Feb 19, 2013

Oh, love. You tricky tricky concept, you.

I suppose this blog is political in nature, but I'm not doing that thing where we have a hundred comments between a couple of people who don't see eye to eye and are now arguing relentlessly with each other. I'm going to use my blog to say how I feel, and then everyone is welcome to comment and say how they feel. You're welcome to tell me that you disagree with my opinions, but you're not welcome to tell me I'm wrong or to start fighting. This isn't going to be flame war. I will resort to deleting comments if I must-- something I've never done before on my blog, and really, I don't want to have to start now.

Let's just be adults and accept each other's differences of opinions, and spare me from having to go comment-deleting. Though, honestly, with how many comments I've been getting recently, I'd be surprised to see this be a problem.

So I have a friend, and I was reading her blog, and I thought it was really beautiful. But it reminded me of something. In case this is news to anyone, I'm LDS.

On facebook, I'm friends with a lot of returned missionaries that used to serve in the branch. About 6 months ago, I was looking at one of their profiles, and I saw that his "religious views" were set as agnostic, which was a little strange. Since, you know, he used to be a missionary in the branch. I messaged him to ask when that happened, and he said, "It was months ago. Probably around six months now? It was around the time I also came out as gay to my family...I kinda hit them with everything at once, unfortunately! lol, I know it may be a shock to you, being a member, but I finally had the strength to be 100% true to myself. I've known I was gay since I was a little boy. And I'm totally open to any questions, etc...I'm a very open book."

Now, I was really actually not concerned at all with his sexual orientation. I was honestly more interested in why he decided he was agnostic, so that's where I steered the conversation. I was just curious, I wanted to know why the drastic change. I love the gospel very much, and though I believe it's true, I know that is not what everyone in the world thinks. But if they once believed it and now don't, I want to know why. I want to know what tripped them up. That way I can address it for myself and see what I think about their concerns. I don't go back and try to convince them, "No, man, the gospel is true, see? I solved your problems!" No one likes that kid haha. But it helps to strengthen myself, and I can go back to them and say, "I see what you're saying, but I guess that isn't a concern I have because A B and C," and then they can do what they want with that. They told me what they believe, I told them what I believe, we move on and continue being friends.

I did, however tell him congratulations for coming out and having the strength to be honest with himself and tell his friends and family, and wished him luck on his future endeavors with falling in love and adopting kids. It would be really difficult to hit your friends and family with something that you've been keeping a secret from everyone (and trying to deny yourself), and I am truly happy for him. He's happy now, I can feel it when I talk to him. I was so excited for his happiness, that I told a couple people back here, that way they could be happy for him, too.

Wow. I mostly didn't get the reactions I was anticipating. I've never really considered myself open-minded, but I guess I am? I don't know, it's news to me. Regardless, I told a couple of my friends that he came out, and some of them were happy for him, but many seemed disappointed in him. And I can't understand why, though I've tried to figure it out. The only explanation I can come up with is that they're afraid. They don't understand it, so they fear it, and they turn that fear into anger or annoyance or maybe simply disinterest. I used to be like that. But I'm not like that anymore, and I'm ashamed I ever was. But the fact that I've changed gives me hope that others can, as well.

Anyway, my friend's blog just made me want to share a few of my person beliefs: I don't believe homosexuality is a sin, nor do I believe it's a choice (except for those obnoxious middle schoolers who are like, "I'm bi!" just for the attention). I believe we all deserve the right to be married. I don't believe civil union is the same thing as marriage. I don't believe legalizing gay marriage will force my temples to adopt different standards than they currently have. I believe love is complex and simple at the same time. I believe someday the war on gay marriage will end the same way that the war on interracial marriage did. I believe God's love for you doesn't depend on your sexual orientation nor do I think it depends on your belief in him, side note.

And if you think differently than I do, if your beliefs don't coincide perfectly with mine, then that's fine. We don't all have to be clones of each other. But we do all have to be human beings. And we should all act like human beings and have some respect for each other.

If anyone has questions on what I believe or comments on what I believe, you are all more than welcome to ask/share below. Just remember kids, let's pretend like we like each other.

Feb 17, 2013

The flashing lights have got a hold on me.

Well I feel like a slacker. Or actually, no I don't. I feel productive. But my productivity is making me not very blog-ish. Sad. But I'm still alive! And planning on doing math soon to figure out what all of the new scores for all the restaurants we've rated are. And then we'll start up burger-rating adventures again. Mmm. I miss those...

But classes are going well!
I've got psychopharmacology, which is really interesting. Drugs are still awesome. I have to read up on the drug GHB (date rape drug) for a presentation and paper. If anyone has ideas for sources, that'd be fantastic.
I used to have intro to philosophy, but the teacher seemed to have one goal for the semester: to piss all of us off. Super lame. So I dropped it and picked up intro to music, which will fulfill the same gen ed requirement. It's really cool, I enjoy that class. It's a lot of classical music, which I don't usually listen to but it's interesting anyway.
ASL is also really cool. I quite like it. There's actually a new girl we just hired at work who has 2 deaf kids, so she knows sign language and we practice when we talk at work. So fun.
Analytical chem is pretty cool, too. It seems like a lot of review of things from gen chem, just in more detail, but that's a good thing, because I had no idea what was going on in gen chem two.
Intro to sociology is interesting? I really like the textbook and reading it. It's really interesting. But I'm not in love with the actual class. The teacher is kinda cool, but the textbook is waaay more interesting than the lecture material. Which is confusing, because shouldn't it be the same material?
And my last "class" is analytical chem lab, which is mostly waiting for things. Like, waiting for the crucibles to be heated (a process that takes several hours) and waiting in line to use the Atomic Absorption thing. It's not too bad, though, because there's some cool people in my class, and I like talking to them.

Work is also going really well. I've already been there for 6 months, which totally blows my mind. It's the longest I've ever held a job before, actually. And I plan to stay forever! We've been really busy this year. The beginning of the year is usually the busy season for rec centers/gyms because everyone has New Year's resolutions to go to the gym more, but my boss has actually shown me the numbers, and this is the busiest year we've had in like 5 years or something. It's been a little stressful, but in a good way. I love all the people I work with, too. They're all really cool and easy to talk to, which really makes the day go by much faster. And it's still way fun to teach the climbing classes I'm in charge of. I love it. Such a great job. :)

And climbing is going pretty well. I've finally persuaded one of my friends to come climbing with me 2-3 times a week, which has been really fun, and I can see that I've improved already. I can climb 2 of the 5.6's we have at work, and there's just this one spot where I get stuck on our last 5.6, but I'm working to get around it. I think when Ally (the friend I convinced to climb with me) and I go climbing tomorrow, I'll try one or two of our 5.7's (there's four of those, and one of them is on the same wall as the 5.6 that I'm getting stuck on, so I don't think it'll be the one I try).

That's about it for my exciting news. Still looking at moving out in May/June with a couple roommates. I turned 21? That's kinda exciting I guess. But yes, that's my life for the past couple months. Everything's well, just busy! I'll try to get up new restaurant ratings soon, possibly this weekend. My schedule doesn't look too ridiculously busy. Yet...