret.  I left myself the way I was.

Because, apparently, I have an affinity for my own imperfections.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Part Where I Celebrated My Anniversary Alone

My one-year anniversary with Doricha was in January.  It was one of the loneliest most miserable days of my life up to that point.  Which is pretty sad because the event that we were celebrating was one of the happiest moments of my life.

I kept building the day up in my mind and I really shouldn't have done that. wasn't even a buildup necessarily.  I just wanted so desperately for it to be something special.  We were nearly 1500 miles apart and all I wanted was to be able to go on a date.  I wanted us to be able to get dinner and then cuddle up together.  I wanted to see a movie.  I wanted to go to a park and chase fireflies.  I wanted to build a snowfort.  I wanted to do anything in the world really, as long as we were together.

But I woke up that day alone.  And I fell asleep that day alone.  That day I didn't hold hands with her.  I didn't get to hug her or hold her or be held by her.  There were no happy anniversary kisses.  There were no whispered words as we fell asleep together.

We promised each other that we would make it up to ourselves.  When things were okay and we were physically back together, we would spend an evening together for just us.  We promised that we would spend our eighteen month anniversary together and make it everything that our one-year couldn't be.

It wasn't the way it should have been.

Because it was more than getting to spend the day together.  It was more than being able to celebrate our romance and our love.  It was that I was upset because I couldn't be with my love and I could tell no one.  My roommates were oblivious to the fact that I was hurting.  If they had known how much my heart was breaking, I know that they would have wrapped their arms around me.  I could have sat with them and cried.

I mean, maybe.  In the alternate universe that is a perfect world where I can tell my roommates about Doricha and it's okay and nobody's weirded out and nobody thinks that I'm going to Hell, they hold me and I cry.  And it's not all "okay" but it's a little more okay.

It wasn't just that I was alone without Doricha.  It was that I was absolutely and positively alone.  And I always had been.  But that night the silence of the void was deafening.