Wednesday, October 29, 2014

That Thing Called Happiness

"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy"
-Lucille Ball

Happiness has been on my mind a lot. Like any right minded person, it's what I want. Badly. Now and always.

Sometimes life gets complicated, usually through my own accord subconsciously, and sometimes through no control of my own, and I forget what makes me happy. Or how to achieve it. Or believing that it can be mine. And in my despair there are a lot of people in the world who want to tell me how to be happy. Those people who say such things are for the most part genuinely sincere, and usually come from personal experience or intelligence.

I admire anyone who attempts to try and listen to all the people who tell them such things. From my own experience I think a lot of sad and depressed people in the world are such a way because they're trying to make room to give heed to what everyone tells them to do. We tend to call these type of people people pleasers. I Bryan Clark, on many occasion (and I'm sure many more in my lifetime) have been known to be a people pleaser. It's in my nature. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, ALL the time.

And I've heard a lot of what people say in regards to people pleasers who struggle with their own happiness:

"Live life for yourself!". 

"Do what makes you happy!" 

"Let it go". 
"Put yourself first"
"Don't worry about what other people think!"
"Just be happy"
And on they go.

And all those statements and people making them are right. i agree 100%. If only it were so easy for people pleasers to believe it all the time. There's a reason we try to please others. Whether it's a right or wrong way to do it, it's because we wish to show love to the person(s) we are pleasing. Any attempt to show love is a good thing in my book.

I spoke about being in a funk a couple of weeks ago, post same sex marriage legalization in Utah. Well that funk has been more like a month long funk. And I'm tired of it. I don't like feeling miserable, or confused or lost. And yet it happens, and I've been there for awhile now. I own that fact.

And I'm working on it.

So in attempt to try and help myself just "Be happy", I came up with a list of things I think help me feel that way (In no meaningful order), that I plan on incorporating much more into my life:

1. Derek. Well he's really pretty much already stuck with me, and for some crazy reason (he says love) he wants to stay.
2. Dancing in my underwear. Yes. In all sincerity, this thought makes me smile everytime. Saturday morning, there's no pressure on for the day, and what do you do but blare some T. Swift and dance with your dog in your undies. Ahh yes. I like this thought a lot.
3.Entertaining. Derek and I have greatly missed not having our own place. We like to throw parties. Usually around food. And we miss it. Soon enough. 
4. Laughing at myself. Yes, laughing at myself and not taking everything so seriously all the time makes me happy.
5. Running, hard. I love to just sprint as hard as I can on my runs and spread my arms out, as if I'm about to fly. It makes me feel empowered. 
6. Working out. <This includes having/maintaining a big chest and 6 pack abs. I find a man's physique to be beautiful (obviously) and I like feeling apart of that beauty. 
7. Dressing well. Ah yes. There's nothing like sprucing yourself up and looking good to make me feel happy and refined. It's classy I think. I acknowledge it's comfortable to be in gym shorts and t shirts all the time. But there's a class and sophistication I admire to the thoughtful dresser.
8. Making people laugh. I usually do this by making fun of myself (in a non self critical way). Or being random/awkward. Yes, I like those laughs. Or acting out random voices with people.
9. Doing sporadic, spontaneous things. Yes, this brings me exhilaration. There's nothing quite like leaving behind the plans and just living in the moment.
10. Working hard. Pretty self explanatory. I want to feel accomplished in my education, career, community and personal relationships with others.
11. These smiles:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Loss of Meaning In a Thought Filled Endeavor

I've been in a funk lately.

A funk I haven't felt in a long time.

You know  those times where you've been feeling pretty good about yourself and what you're doing, and then out of nowhere Kaboom! Like a tidal wave you lose all your confidence? All of a sudden every reason and belief that you've been standing on for purpose and direction suddenly lost meaning. You feel extremely humbled,

embarrassed even.

And every word I speak has become meaningless. I've lost my words. And it's been the hardest thing for me to gain back that ground.  I feel like a walking self conscious mess, because every where I go and every person I talk to I'm over thinking what I should be doing or saying; worrying about how I may offend them by saying this or that, and then in my mind fearing that there pre-conceived judgments (which may or may not be real) may be right. That thought may be a little confusing. Let me give an example. The legal acceptance of same sex marriage in Utah.

I've been very vocal and adamant the past few months about my support for same sex marriage. I've felt good about that before and felt validated in the things I said. Biased of course I am, as I'm in a relationship with a man. I did also feel I had valid reasoning for my support aside from my own selfish reasoning.

Then this funk happened.

And when I heard the news, I couldn't help but think "What will my Mormon family and comrades think of me if I came out vocally and shared my celebration of this news?". And then that thought led me to thinking of their disappointment, which for many people it is. Then that disappointment led me to feel confusion for myself, doubting if there was any worth I had in feeling validated in my happiness for same sex marriage legalization in Utah. Then I think well why should I feel happy about same sex marriage? Why should I stand up for something that my beloved Church and other friends so adamantly oppose? And the reasoning to do such don't come. Or they don't make sense, or feels void. Consequentially the confusion settles in with the loss of meaning. I act in support as I've acted before, but I'm not sure of myself anymore.

I feel a loss again of who I am.

It's a nasty place I tell you to be in. Not just in regards to how to handle the whole same sex marriage debate, but in general, it's a nasty place to not know who you are and what to stand for. I'm sure my Mormon friends are thinking, 'well of course you know who you are and what you stand for'! 'A child of God', a 'member of the true Church of Jesus Christ'!

Those assumptions so genuine and also so naively imposed upon me cause me heart ache. I have believed in those statements for so long and found worth in them before, to a certain extent. There came a point needless to mention over again but where my life experience caused me to question such statements, in search of greater truth and understanding that was encompassing for all. I don't believe that it was Satan or the devil that led me to do that. It was a sincere, selfless intention to find understanding and truth. Anyways those are my own justifications , but also besides my point. I've been unsure of myself the past while.

And I've found that my uncertainty 100% of the time leads me to think of myself in the most grotesque of ways: As stupid, disgusting, a waste, lazy, unaccomplished,  a nobody, evil, etc.

I feel like I need a resolution to this message, and I'm not sure I necessarily have one. I just needed to get these feelings out in the open I guess. And let people know, I'm trying. I don't ever want to give up on anything or anyone: not my Mormon heritage and the good that's come from that, not my fellow LGBT peers/allies who are seeking for understanding and love, nor anyone/anything else. It's been a very difficult thing for me to do, and I can't help but feel it must be for others out there also. That perhaps I'm not the only one who goes through "funks" like these, where suddenly everything becomes meaningless, and you feel like
 an abandoned person at sea, struggling to stay
And that that's
to be there.

I don't necessarily need praise that I'm a marvelous person and that things will work out, as I don't need on the other hand the criticism that comes from what I do do. I just need to be understood.

I'm not sure I'm right or that I'm wrong right now. And I think that's ok. What I do know is I need to be the best person I can be with what I do know in showing love. So even if I'm a self conscious mess and I say the strangest things, or I get offended over the most trivial things, or cry unannounced, blow up, or I'm unusually quiet, please know it's because I'm trying to figure out how to be my best and to love the most.

Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to read this and who show me the meaning of unconditional love.  So yep, that's all I have to say for now.