So I'm getting married in a week.
7 days. 7 extremely short, stress filled days.
I'm incredulous, really.
To think I'm about marry Derek is an absolutely beautiful feeling as it is equally terrifying. Can you feel me here? It's only just the biggest decision of my life that I'm making, Pha, no big deal! I got this, no brainer!.... But really, in all serious I don't take this decision lightly, even more serious for me as I'm altering my path completely from what I originally intended for myself. No, feel me out, it's not an easy thing to step beyond the bounds of comfortable tradition and sure promises to pave a new path for yourself and live within the realm of uncertainty. A big part of me misses the dream I for so long had and am now giving up. We all make sacrifices, one way or another I suppose, and this is one I am having to bear. Why does it so often have to feel so hard to carry?
I grew up wanting more than anyone out there to marry a woman in the temple. To live the LDS Dream: Marry, live faithfully, rear a beautiful family of my own biological children, serve within the Church, go on a mission someday with my wife and at some point after death receive all the blessings of exaltation. I wanted it so badly! Picture my younger self, being completely surrounded by this family ideal, with the examples I had of faithful woman in the LDS church, woman who are smart and beautiful and confident and inspiring, rearing beautiful families with their husbands to be good people. Woman like my mother, or my mission president's wife, my sister in law's, etc. etc.. I wanted what they had, I craved it like I craved anything. I even made a list of qualities I wanted in my future wife once on my mission and I reviewed it frequently. I prayed. And I dated, ALOT. And my recently returned missionary self was eager and excited to live up to that dream and be counted among those around me who had obtained it. I'm not sure how sincerely I can say I really tried. Random, but I remember on a date one time to a Stake Fireside, the Stake President's wife who I had not previously met before took it upon her to come up to me in a crowd and say"You will make a great husband and father some day". I lived for that realization. I was the "It" guy in my local congregation, who I was told every girl wanted to go out with.
As the months and then years went by, I saw all my friends marrying off in the temple and starting families, i'd feel more and more anxious, worried that something was wrong with me. Why wasn't I married yet? I had several opportunities to pursue a relationship with a woman and marry one, and I hadn't. I couldn't. Really I could name off around a 1,000 reasons why, but among those reasons I never really ever thought it was because of my homosexual feelings, but more because I could never try enough, I could never be good enough. And I think I unsuspectingly also placed those similar feelings of insufficiency upon the woman I dated. No one could ever quite fit into the ideal I was living to obtain. I cried over it frequently throughout the night. Every time I'd see a happy family in the grocery store, with their cute little kids, I'd want to bawl. I can be so sappy sometimes! Time wore on, and I feared that I would never really find someone to love up to my ideal.
And so it was. Fast forward to now, I'm a different person with different dreams and ideals I'm living towards. Yet still there within me is that younger version of myself, that peeps in from time to time, wishing that somehow and someway I could make the LDS ideal of marriage mine. Terrible of me, I know. And perhaps I'll be taken advantage of by some for stating my weakness here, I can't really stop them from thinking what they will. I'm just trying being real with how I feel. Too real? If that's a thing I suppose. Sometimes it feels that way.
I am excited to marry Derek. I love him, I try to love him as best I can, despite the imperfections that impede me from being better at it, and trust me there are many (just ask Derek). Derek is a unique person, one among a million. Someone who genuinely cares about people, and I mean he really does! He worries about people and there needs and he gives beyond himself to help others. And you can feel his presence and smile light up a room, and bring joy to those who have the pleasure of knowing him. Dang it, I can't even talk about him right now without crying! I'm a hurricane of emotions I tell ya! And I'm so grateful to him. It's because of how wonderful Derek is and how much I love him that makes the decision to marry him an extremely difficult one, keeping what I originally wanted in mind. People could try to tell me otherwise, but when it comes to tearing away from the Church's expectations to now choose to marry Derek, two pieces of my heart couldn't feel any more stretched.
There's a lot of things I have to admit if I'm being fully honest, that I don't know right now in facing my future. I don't know that I'm making the right decision in God's eyes to marry Derek. I can guess at it and I can hope for the best, but I don't really know in the end. I also don't know with certainty what God would really have me do in my situation. Perhaps he really would want me to remain celibate, or work things out with a woman, I can't really say no to this either as I'd be barricading myself from the opportunity to learn and grow. I don't really know for myself that I won't look back down the road, filled with regret for making this decision. And I really don't know in the end what will happen after this life and how my relationship with Derek will end up, *if indeed there is an afterlife (I choose to carry the underlying assumption here that there is). And because I don't know these things and really can't pretend to in trying to please others, I therefore am left to make these decisions on my own, doing the best I can with what I do know, and what I do feel.
I do know that I love Derek. I do know that my life would be miserable without him. I do know that my love for him is as pure and elevating as enriching as anything I've ever heretofore experienced. I do know that he makes me happy. I also know that having the Church and believing in God has given me hope and peace in my life that I wouldn't have otherwise. I also know I need that hope and peace just as much as I need Derek. I don't know how to work the two out completely, but I know that I need them both. I also really know that Derek makes this struggle seemingly worth it to bear.
So I face this exciting and yet terrifying road towards my future. I'm nervous, I'm anxious and fearful, I'm also happy, reflective and everything in between. I'm walking forward with this decision to marry Derek, I may not have alot of certainty in my life, but I have Derek right now. And I think that's enough for me, right now. And I'll be damned to do my best to keep clinging onto him as we keep trudging forward. He is my life raft, my counselor, my confidant, lover and friend.
Wish me luck! There's bound to be a lot more sunshine and rainbows as there will be turbulence and wreckless dream catching ahead.