Tag Archives: religion

I am woman. See me wander.

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I am woman. See me wander.

While my husband and kids were out for their weekly indoctrination, I decided to do something different. I wanted to get out and about, do something good for my mind, body, and soul. I used to depend on church for the mind and soul part, and without that dragging me down into endless guilt and misery, I have felt the need to replace it with something else, something better, something lighter.

So up the mountain I went.

I am 220 pounds. I don’t mind telling you that. I also don’t mind you knowing that exactly none of that one-tenth+ a metric ton of me is muscle, other than the muscles it took to rally and work together to haul my fat ass up a mountain today. Think I’m big? Check this guy out:

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Talk about plus size. I know it’s not as big as other mountains, but for me, the trail leading up to the waterfall at the top was long as fuck.

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I know a lot about the wilderness. My first husband was only like two generations from Cro-Magnon and was basically a bear, and he taught me lots of stuff. So I was pretty prepared to make my trek, with a stick in one hand in case I ran into any creatures that I needed to poke to check for signs of life before running away and (probably) suffering a long and painful fall down the mountain. That’s how the wilderness works, correct? Well, a lot of good being married to a caveman did.

I eventually made it to the top, and someone was gracious enough to offer to take my photo. I explained to her, unsolicited of course, that climbing this mountain was an enormous feat, as it had just occurred to me that the last time I had done it, I was half my age and literally half my size. Here’s that glowing photo of me.

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I made it up the mountain. Here’s proof in case I don’t do it again in this lifetime.

I guess nature isn’t all bad. I saw some wildflowers and splashed in the water some, and made a mental list of all the things I will want to take with me next time I decide to amble up the side of a mountain (below for reference).

I’m a pretty indoorsy person, but I would give the experience 4 out of 5 stars (missing 1 star because it was a crowded trail and I kept standing off to the side to let people get ahead of me far enough that I could feel alone again). I liked a lot of things about it. I liked saying hi to people on the trail. I liked their dogs. I felt like people on the trail are nicer than people at church because they’re nice, and not because they’re at church and Jesus wants people to be nice when they’re at church. I liked the dogs. I already said that. I just really like dogs. I liked that I felt more like me, like my life was free of judgment and guilt, and I was just out on a mountain with other people who like mountains and dogs and not feeling guilty. I liked that towards the bottom, someone was playing music, and I sang on the trail and stopped for a few seconds to have a solo dance party. And when the person playing the music walked past me, he said, “I like your moves!” and I said thanks and again, I was reminded of something I like about me. Something that got lost during my years devoted to a religion. I like to dance and sing on mountains, I guess. And also if something seems like it might be fun, I’m going to try it. My life has been tremendously blessed since I started trying things that I thought would be fun again.

It was a good worship day for me. When I made it back down to the bottom (someone please explain to me how it’s possible for that hike to be uphill both ways), I looked up into the sky and told the universe what a good job I think it has done, and I looked around to make sure no one could see me, and I gave the world two thumbs up. Because it’s just that cool. And another gratuitous photo of me, just because I was hot, sweaty, and I felt kind of adorable in an “I just kicked a mountain’s ass” kind of way:

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Now for next time:

  • Journal. I used to be so good at keeping a journal. And it felt like a sin against nature to take notes on my phone about what I wanted to remember and what I was thinking about while I was hiking. (Although gratuitous selfies and photos of every wildflower I saw seemed like a good idea.) Another thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’m still a writer deep down in my heart and I experienced some heartache not being able to write anything down.
  • Better shoes. The trail was categorized as easy on the National Parks site, so I didn’t worry too much about shoes. I think at the very least I’ll tie my shoes for the ascent and descent too. 🙂 It didn’t occur to me to tie my shoes until I got to the top. Ha.
  • Good eyesight. Glasses make my face sweaty and collect sweat from my head right on the bridge of my nose. Remind me next time I hike up a mountain to bring with me the ability to see perfectly without corrective lenses. 
  • More water. I had 2 water bottles that I pulled right out of the freezer before I left. I thought it would probably be hot enough that the ice would melt by the time I got to the top, and while the 2 tablespoons of melted water that I had at the top were refreshing, it didn’t quite cut it. I got dizzy a couple times and had to sit on the way back, but I didn’t die, didn’t faint, and only turned red enough for 3 people to stop and ask me if I was doing okay. Nice genes, parents!

bored. depressed. don’t care.

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Daphne is better at expressing her non-emotion than I am at faking mine. 🙂

When people ask me how I’m doing, I know I should say, “Fine.” And I usually do. I think there has only been one person who asked me that and I told her I was bored or depressed or something, but that I didn’t care enough to actually figure it out. To that person, I probably should have just said “Fine.” I guess I really just wanted to add “awkward” to my feelings repertoire.

Mostly I think I’m bored. I’ve been wanting to write something about this but it just seems like it doesn’t bother me that much to not feel anything about anything, until I sit down and start a blog post about it. And then I start to feel things. Specifically, I start to feel things about my lack of feelings. It feels bad. It feels like I’m very sad. Not with my life, but my memories of feelings make me feel sad. I start by having memories of feeling sad when I fought with my husband, or feeling really happy when one of my kids did something super amazing. I feel sad now because I miss those feelings.

So you can probably imagine that this apathy I have towards everything has extended into a lot of areas of my life. I’m tired. I’m barely Mormon right now. I still go to church (sacrament meeting) and the other two meetings I stay for about as long as I can stave off my inevitable anxiety attack. I don’t even know what the trigger is. I’m bored, but also there are people in there, lots of people, lots of people talking about feeling the spirit, about feeling charitable and kind and loving, and about caring about other people, about people we don’t know. I don’t understand and I don’t like it and it doesn’t feel right. I’ve walked out of many meetings crying because it was uncomfortable unbearable. Mothers Day 2016, they said, “Talk to your neighbor about your feelings” about a passage of scripture, and I stood up, burst into tears, and walked home, barefoot, in pouring rain.

So I stick around, close(ish) to the church, trying out coffee, trying out tea, because these things seem to help a lot of my kind of people, people I look up to, unwind and destress and have easier times navigating life. I stopped debating for hours and hours before going to R rated movies. I guess I just feel like I might just be bored and in that case, I might come back. And it’s not that I want an excuse to sin. That’s always a really popular thing to say to people who are transitioning out of the church, and I’ve heard it a lot and haven’t even told many people about my near-exit. Coffee and tea are still gross and now I don’t worry so much about dying and going to hell on the way home from the movies, but it’s not about me feeling like I’ve been missing out on things. I feel like I might come back (if the church ever lightens up on gays and stops inadvertently squashing everyone with a vag), so I’m not out of it completely. I feel bored and I feel like boredom and basically not caring is not a good reason to quit things you’ve done for 30 years. Because maybe I won’t always be bored, and maybe the church won’t always be a jerk.

There is a lot of talk of eternal life, eternal families, living forever. And so much back and forth and discord about what that actually means and what’s required. I don’t know what goes on after this life, but eternal life sounds awful. It’s comforting to people, I guess. But it makes more sense to me that we live this life and then settle down in the ground and then we are done. There is something really spectacular about that, about knowing that this is it, that this is what we get, and make the most of it. But I could just be bored.

Post-edit: Wow, that kind of came out of nowhere, and might have sounded angrier than it was supposed to. Don’t read into it.

Other than breaking up with the church (we’re actually just on a break, I think maybe), I have no motivation to do anything. Diet and exercise sounds like something extra I need to do, and so does work. I don’t avoid it because I’m not a hard worker. I wouldn’t actually say I avoid it. I just don’t know where to find the motivation for it. In the past I’ve been a very hard worker (and a lot thinner). I was always able to find a job. I have been to what seems like 5,000 interviews in the past month and a half because I feel like I should get a job. I feel like I should have something else to care about that I likely won’t care about. And the last person who interviewed me and then “went another direction” told me that I just didn’t seem to care that much about whether I got the job or not. Shock. Awe. Et cetera.

There have been a lot of really horrendous things happening in the world. I recognize that. But even these horrible things, I just can’t get myself to put together the right words. I can’t formulate anything comforting or wise. I’d like to feel awful. I wish I was tormented at night because of these things, some extra really close to home things. But I literally cannot dig anything up out of my heart to feel the right things or even fake the right things to say. Someone tell me what to say. I’d like to be that person who gives hugs at the right times and says things at the right time. The last time I saw my therapist, he said I needed a friend. I’m not sure who wants to be friends with someone who doesn’t actually value relationships, but I guess if anyone wants in, I’m here. Let me know. I’m not doing anything. Let’s talk for a minute and then ignore each other.

Peace.

And breathe. And post this.