Clear Broth to Stew

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And I had to be alone because anyone who came near me invaded me. Only in the absence of people could I boil myself down to a clear broth and add things a little at a time. Occasionally I would venture out into the world with someone else as my escort, but it guaranteed nothing. Each random moment of interaction held danger.

-Julie Gregory, Sickened
I wrote this a while ago in this post. Now, as you may have noticed, I am starting to write again. I am learning and growing. I have started to become what I have wanted to become again and things are really going well for me.

This process of going from a clear broth to an amazing stew was a hard one, but it was well worth it. I am glad that I set forth on the journey and decided to leave the MoHo world to discover myself and to become what I wanted to. I have truly never been happier. I don't have the best life, but I don't care because I am what I am and I love what I am.

What was this process of making a most delicious stew?

It started out with making goals for myself. They were just small things that I wanted to do. One of them was a small item of service every day. This could be as simple as holding a door open for someone, saying hello to someone who looked down, helping someone out with homework, or just being a friend to someone who needed one. Another one was to focus on what I am passionate about. I started focusing on school, research, work, and developing a better relationship with my family. I then made goals of what I wanted to do in the future--where I wanted to be in five years, ten years, and so on. I then decided to structure my life around how to achieve my goals. I did make some spiritual goals too, but I don't want to share them because they are personal and private.

These goals structured my life and have allowed my growth. They have allowed me to add certain ingredients, if you will, into my clear broth. They have given me direction during hard times, they have given me strength, and they have given me desire to accomplish what I set out to do. I can proudly say that I have been accomplishing my short and long term goals and I hope to continue to accomplish them.

Goals were an excellent starting point, but there was also a lot of introspection going on too. I would look at the past, look at my motives, and look at my mistakes. I learned a lot by doing this and it helped me develop a healthy sense of who I am in certain situations and how desires, moods, and many of things can change depending on the situation I am in. With all of this in mind, I have taken proactive approaches to keep me out of situations where I know I act how I do not want to act. The introspection was also looking at myself and seeing/believing that I could achieve my goals.

The last major thing that I did was to not beat myself up if I made a mistake that set me back from my goals and ultimately who I wanted to become. I eventually realized that everybody makes mistakes and it is how the person responds to the mistake the situation that has been created because of that mistake that makes them who they are. If who we are is determined by our mistakes, we would all be failures and never make the Celestial Kingdom. That is how I came to this realization.

I'm sure that there is a lot more that I did that helped me develop this stew that is me, but these are the things that stand out to me and strike me as important.

Here is to a new and better life... Cheers!

Swim

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-"Swim" by Jack's Mannequin

You gotta swim
Swim for your life
Swim for the music
That saves you
When you're not so sure you'll survive
You gotta swim
Swim when it hurts
The whole world is watching
You haven't come this far
To fall off the earth
The currents will pull you
Away from your love
Just keep your head above

I found a tidal wave
Begging to tear down the door
Memories like bullets
They fired at me from a gun
Cracking me open yeah
I swim to brighter days
Despite the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I'm not giving in
I swim

You gotta swim
For nights that wont end
Swim for your families
Your lovers your sisters
And brothers your friends
Yeah you gotta swim
For wars without cause
Swim for the lost politicians
Who don't see their greed is a flaw
The currents will pull us
Away from our love
Just keep your head above

I found a tidal wave
Begging to tear down the door
Memories like bullets
They fired at me from a gun
Cracking me open now
I swim to brighter days
Despite of the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I'm not giving in
I'm not giving in
I swim

You gotta swim
Swim in the dark
There's an ocean to drift in
Feel the tide shifting away from the spark
Yeah you gotta swim
Don't let yourself sink
Just find the horizon
I promise you it's not as far as you think
The currents will drag us away from our love
Just keep your head above
Just keep your head above
Swim
Just keep your head above
Swim, swim
Just keep your head above
Swim

I love this song. It is such a wonderful message. There may be tidal waves that pull you down and try to drown you, but you gotta swimming. You have to keep swimming to survive. The horizon and your goals aren't too far away. You can make it. Don't let yourself sink... Just keep your head above and swim.

Achieving Greatness

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I said this to one of my swimmers a couple of weeks ago and for some reason, it has stuck in my mind and will not leave me. It's like it has been haunting me.
Sometimes you need to fail to achieve greatness.
I never thought something that I randomly came up with on the spot, or at least something that I think I came up with randomly, could have such a great impact on me and my swimmer. When I told my swimmer that, he just said, "Wow! That's something that I really needed to hear." He was having a hard week and wasn't doing as well as he would have liked. I took him aside and talked to him for a bit and then told him that. Throughout the rest of the week, even though he still wasn't doing very well, he had a positive attitude and he tried his best to do the sets that I gave him. He did not make the sets, but he tried. Then these past couple of weeks, he did really well and made every single set that I gave him. If he would have given up after a couple of failures, he would not have known the sweetness of his success and the joy that comes from it.

I feel like this has a lot of parallels in my life. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I have also not been the best of people at times, but I always learn from my mistakes. I feel like it is necessary to make mistakes in this life because we learn from them. I know that this may sound like I'm preaching to the choir or something, but this is something that I struggle with and need to realize more often. I am a perfectionist and I tend to need to have everything perfect. I do not let go of failures easily and they usually affect me for a very long time. I need to take my own advice and realize that I sometimes need to fail because I can learn so much more out of failures than out of success. Don't get me wrong, you learn things from success too, but failure usually seems to strike you to the core and teach you in so many ways.

Failing too often can also make you give up. I have never had this problem, but I know some of you have this problem. All that I can say is don't give up. Failure is just a part of greatness. It is something that we all have to go through. Everybody makes mistakes and fails at life. It's what you do after the mistakes and failures and how you handle the situation that makes you who you are. You may feel like crap because you feel like you have failed or made a mistake. If you hide under a rock, you will learn nothing and you will not grow. That doesn't make you any better as a person--it makes you worse. If you take your failure or mistake as a challenge to better next time, you will grow and learn from the situation and it makes you a better person.

Remember that sometimes you need to fail to achieve greatness.

Running Away?


It has been awhile since I last posted. It hasn't been because of a lack of thinking and figuring things out. It has been a lack of time. I had a conversation with a former close friend a couple of weeks ago now and I have been milling it over and over in my mind. I wanted to figure things out before I posted about it and I think that I have a general understanding of what he was saying and how I think he is absolutely wrong.

In our conversation, he told me that I am running away from my problems and who I really am. This is because I have given my time to work, school, and that's about it. I have filled my time with other things. My time is completely filled that I don't have much free time. He claims that this is running away. He told me that this is my method of leaving my problems behind and forgetting about them. It is true that is a way for me not to focus on things that trouble me and bring me down, but I don't consider it running away. If I focus on the things that trouble me all the time, I will mope around and hate life. This is something that I don't need. It is too easy to fall into that process and never be happy and right now I am immensely happy and I don't want to lose it. I don't think that he realized that I do think about things too and try to find ways to make my problems and my life better.

Usually before I go to bed, I think about life. I think about all of the things that I have accomplished, all of the mistakes I have made, what I can do better, what I need to accomplish in the short run to achieve my long term goals, and similar things like that. Is that running away? I don't think so. I am actively trying to improve upon my life and grow. Sure everybody makes mistakes and we all hide them at times, but we do eventually face them and try to learn from our mistakes. I think that he thinks I am still trying not to face them and I can see where he is kind of coming from, but I don't think he is right.

So ever since my last fling with a boy, I have backed out of the MoHo world. I know that hanging around gay people and associating with them gets me in trouble. I haven't ditched my friends. I just don't see or contact them as much and they seem to do the same to me. I'm just in my own little world and they all seem to be in theirs and it's completely fine. Just because I haven't been associating with them and staying out of trouble means I am running away according to my former friend. I don't feel this way at all. I know that I am gay. I know that when I am around other gay men that I tend to do things with them and get into trouble. I know that when I do things with them, I usually become unhappy and feel torn in my life and things start to go downhill. I know and understand a lot about myself. Just because I have decided to not hang out with my gay friends does not mean that I am running away from my problems and who I am. I think it shows initiative on my part and show that I know more about myself than most people. I am also taking my bishop's advice by keeping myself out of situations where I have the potential to commit sin and he doesn't think it is running away either. He thinks it is smart precautions.

Am I running away? I don't think so...