When Life Thinks It's Taken Something Away

Wow. The title sounds a little heavy, but this post is actually pretty lighthearted. It's how I've learned to make more of situations that life tries to make less of. I go into gay detail, but first, some grapes.

We bought a house last year and we've been remodeling it ever since, inside and out. I've love landscaping the yard. It’s my sanctuary. I sit with my wife on a bench as the sun sets while we talk about our ideas and dreams. We watch our son, dogs, ducks and chickens run around the yard and play. It gets dark and lights turn on to shine on our flowers and trees in the night like an Eden. It’s my own piece of heaven.

I like my backyard. It's important to me. And I love my dogs, but they are still in their puppy stages so they like to dig and chew my backyard art. On this certain day, there was a huge windstorm and it did some backyard damage. It blew down trellises and tree branches. And out of nowhere, my dogs randomly decided they really liked digging and eating some expensive grape vines I planted a few weeks ago. The plants had really taken off and I was really excited at the thought of them growing up the side of my house to make it look lush.

Between the canines and the windstorm, there was a lot of damage. There were holes everywhere in the ground and they had chewed most of the grape vines off of my beloved plants. Months of hard work from taking out trees, tilling, installing sprinkler systems, learning water pressure…seemed destroyed in a matter of hours. I was so discouraged. This used to be my sanctuary. More than that, it represented a lot of time, hard work and money. I wanted to stop caring and give up on this new situation. I sat down on a bench and stared blankly at the yard.

When thoughts slowly started coming back, I took inventory. What did I have left? Branches. Lots of branches. Small branches, big branches, all-across-the-yard branches. I joked with myself that, for fun, I should clone the dead plants by using their branches. Just a few weeks ago I bought this special plant hormone that you dip branches in and plant to make a new plant, so why not? Then it hit me...I should clone the dead plants using their branches.

And I did. I went from having one grape plant, to no grape plants, to six! It took me having to give up one thing to realize I could gain six more. What I learned that day? Life's annoying, yeah. But I learned I can be annoying, too. So when life happened, I happened back. Why make the best of the situation when I could make more?

With this being my hey-everyone-I'm-LDS-and-gay blog, this is how my personal parable of the grapes to this. Maybe it can apply to your situation, too.

I’ve about finished a Master's program in behavior analysis. I’m constantly internally analyzing everyone's behavior to understand why they do what they do. I realize it's probably annoying for everyone—just ask my wife. BUT. It helps me understand myself, too. So, during the grapevine escapades, I combined my behavior studies with being gay and my LDS background in endless symbolism. And here's why I think I've decided to marry a woman.

I’m always surprised when people tell me I’m “not being true” to myself by being married to a woman. ** Please, tell me more about myself.**

Everyone has their opinions on this and that, so if you really care...I'll point out that I'm standing next to you, looking at my situation from your angle, and I honestly think we’re standing in the wrong spot. If you come over here from where I'm looking, you’ll see that it’s not really about being married to a woman or not. It’s about what makes me most happy. Don't you see that this person makes me most happy? Now tilt your head this way and you’ll see that being gay and having LDS beliefs are equally core parts of me; I will always have one and the other. I could marry a man. I'd feel like I'm missing something. I could marry a woman. I'd feel like I'm missing something.

Standing in this spot with me, here’s what else you’ll see:  in a life where I’ve accepted I simply won’t feel 100% as most others do, I choose the option that I feel enables me to reach 100% of my full potential and happiness. And I'm living just that. I'm living the dream.

Here's how I did it so you can do it, too.

Take inventory. What do you have to work with? And what do you need to be most happy now and later? What you gain outweighs what you're giving up so don't be afraid to do what's the true best for yourself. For me, what I was missing was her because she makes me more than I am by myself. I am most happy with her. I love her and she ended up being more than I’d hoped for. And now we have this happy, enchanting little ginger child.

Am I being true to myself? If I explain it further, there really is no point in trying to explain it. You won't get it. But I can refer you to the above large smile :D

Because who do I got out of this? My her. The bonus? Our him. What does that make me? 


Credit: Tara Tracy Photography