Tuesday, March 25
I feel lost.
Except that lost doesn't really fit.
My life has purpose. I accomplish things. I find joy in serving others and making a difference. I have people who love me and make huge sacrifices for my wellbeing. I have most of the things anyone could ask for.
I feel lost.
I don't know what my life will look like in 10 years. Or 5 years. Or 6 months. I don't have a plan for a career, or even a direction. I have a hundred different options that are each open... yet each feels mediocre. Should I be an author and finish the novels I've begun? Throw myself into my growing essential oil business (which could use all the help I can give)? Go back to college to be certified to teach elementary school? Focus on music and making Grace into something amazing? Find ways to share the gospel with the SSA community through North Star? Focus on my personal health and share my story of mental/spiritual healing and growth? Pursue my ideas for new consumer food products? Find an entry-level job in plant genetics? Get a PhD so I can teach at a university? Open a vegan, ultra-healthy restaurant or a variance on the typical health food/herb store? Just focus on what I'm currently doing?
It's not just that nothing feels right. They all seem like good things I could do to make a difference and use my talents... and they all seem wrong.
Where should I go? What should I do? I know that my personal mission in life is teaching the gospel, but where? How?
I could be on the right path already. But I have no long-term personal or professional goals. Get married. Raise a family. Be a good member of the Church and a lifelong missionary. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and make a difference as a tool in the hands of Jesus. But is that enough? I want to know what is coming. I want to be able to say, "I'll have done this in a decade..." and have a goal that has real power in pushing me to excel in life.
I guess this is a good question to take to General Conference. It's the same question I've asked for years now. Last time the answer was "focus on people" - so I've tried to focus on people and let God worry about the rest.
I hope that God has more instructions for me.
But... if He doesn't... then what? I willing to walk through life without seeing the path?
I hope so.
The words of Lead, Kindly Light come to mind: "Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene. One step [is] enough for me."
Maybe God just wants me close to Him. On my own projects, with a timeline I can see, maybe I would drift too far away from the One who sees all things.
Maybe I would stray from the path if I could see it clearly. Maybe I'd try to reach the destination before making the journey. Or maybe I'd be too afraid to try.
I hope He has answers for me. But if not, then I'll just keep moving forward. Gathering manna from the ground each day when it appears from the Heavens, not knowing where it comes from or what will happen next... but trusting that God will make it all work out in the end.
Posted by Mormon Guy at 11:53 AM
Sunday, March 23
This week is the one-year anniversary of the Voices of Hope project.
My video was published almost a year ago. My blog began almost 4 years ago.
...a million views later...
Today we had a dinner for people involved in the Voices of Hope project. And something inside me is pushing me to do more. I want to do more. I want to change the world. I want to reach out and somehow help people find happiness and peace and hope.
I have a bunch of thoughts. But the biggest is that I want to start a choir group that does firesides on living the gospel, made up completely of people with same-gender attraction.
...that's what I want to do.
Or something like that.
It's not a feeling like I'm not doing enough. I feel like I'm doing all I can. I'm the ward mission leader in my ward. I run an a cappella group focused on sharing the gospel. Everything in my life revolves around trying to make a difference. So I'm doing enough.
It's just a deep awareness of the incredible pain that is throughout the world. Incredible pain from people who are searching for happiness and can't find it... people who don't know where to search for answers and who are losing hope...
And a question posed to the heavens: what's the best solution?
Is it creating a crisis line (which was my passion about a year ago... but while it would touch some people and help them in crises, it doesn't feel like it would really cut at the core of the issue)?
Overseeing a group of young bloggers who can show faith and hope (to offset the huge amount of anti-Mormon young voices that are easily found... and yet that doesn't feel right either)?
Putting together a choir/fireside group that focuses on sharing how the gospel has helped them overcome major struggles in life? This feels right. But I'm still not sure. I realize now that just focusing on same-sex attraction might not be the best outcome, since the goal is helping people be more open about issues they face in general. Would a fireside choir that showcased people who live with mental disorders and illnesses, addiction, same-gender attraction, cancer, and the other trials be effective in helping people see that the gospel really does apply to everyone? Maybe. And maybe it could begin to heal our culture.
I don't know. I hope so.
Posted by Mormon Guy at 6:43 PM
Saturday, March 8
The last few weeks I've been stressed. Enough so that people are mentioning it, and being stressed is often a norm in my life. I have people at church and in life telling me they're concerned about me, asking me to reconsider the stresses I've allowed into my life.
Stress, for me, can be a catalyst for some pretty powerful things. In a moment of quiet a few days ago, I found myself doing what my friends had pled with me to do - backing up from my life and looking at each commitment... balancing and weighing each of the things I do in life.
I came away with mixed feelings. I don't currently have any medium-length goals. I have plenty of short-term (in the next few months) goals, and plenty of vague or specific long-term (before I die) hopes, but nothing that actually reaches out with the ability to plan or move towards it into the future beyond a few months.
The stuff I do also summons mixed feelings.
I'm an MBA graduate, yet I just barely started a college a cappella group. We do a great job sharing the gospel, and beginning in April, Grace will transition to a Christian a cappella group (exclusively Christian music)... but where am I going to go with that? What's the end? It seemed like the right direction to start, but which way should I push the group now? Try to enter competitions? Focus instead on recording? Focus instead on performing in many different places to share the gospel?
My opportunities to write for the Church are great; they're also sporadic. And I don't usually know when or what the next project piece will be. It requires a huge amount of flexibility in my schedule, since sometimes I need to rush a writing job... and stop doing most other things in my life. I'm not going to drop that, but, again, where is it going? It changes and touches people's lives... is that enough?
My blog here is part of an exploding blogosphere. When I began blogging four years ago, I had trouble finding anyone who updated their blog with frequency, and no one who had a perspective that made me want to read. Today there are hundreds of blogs on the subject... all across the spectrum of ideas and issues. I'm not going to stop writing. But where should it go?
My business is growing as well. We're at Expo West today and yesterday (it goes tomorrow as well, but we'll put a little sign that says "We will not be here today (Sunday)...") and we're trying a new method of getting into stores: Pushing.
This last year we had a sizable increase in taxable inventory... so we have the room to use it to increase business. So for every store that is willing to guarantee us 2 feet of premium shelf space, we'll fill it for free with 20 of our best products.
It's a huge investment in each store that signs up. But our hope, and we've found this is true in almost every store we've entered before, is that their customers learn to love the product, they make reorders, and we recoup the cost of the initial order.
My parents are starting to work for/with us. My business makes more money than theirs. I don't know how I feel about that.
And then there's just direction in life. Should I stay in Utah indefinitely? Plan for a PhD somewhere, sometime? Think about going somewhere else? What should my direction be with relationships?
The only thing that matters to me is people - doing all I can to help people find happiness and return to God. Each of the things I'm doing, taken individually, looks like a good thing. But put them all together, and it feels like sometimes I'm running in a dozen different races... all at the same time.
So many questions... and so few answers. I'm doing great things in life; I just want to have a direction. Thankfully, General Conference is coming in a few weeks. I can take my questions there... and in the past I've always found something to help me figure it out.
Posted by Mormon Guy at 7:21 AM