Monday, July 5, 2010

A Past Without a Future

Things Change. Always.

For many years, I have not hung some of my picture frames with numerous little small photos in them. Years after moving into this home, I'm finally at the place where I'm ready to hang them. One frame contains pictures of Drama Mama and the three little princesses and my sane sister. I debated whether or not I wanted to look at those pictures on a daily basis, particularly due to my very slow processing of my frustration with Drama Mama and the three little princesses. Girl Song thinks I really haven't dealt with my anger and often suggests that its normal and that I really should feel and express more anger than I've expressed thus far.

I've decided those pictures are a part of a past, and even though there is no part of a future I desire with most of the persons whose portraits are in the frame, it is ok to remember them and to memorialize them.

The Kid asked me a long time ago, if I had been a teenager now rather than then would it have affected the expression of my sexuality? Or, to put it more bluntly, would I have made more overtly gay choices? I don't know the answer to that question. It was possible, but probably not probable. The same thing that drove a lot of my choices as a defacto heterosexually identified young woman (this wasn't something I understood until much later, when it became crystal clear to me that I could have lived just as happily with a woman as a man) also would have driven my choices as a heteroflexibly identified young woman had I been aware of it. Basically, it was my testimony.

The funny thing was that even with a strong testimony, I really didn't see a temple marriage or even a standard issue "mormon" young man as part of my future, because I didn't fit the mold. Add to that, the meeting and falling in love with DH early in life. There were a lot of things that just never hit my radar screen back then at all. So, my experience as a person with a testimony has not really followed the acceptable track, partly because I didn't see myself as a person with access to that track to begin with.

So that potential past as something other than a straight woman, really just has no legs and I don't think it ever would have had a future. Similarly, I have a hard time seeing myself no matter how I have turned things over and over, of making any fundamentally different choice in the type of person I chose to settle down with. I know it is fatalistic, but that's how I see it. No other type of past choice probably means no other type of future would have occurred.

I guess that is where I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow spiritually as a person whose life hasn't fallen perfectly in line with cultural normative life trajectory we often think of in the Church. Yesterday, to my delight, a divorced, single brother was called into the bishopric in our ward. I would have thought that he had a past without a future for growth in his church service and that the fact that he is not currently married would have barred his service, but, apparently, it does not. I know this person to be a very good man who has trod a path that diverged significantly from that culturally normative life trajectory.

That Past that he had does not have a future, but his new present does because of his current choices. And, that's why I'm going to take the step of acknowledging my past and move forward with my new present and its future by making a choice that is open to a future by hanging those pictures and giving my frustration a rest.


  1. Very beautiful post. If you are happy where you are there is no reason to wonder what could have been, yet we all do it.

    I like the somewhat abstract thought of making choices that are "open to a future" albeit a different future than planned.

  2. My friend cal said you were a good read. I'm glad he did. Thankyou for a peaceful blog

  3. Living-Thank you for your comment. I do not always feel so peaceful as you might think, but blogging has allowed me to find both my truths and my reconciliation.