Saturday, November 10


It's been a few months since I found a manager for Soap Factory and moved more into the background of my business. This summer I tried to figure out what was next - I traveled a bunch, thought about / designed a dozen new businesses, and spent time with family and friends.

Most of my travel was awful. Everything that could go wrong, did, and I was homesick from the early days of weeks-long trips. A volunteering trip in Mexico was just as lackluster as the closed beaches of hurricane-struck Hawaii. 

None of the business ideas could hold my attention or pique my interest. This one wouldn't really make that much of a difference. That one seemed boring to actually run. This other one was fraught with uncertainty and I lacked any leverage to make it thrive.

And while family and friends love me, relationships have always been a rough spot for me. I have a hard time feeling loved by the people around me... and it takes enormous effort to overcome the inclination to naturally distance myself from family and everyone who tries to get close to me.

In the end I realized that I almost completely lack goals in life. Not that long ago, my life had direction. I was preparing to go on a mission. Working on an undergraduate or graduate degree. Preparing to go to the temple. Trying to get married. Saving up for the future. 

But today I don't need to work for money. I have everything material I really need. Mikey passed away in July, so I no longer listen at night for the alarm to sound so I can run up the stairs to help her when she falls. Attempting aerial acrobatics gave me crippling arthritis. And my dreams of getting married, raising a family of my own in this life, and serving a mission with a spouse seem completely out of reach.

I do have one goal.

I want to return to God.

And I guess that's enough right?

It pushes me to read the scriptures when I hurt and feel alone and ironically don't want to be around anyone else. To work out and care for my body even though I have no one else to do it for. To be physically around my family because I should be. To keep the commandments. To write in my journal.

There are seasons in life. Some points in my life have been exciting and momentous... and during those moments I wish for quiet. Others are so quiet that life seems silent... and then, ironically, I wish for motion yet again.

So I'm taking vitamins for memory and general health. Trying to figure life out. And hopefully I can take advantage of the quiet moments to develop habits that make me a better man forever.

Sunday, September 9


Some days I am so full of loneliness it hurts.

Today is one of those days.

It begins as I see the disconnect between me and the world. People thank me for existing, for doing or saying something that I no longer remember. My responses are honest and sincere, yet fall short as my feelings fail.

I see people talking. Laughing. Smiling. Making connections and building new friendships, adding sparks to fires or simply chatting with someone nearby. The pain begins to grow. I try to make a friend or to join a conversation and feel numb inside. People talk with me and my eyes start watering. I realize I need to be alone or else I'm going to cry.

I run away. Hide in my car, or my room, and cry. It courses through me and makes it hard to breathe. I wonder if dying would make it stop. I don't even want to write the obligatory side note that suicide is wrong because I literally want to die.

It's hard to think, to move, to do anything. All my coping strategies for anything go out the window and I am transfixed with pain so intense I just sob.

Minutes pass. Hours. Sometimes it gets worse when I thought it was as bad as it could get. I wonder why I'm feeling this way, and how I can function in life on any other day. I don't want to be around anyone at all.

Today someone I didn't know well texted me out of the blue. So did my best friend. While it didn't lessen the pain, I took those to mean that God cares about me even when I feel completely alone. I remembered that pain is just a tool and began writing about it. I fell asleep crying.

Pain - even overwhelming loneliness - is just a tool. It's just a series of chemicals in my brain. A tool for what though? I am hurting so much it's hard to even think straight. What am I supposed to learn? How am I supposed to change? 

I guess if I am hurting and lonely, that means that someone else in the world is probably hurting too. Someone else, somewhere, could feel the exact same way.

That sounds beyond miserable.

How are they doing? And is there anything I can do to help? Wait. Being around people makes it worse.

I could easily see drinking myself into oblivion right now if I were an alcoholic. Gambling. Sex. Drugs. Anything to make the feeling go away. But those would just lead to numbness. There's no way that drugs or breaking the law of chastity are going to make me feel less lonely.

Perhaps I am just missing Heaven. Or maybe God wants to remind me that He is the only One I can always turn to in life. Maybe I'm supposed to reach out soon to someone else who needs me. Or maybe I'm supposed to write about it in the hopes that it will help someone else that God loves.

I still can't bring myself to attend family dinner, even though I'll be gone for weeks in Mexico. I'm still curled up in a ball, and it's only marginally easier to breathe. But I know that God loves me. 

And right now that's enough.

Sunday, August 12

Not Cut Out For This

It's an interesting saying. I googled its etymology and it looks like people have been using this cloth / wood / tool analogy to refer to people since the 1600's. A tradesman cuts out a tool from metal or wood for a specific purpose, and that's what it is cut out for.

That said, I'm a staunch believer in the myth that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. Short people can be NBA stars, blind people can be Impressionist prodigies, and permanent exercise asthmatics can win Olympic distance events.

I'm living proof of that. I came to college as a white, male, gay, autistic, bipolar teen with no friends living in the western US... which put me squarely in the firing line for suicide. But while life/birth/circumstance may have pushed me to the edge of life and death, I fought against it. And survived.

Sometimes the myth that anyone can do anything isn't a myth at all. It gave me strength to survive when I felt like life was impossible. Strength to be devoutly Mormon in an increasingly loud pro-gay world. And in both cases, the effort changed something inside me for the better.

But sometimes that myth is still just a myth.


No... in writing this I'm realizing that my own emotions are definitely clouding my usual optimism. And just because *I'm* having a tough day/week/life at the current moment doesn't mean anything about the accuracies a generalized cultural idiom.

Well, that sorta ruined the whole post.

Honestly I'm just really sad right now. Or emotionally distant. Maybe dejected? Maybe it's a result of suddenly losing a close family member. Maybe it's from the constant emotional grind of attempting to develop friendships, only for interest to suddenly disappear. Maybe it's because I took a few weeks off from acrobatics. Or because I'm at a crossroads professionally. Or from being in such close proximity to so many people for reunions and parties and homecomings and holidays and funerals and birthdays and everything else.

But that means I probably shouldn't make any major life decisions right now... even though they feel like all of them need to be made. 😅

When I started writing this, I was on the road to shifting some massive priorities. I felt like I wasn't cut out for developing close friendships. Instead of trying to develop close friendships, I wanted to try to serve others. I started an application to join the Peace Corps someplace where I'd be expected to be a stranger instead of wanting to feel like I belong.

Maybe the Peace Corps is still a good idea. 

I still don't feel like I'm cut out to be a good friend... or, perhaps more fitting for my own reality, to deserve friendship at all. That's probably my main issue here. Either way, I feel I work better as a short-term acquaintance, or someone to rely on in a crisis, than a friend for sunny summer days. I forget that people exist. Things a few days back feel like they happened a month ago. I care too much about little things, and struggle to care about important ones. I either obsess or completely lose interest.

I'm not sure what the solution that my mind is reaching for will be.

I guess I'll keep looking. Study the scriptures, eat healthily, exercise daily, sleep well, pray... and eventually I'll find something, right?

Oh. And I finally started my instagram account. @gaymormonguy
Not sure what that is going to look like since I've spent forever blogging without pictures since having to do both stresses me out. 

I think I'll just post pictures without words.

Sunday, July 29


I've realized over the past few months that my memory doesn't work like what seems like the vast majority in the world. Moments for me are intense and powerful... but they fade within seconds or hours. At the end of a day I sometimes can't remember what happened that morning, and when I wake up in the morning, the day before feels like it was weeks or even months past.

And when I can remember moments, they are often stripped of their emotions. Walking through my memories is like walking through a wax museum or someone else's scrapbook. I see myself sitting at a table, having a conversation, but it doesn't arouse any feelings inside. Reliving moments of abuse is just as emotionless as shared memories with people I love.

Life has taught me that most people, when they experience something powerful, naturally hold on to that experience and it colors their lives for days or weeks or years after it happens. You experience something incredibly good, or incredibly bad, and it stays with you. It's the source of lasting love and infatuation and bliss on the one side, family feuds and grudges and PTSD on the other. Life each morning, for many people, is built on the memories of each day in the past.

I, on the other hand, wake up and have an almost clean slate each morning. If I fell in love yesterday, I might not remember today. If I was in a car crash that destroyed my car, I'll likely spend an hour looking for my keys. If I stayed up late into the night pouring out my soul to someone, I probably won't remember anything that was said the next morning... on either side. I might not remember the person I spoke to at all.

Once I was on campus at BYU and someone came up to me, excited to see me. "David!!! It's so good to see you!" Ummmmm... I don't recognize you... "Good to see you too!" We spoke for a few minutes. "Sorry, but I don't remember your name." "It's Jordan." We speak for another few minutes. "Sorry Jordan... but I don't remember how I know you." "We were roommates at Brownstone." "...I don't remember anything about you... what do you do? What are you studying?" "I play trombone." "I remember once meeting someone who played trombone. That must have been you."


After he rode away I realized the extent of the issue. We were Facebook friends, but it felt like I was reading through someone else's messages instead of my own. I had lived at Brownstone only a few months prior, and he told me that we had spoken many times and had deep conversations about life. But when I walked through my memories of my apartment, there was no one else there. No one to talk to, no memories of people...

Nothing at all except furniture. Outside on the steps was sitting someone else whose name I can't remember, but my apartment had no one. And to this day I remember nothing about Jordan other than the fact we conversed on campus and I didn't know him at all.

That's a common thing in my life.

Ginkgo, ketosis, and a dozen other dietary interventions haven't really changed that reality. I'm not sure if it's a byproduct of autism (which at its core is a difference in information processing and storage), or something else entirely... but it's part of me.

It means that I'll never be able to hold a grudge. Or become jaded. It means that it only takes some time for me to heal from any emotional wound, and I'm almost impervious to scars.

On the other hand, it means that I forget about the people that are important to me. I forget my family and friends. I forget the experiences I want to hold on to. I forget love and joy and peace within a day or two.

I tried to keep notes on people and experiences. To write them down. Even (G)MG was a way for me to try to keep things present in my mind. I'd put off allowing myself to feel until I had written about it... but then I'd forget what I had even written within hours of pushing publish. The note files with people's favorite colors and foods and interests and passions go forgotten on my phone until I find them someday and wonder who wrote them.

A few months ago, or sometime in the past, this realization broke me down. I wondered if I would ever be able to hold on to real relationships in the long run. Forgetting almost everything about someone is... unforgivable to most people. Forgetting the powerful memories, the experiences, the emotions... relationships are built on foundations of shared experiences. Who would be willing to build up from nothing almost every single day?

It made me want to not develop relationships with people, because I knew that I would likely forget them and then disappear from their lives without even realizing it. Which is one of the the worst things you can do to someone, right?

As I was talking with God one day, I saw at least some meaning in this circumstance for me. It's made me a better person, and I wake up almost every day believing the world is an incredible place. I try to stay optimistic. I try to be present with people when I'm in the moment. And I can absorb a whole lot of garbage / venting / anger / emotion from other people without it dragging me down.

I don't know if I'll be able to fix it. Looking back, I think it's something that has always been a part of my life, and it's possible that it'll be part of my mortality. But I'm going to focus on what I can do, and take full advantage of the pros. Make memories and have positive experiences every single day. Use up the emotional energy I get each morning to make the world a better place. Forget quickly about the pain that life brings. Focus on God and remembering Him. And do what I can for the people I do remember.

To anyone reading this... I'm sorry for forgetting you. If I could, I would remember everything about you, and it would color our every experience. But even if I don't remember your name, your face, or anything you've ever said... I hope you can still find a way to believe me when I say I care.

Sunday, June 17

Father's Day

My little brother turned 13 yesterday and entered the world of being a teenager. Stereotypical teenagers seem rebellious, strong-willed, and unwilling to think about the future. The reality is that teenage years are filled with tumultuous moments of pain, isolation, grief, frustration, and joy along the path of finding self. Yes, many teenagers rebel. Many burn themselves on the stove they know will burn them... and others leave their hands in place, hoping that somehow by so doing the pain will go away.

It seems the world today is full of moral teenagers. Moral teenagers who rebel against the love of a Father who can see the end from the beginning... and run down pathways far from those He shares. Gay Mormons who have spent their lives following the rules and decide not to. Men and women who forget the childlike innocence they once had, believe they know better, and walk away.

I'm not immune. I've walked more than my fair share of darkened paths, and have had plenty of times that I showed by my actions a distrust of God and His Plan for me.

But today, in a world that affirms self above all else, where millions of moral teenagers rebel against a Heavenly Father when He asks them to put Him before everything from physical to emotional to mental health... today I want to affirm that Father and celebrate everything He has done for me.

He's perfect. He's always there. He loves me more than I could ever imagine, even so much that He puts me through sometimes abject misery with the hope that I can someday become the man He sees in me.

I don't completely understand God's Plan for me. I don't know how I fit in as a gay Mormon, or even sometimes what He wants me to do. But I know that He loves me.

And that's enough.

The reality of that was cemented to me at Church today. Today I sat with a brother in my ward whose life is massively different from mine. He can't open a piece of candy by himself, pick up a piece of bread by himself, cross his legs, walk down the hall or even speak. Sitting next to him put my difficulties - a handful of burns, numbness in my hands from learning aerial gymnastics, and being gay - into stark contrast. He's a smart guy. He wrote a powerful talk months ago that someone else read. He understands everything. He has the same emotional and physical "needs" I do. And he struggles with picking up a Sacrament cup.

When life is easy, it's easy to feel entitled. "God would never ask me to sacrifice..." right? Wrong. God sends His children into imperfect situations, fully aware that some of those situations will be excruciating - ripping apart the outer shell of the natural man to expose the inner self He sees within.

I'm grateful for a Father who loves me enough to allow me to live. To experience. To smile. To cry. To feel. To want. To have enormous angst that rips me apart and makes me want to curl up into a ball or cry or just sometimes disappear. For a Father who walks with me on the difficult path back home, because He loves me and can see the end from the beginning.

I'm nowhere near perfect... but today I affirm my commitment to honoring my Heavenly Father. To trusting Him and always putting Him first, no matter what the physical, emotional, mental, or social consequences may be.

Sunday, January 7


Today was Fast Sunday - the first of a new year.

The urge came to get up, and the urge came to stay seated. Every month I've shared my testimony. Every month for as long as I can remember. I need the blessings. I need the support of my ward.

But so do others.

I almost got up, and then I saw people making their way to the front. There is never silence here - far too many people attend my ward for that to happen. And for each minute I spend speaking, another minute they can't.

So today was the first in as long as I can remember where I didn't stand.

So I'll share it here.

I know that God lives... and that I have second chances. And third chances, and fourth and seventieth chances. No matter what I've done, no matter how far I've fallen, no matter how worthless and broken I may seem, God will give me another chance. He will lift me up, change my heart and soul, and make me into the man He sees in me.

This last month I've realized how imperfect I really am. How little I really understand, and how poorly I live the things I know. As I turn to God, I know that He will help me to move forward... and I hope that I have the courage and faith to just keep moving towards Him.