Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pro of Leaving

I was flying back from Utah having just attended my sister wedding... from the side walk (see: Off White wedding)  It was unfortunate timing that only a month early I had learned the truth about Joseph Smith and now I'm back in Utah. With my sister wedding I was in no position to break the news.  I was surrounded by Mormons for a whole week smiling and thanking Joseph Smith for protecting them from the world.  My tongue almost fell off from biting it.  I boarded a plane thrilled to leave Utah and once again join reality.  The ride out I sat next to an older Ex-Mormon with tattoos and a real "go get um kid" attitude toward leaving.  I was hoping for a similar bonding experience on my way back.  

 "Maybe I will sit by an older Ex-Mormon woman", I thought, "who has actually had sex.  Or better yet an Ex-Mormon man my age with blue eyes and a newly discovered sex drive. yumm..." 

As I was fantasizing about my my Poisoned Peter Priesthood I noticed a pail slender man with the biggest smile shuffling down the isle. He was happily chatting with strangers and even helped an older woman with her bag.  

"Oh God a Mormon!" I thought. "Please don't sit by me." 

He was checking his ticket and looking right at me.  His hair parted down the side his face perfectly shaved.  This man had elders corm president written all over him.

"Looks like this is my stop", he laughed and sat right next to me.  

Frantically I began digging in my purse, but before I could secure my ear buds I was bombarded with a load of questions. 

"Hi I'm Tim. How are you today? Where are you headed? I like your shirt, where did you find it? Have you been to Utah before? Have you ever heard of-"

"The Book of Mormon.  Yes.  My sister is a Mormon.  That's why I had to fly out here so I could NOT attend the wedding." I laughed. clearly my tactic of pretending I was not a Mormon was only inspiring more questions.

"Has she ever told you about what Mormons believe? I'm sealed to my wife.  It's wonderful.   Have you ever attend a ward meeting? Sorry, ward is just another name for church congregation."

Alright I was not doing another two hours of this. I'll just come clean and watch the fireworks.  

"Yeah I know what a 'ward' is. I actually graduated from Brigham Young University but I'm not Mormon anymore." I said with just as big a smile.   

Like a pro Tim change his tactic.  But instead of defensive religious prodding he flanked me with a "Oh that's interesting. We all have bumps along the way."

Now I was getting defensive "Bumps? No no.  I'm just not a Mormon.  I'm just a normal person now."  Before you know it I was were wrapped in a deep conversation about everything Mormon. And I was actually enjoying it. I had never been able to talk with someone about the church and have fear no repercussions. I was honest about my opinions. 

Tim had an agenda. However, it was not to prove the church was true.  He just wanted me to think about why I was leaving. He made some good point that at the time I had not considered.  I confessed to him that leaving was hard and there were many aspects of the church I missed.    

"Well why don't you make a list.  Pros staying in the church and Pros of leaving."  I Laughed at him, made some joke about him trying convert me.  I took his pen and wrote. 

As I wrote I got nervous.  I could think of many reasons to stay Mormon.  The stress of figure everything out was over whelming.  

Then I moved to Pros of Leaving and I wrote "I get to be myself".  I stopped. How can you top that. Of course there was other benefits but by caparison nothing beats being genuine and honest to who you are.  

I'm grateful I met Tim. He was respectful of my choice and even helped me confirm it.You can not blame Mormons for trying to bring you back into the fold.  Some people actually find happiness in the church.  It's hard for me to believe  but I guess they feel they are being there most genuine self...and I respect that.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Story Telling

I have recently taken up story telling.  Professional storytelling is a fun creative way to tell your story with the expectation that it be hilarious. It's like stand up with Soul.    I will post the podcast of the story here once I can.  But for now here is what I preformed last month.  abut 200 people were there.  it was really fun!

I recently became un-engaged. The man I loved,  the man whose life became the focus of my own gone.  I was not good enough for him, or his money, or his religion.  I was 26 and convinced I would die a virgin. As an escape from being single again,  I boarded a plane to Europe. 2 of my best girl friends joined me. We saw Castles of Scotland, the Big Ben, The Luve and the Effie tower. Due to a mix up with our flights I would end the trip alone in Italy Rome.  

The coliseum hung from they sky and sunlight cascaded though the archways. He dumped you.  I marveled the the ancient architecture.  It's over.  Columns and fountains and statues.  You blew it.  Not good enough. Not Godly enough.  The cobblestone streets were buzzing with venders but I couldn't hear them over my own thoughts.    

"Chow Bella I have special price for you? How you lika take a walking tour?  35 Euros. includes a map with free gilato"  

I buzzed past him...gelato...Maybe I will feel better.  I circled the plaza 3 times in search of gelato.  Finallys asked an old woman. 

"sucie do you know where this gelato." 

Suddenly up from over a bench lept a 6 foot 2 curly hair Italian man. 

"You have come back Bella!"

It was that persistent tour guide.  

"No...no no.  I'm just trying to find this"

"Gelato? Come come. I know it-"

Before I could protest he had grabbed my hand and we were off.  He spoke some rapped Italian to the store owner and then two massive gelato were handed to us. We sat at the grassy hill but this curly haired Very handsome sicilian seemed less interested in his dessert. 

"why you so sad bella?"

"I'm fine.  I'm just enjoying Rome" I lied.  Gosh I thought.  How am I going to shake this guy.

 "I know this look.  Please I beg you."

I smiled wide "I'm fine really...So what's your name?"


 My smile fell.  
"Oh... that was my Ex's name"

"Oh my God!  It is Destiny."

"what...No he was not a good guy." 

"Oh yes I hate this Aaron! Stupied Aaron!" he yell on the top of his lung. People riding scooter watching him jump up and down "Stupid Aaron!"  

  This man was ridiculous. It felt good laugh

"those scooter look like fun. I wish I could zip around Rome on one of those"

"I have a scooter." We stared at each other for a moment.  "Bella come with me and I will show you all of Rome?"

I'm not stupid.  I recognize I am a single naive woman is a unfamiliar city sitting next to a very passionate stranger. I weighed my options, Sit here alone and think about the man who broke my heart or Take a crazy life changing scooter and maybe I might get Murdered. 

"Lets do it!"

And we were off.  Darting down the narrow streets.  orange yellow white green blue brick building sped past. Nearly colliding with a Fiat Erion blasted his horn. I held him tighter my arms resting over his chest.  We snapped a photo at forum, we buzzed passed the Boca. as we drove he yelled "Destiny" he yelled as went "Destiny"

but then he started to drive up into a neighborhood. seemed rather far from the tourist places.  

"Where are we going?"

 He did not answer. Dang it Lisa, I knew I was going to get murdered.   I started trying to plan my escape route.  Then we pulled into an enclosed dark parking lot.  There was no where to run.   He stopped in front of a large large green door.   

"Bella come. I want to show you something." And he pointed to a notch in the door. 


"just look"

"Why? Whats in there?"

"just look, please" 

slowly I crouched down and peered into the hole. 

"Wow...Wait.  What is this?"  I said.  

"Look again"  Deep lush green trees tunneled down for a mile and then there at the end perfectly centered the dome of st peter's basilica. We we miles away and it was clear as day.  The most spectral site I had ever seen and it all fit in the size of a quarter.     

What is this place.  

"It is Italy's secret garden.  Owned by the wealthy church.  God himself told them it was to beautiful to hide so they gave us a peeking."   

"This is so beautiful." 

"No...Bella you are."

"Oh gosh, Your so cheese" Face flushed red

"Wha? Cheesy Bella you break my heart."

I laughed "Come on take a picture of me" And I posed by the door giving him my sexiest flirt-est smile. 

Suddenly overcome Erion dropped the camera."Oh My God"  Slipping one hand on my lower back the other behind my head and he... shoved his tough so far down my throat I couldn't breath. "Oh I'm sorry! I could not help myself"

I laughed  And we kissed in front of the Green door we kissed at the forum. and we kissed at the coliseum... and a few Asian tourist.  

And I felt something....Passion, Excitement, Shattering the shackles of my Mormon up-bring I allowed myself to feel.  Whatever this was it was awesome.   All my life God was watching me.  Guilting me, Shaming me

Why would God give the gift of passion and to take it away. Giving us only a glips of what others experience.   

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Elna Baker

Today I was planing on writing a chipper piece about the finality of life and how all things eventually come to a terrifying end.  But as I was trolling Youtube I came a crossed this...


  ...and was deeply deeply saddened.  I'm not sure why I clicked on this link. Was it because I have always had a fondness for the storytelling art form?  No of course not.  God wanted me to click on this link and remember how I used to be...a sad and lonely Mormon girl, completely isolated from the world. 

The link is a funny story from Moth Storytellers about a Mormon Girl. She describes what is is like being a Mormon in the big apple. In the story she tells the  story of buying a sexy lacy slip and only imaging some day she could ware this in front of a boy. She meets an amazing man who she clearly has a strong connection too.  However, he is an atheist. As you can imagine the relationship falls apart.  She insists he turn to God and he can't. 

There is a part in the story where she recognizes the end is coming. She comically described her wearing the lacy slip in front of him.  The mental battle of wanting love and wanting Mormonism was supposed to be funny but just made my stomach turn.  I was a 25 yr old virgin living in the NYC.  I used to think I was saying "yes" by saying 'no".  I used to settle for men I sort of like so I could keep my standards.  I used to buy sexy underwear thinking no one would ever see them.  I used to identify myself as "A Mormon".  Everything in my life revolved around my sister of Zion identity.  Joseph Smith was a bad man and it was painful learning about the filthy roots of the church.  But the most damaging part of the Mormon faith was how the church infused itself into the fabric of what makes you YOU.  I could see as she spoke how her love of the church was sustained by her fear of living without it.    

Her story of trying to seduces her Boyfriend, and failing miserably, reminded me of the first times I attempted to have sex...and failed miserably...

Her story has reminded me how lucky I was to get out when I did. I saw my own cognitive dissonance and had the presence of mind to leave the Mormon Faith. Yes! There are still single sad Mormon woman out there.  but they are not me. I got out. They have a choice to leave and they choose not to.   I need to just forget people like her.  Blindly giving up every-hang on...Wait a Minute...Hold please...

BREAKING NEWS!  Elna Baker left the church. A woman I just barely learned about saw her own cognitive dissonance and has had the presence of mind to leave the Mormon Faith. Phew!

 So apparently this girl is living her dream.  After a little Facebook stalking I found out she still lives in NYC and works in the arts AND we have six mutual friends! Now that i think of it I'm pretty sure I met her briefly at a church activity.  I remember her telling me the story of getting matching black eyes with a boy on a movie set. 

She made it out.  I guess there is hope for Sisters of Zion living outside the temple box.    

Here is a link to her story...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Loooong Term Love

One year ago I walked into a bar alone.  I had just moved out of my parents basement and out of the Mormon church. I was starting my new life, new job, my whole new world!  Mentally my mind was still a mess of Mormon phobias.  But determined not to fall back into the "loving" arms of the Mormon cult I pushed myself to participate in non-Mormon activities. This bar was doing a musical open mic night.  I was to nervous to actually get up in front anyone so I had planned to just sit and listen.  Thats when I met Alex.  The rest is history....History?....HISTORY....AHHHHH!

  Alex and I have history. One whole year of history!  I am freaking out.  When I was Mormon I was always very judgmental of the non-Mormon tradition of dating for multiple years before getting married.  I really thought less of the women who allowed this to happen.  In Mormon culture 6 months is really all you need to know if he is the one.  Maybe one year if you are "taking your time".  God!  I'm hunted by the numerous condemning conversations I have had with Molly Mormons about this. One story in particular pops out.  

Mandy is getting married?  But she has been living with her boyfriend for like 3 years...So then what are we celebrating?  She has already had sex with him. They are acting married. Honestly I thought less of her for "giving it up" without a ring on it. What an idiot she was.  Its so funny how she is excited to get married. As if it even matters.  

Well now I'm a little Mandy in the making.  I feel a tightness in my chest Just saying that.  I can't help remember my one year rule. If I didn't know I wanted to marry a guy after one year I would be done.  Engaged or it's over.  
When you leave the church you have to replace so many old thought with new one. But some of the ideas you held on to subconsciously don't spring up until you are smacked in the face with them. Alex and I have been dating a year and I don't have a 100% idea of what our future holds. I simply can not comprehend a relationship past a year.  
Every day closer to the one year mark brought me more anxiety.  I felt I was supposed to do something.  But then I had a moment of clarity.    This is a problem I can not think my way out of.  20+ years of conditioning does not fade away. How did I undo my fear of Non-mormon men.  I got to know them.  How did I get over my fear of sex...I had sex.  How did I learn to break out of everything.  I tried new things everyday.  Dating someone for a year is a new thing.  

So I guess I have to lean into it.  I'll admit the thought of dating someone for a year sounds like death.  I hate the feeling.  But I love Alex.