A bunch of LDS YSAs were gathering at a drown rock quarry. A yearly ritual where we throwing our bodies off giant cliffs, and plunging ourselves into deep murky water. I was not sure I was up to a day “I haven’t seen you at church?” but I was eager to try out my new swimming suit. A bikini! I was going to this activity and I was not going to pretend I was Mormon any more. After doing a few death defying dives I wonder over to meet the others. I was standing there trying to see if any girls would give me the “sinner” look. Ha ha ha! That’s right ladies I have BOOBs and I’m not afraid to use them.
While I was standing looking for reactions, some guy came over and started talking to me. “Ha ha,” I thought, “Wrong way buddy. Not interested. Take your strength of youth pamphlet else ware.” We exchanged words back and forth. When RECORD SCRATCH
He said, “Well I used to be Mormon but I’m not anymore.”
Suddenly a man whose name I had already forgotten had my undivided attention. It was Elder Price! Needless to say we spent the rest of the day together. In fact he wanted me to hang out with him the next day. He was eager to talk to me. I felt a little uneasy about this. I know, I know, two blog post ago I was fantasizing about running away with Elder Price (see: Book of Mormon Musical) but now having him standing right in front of me... I don’t know. See I had been handling things on my own sort of. Though on the outside I looked cool and collected underneath I’m fragile. I do not like the feeling of being vulnerable. I knew that there was no way I could hide that from him.
I drove over to meet him with my guitar. He played me a song he wrote about leaving the church and I played him a comedy song I wrote about Utah. We talked for hours. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to be truly understood. Our stories were so similar. It was like we already knew each other. Yes he was attractive but that didn’t even cross my mind. As we were joking around he made a comment along the lines of “maybe I will see you naked tonight?” It never occurred to me that he might have been serious. When we did start making out I realized something very strange. There was no red light. No church authorities threatening to take away my temple recommend. I also discovered that I am not afraid of a penis anymore.
I did not have sex with him and I never will. He is more like a mentor to me. That and he asked another girl out in front of me like a day later. Regardless I hope to maintain a friendship with this man.
“How long did it take you to get over the whole church thing?” I asked him
“ha, I’m still not over it.” he said
“I was hoping it could get it over with in like 5 months, maybe 3 if I worked really hard,” I said
“This isn't school. You can't graduate out of Mormonism. You need to just relax. You go out to bars, ware tube tops, and sware because you feel like you have to prove something. Like that you never were Mormon. It doesn’t work like that.”
I drove away pisst at him. “He doesn’t know me. When I was 14 I had major back surgery. My first Boyfriend tried to suffocate me. I cured eating disorder and started a mentor program for woman. I literally survived BYU. Lived in Harlem NYC and fought off a crack addict. And I just recovered from a legit nervous breakdown like a Boss! I crushed those issues and moved on in record time. Even my older sister was impressed. She said it took her at least a year to get where I’m at with the church now. Don’t sit here and tell me it takes years…please.”
But as I was leaving the city limits I realized I my a have limit. How long can I keep up this pace? Throwing myself into foreign situations. Every beer I drank, every boy I kissed, every show I watch was all to help pull me out of what I had convinced myself was a toxic environment. It is all in my head. No one cares if I wear a bikini. I don’t need to watch the entire series of Sex in the City. I don’t need to get drunk. I have been throwing myself off cliff after cliff. Putting myself in dangerous situation. Trusting people that are not to be trusted, and drowning myself in dark bitter feelings. I have spent so many years feeling guilty for being me, but maybe me is not so bad after all.