To lighten the mood of this letter, I have added pictures of guys (and one girl) because, come on, who doesn't like cute guys (except my wife, of course)?
(For the wife, of course...Is she cute?)
I wish to write about relationships today. I will not lie and claim I have been in one with another guy but I will admit that my connection to relationships will be further explained down below. I began this past year in focusing on relationships, whether that was romantic or friendship. I have learned a great deal this past year. I learned of love, of respect, of kindness, of compassion, of anger, of jealousy, and of hope. I have observed my friends enter into romantic relationships with others or even attempt to build relationships with others. I have watched failures as well as successes.
(I find this picture cheesy for some reason)
Marriage. Two of my friends got married last June in a beautiful wedding that made me smile and have hope for my future and for the my friends' futures. I was fortunate to help a friend put together the food that would be served at the wedding and meet a wonderful lesbian couple. The wedding mixed LDS and Christian themes throughout the ceremony with the officiator being a former temple sealer. Another set of friends were married in an LDS temple and now live far away from me. I wish to both of these couples long and happy lives full of a wealth of experiences. I hope one day to be married but that is a distant dream simply expressed right now in the form of a single phrase, nothing more. The here and now is focused on other things of more immediate importance.
(Bare feet on the counter? My mother would have shot him!)
Boyfriends and girlfriends. I have watched as many friends have entered into these relationships. Some are no longer in them. I have seen their heartbreak and anger, confusion and happiness from this. One friend had the girl and he pray before becoming a couple. I will refrain from commenting in case they ever read this post. Suffice it to say, Sentry, they are now a couple. What is it I have learned, Sentry? I have learned that in each situation, both individuals must see the relationship as something that has added to their lives and not as something that can save them from themselves. Those that have pined for love and put the object of their affection on pedestals of perfection seem to only be avoiding the broken aspects of their own souls. Those that have had success in being in a relationship have allowed time to wear away at infatuation and replaced it with love, admiration, acceptance, and a willingness to stick with things. Sentry, I'm sure this is all obvious to you. For me, this has not necessarily been so.
What of my experiences? I have many awkward stories. But I do have one requirement to any date or any hanging out. I only ask of friends, potential lovers, and family to want to be there with me. I hate the idea of anyone feeling obligated to be there or doing it as some kind of act of charity or service. I am perfectly capable of accepting rejection, Sentry. Trust me, I get it all the time and I just laugh it off and move on with my day. Why obsess and focus on the negative when so much positive surrounds my life each day?
(Tattoos = cute!)
This past summer, Sentry, I focused on just making friends. To this day I still long for that period of time. Ignoring anyone that was interested in me was so much fun. To just spend those warm summer days dodging anything deep or involved left my very being alive with energy and excitement. But the long autumn months and winter months have since seen attempts to change that aspect of my heart. And while there has been much learning. The most important lesson that I have learned is this: give love to all those around me. Sure, Sentry, that sounds sooooo cheesy. And it is.
This past year, my eyes have become opened to how people act around me because I have learned to care about myself and about those around me. For that, I am grateful for this past year on relationships.
(How could I not share this with you?)