Purpose

Lately I’ve been connecting with my Mormon history. There’s a girl inside of me who wishes that we would go back to church and pick up the beliefs that she once held so dear, and the rest of us console her in her disappointment. Ultimately, we didn’t choose to leave the Mormon church. We were meant for a different path, and the religion that we currently follow chose us — we could no more deny it than we could our femininity.

Nevertheless, the Mormons are still my people. The pioneers are my heritage, and the culture is my own. This is where I find peace. The connection runs so deep that it brings tears to my eyes, and trying to run from it would be denying a part of myself. It is only the doctrine and spiritual practices that I no longer share.

As I’ve joked for so long, “You can take the girl out of Mormonism, but you can’t take the Mormon out of the girl.”

I watched The Saratov Approach and 17 Miracles, and started to re-evaluate how I think of my life. There have been so many events that pushed me to my knees as I wept in despair, and even though I’ve tried to fight the mindset, I kept thinking, Why did I have to suffer so? I didn’t have any other way to interpret it, so I became the Victim.

Now I realize that sometimes bad things happen to bring about an even greater good, to strengthen and solidify us. I suffered so much because not only was I strong enough to endure it, but because I am also strong enough to build from it. I can now give my children a sense of unity and purpose that my parents could not give me.

What I went through was not for the benefit of that moment, or even for my lifetime, but for the legacy of my descendents. I will take on any amount of pain, if it gives my children and grandchildren the ability to survive in a declining world, and the determination to rebuild it.

-Star

Cuddling

While we were homeless, my husband and I got really good at being quick and sneaky with sex — good enough to maintain our ‘once a day’ standard, and it kept us close when everything else was so miserable. Unfortunately, the habit lasted, and outside of homelessness it didn’t serve us all that well.

It took us a year to relax enough to get naked and make some noise. However, since we have young children, it was easy to default to a ‘quick cleanup’ mode, and either get back to work or go to bed where we co-sleep with the babies. At the same time, I was struggling with a lot of hormonal craziness and depression, and there were always plenty of things to blame it on. We hit our low point a month ago, when our husband started initiating and Briar Rose moaned, “I’m empty. I have nothing left to give you.” She finally confessed that sex was draining for her.

That wasn’t right at all! Sex isn’t supposed to be draining.

So, after some mental churning, somebody proposed mandatory cuddling afterwards. We were no longer allowed to be “too busy” or “too tired,” cuddling needed to happen, complete with gentle caressing and loving smiles.

And something magical happened.

Cuddling led to more sex, which led to more cuddling. Where I used to practically pass out from exhaustion at 11 o’clock, I started lasting until 2 AM and feeling great the next morning. Both of our sex drives skyrocketed, and we started flirting and teasing more. We fell even more madly in love.

My depression dissipated, and my anxiety has been drifting away. My hormones no longer feel like they’re taking me on a wild roller coaster ride. I feel beautiful.

Sex is now rejuvenating.

I’m glad that we’re breaking free of old practices, and embracing this better life that we’ve built for ourselves. While I’m grateful that we’ve always made time for sex and kept ourselves free from any “dry spells,” prioritizing the post-coital emotional connection has taken our relationship from great to an exquisitely spiritual level.

Needing More Challenge

I feel like there’s something missing in my life, a black hole that keeps sucking up my time and energy, and I need to fill it before I can be whole. Since I felt the absence most strongly while we were showing our toddler a video of small animals, I’ve taken to joking that we need to adopt a bunny for the sake of my health. Even though it’s a joke, I’ve still planned out where we would keep the cage.

The Tarot cards, on the other hand, said that I’m lacking challenge. This terrifies me, because my mind always jumps to when we were homeless, and every day we had to stress over where we were going to sleep that night. Or, to when my husband was on crazy meds, and he thought that giving me a whack was a good way to remind me not to mispronounce words accidentally. I don’t have a sense of proportion on the matter.

So what on Earth constitutes a healthy challenge? What can I strive to accomplish that will make me feel good when I succeed? What will happen if I fail?

I’m not interested in having my husband give me pointless assignments — it really wouldn’t benefit anyone if I masturbated ten times a day, and I’d prefer to save that activity for my husband anyway. We’re reluctant for him to enforce the necessary chores more strictly, because the baby still demands a lot of attention and I don’t want to be pushed into more than I can handle.

Frankly, I probably need to be grounded from Netflix. I use it as an escape mechanism way too often.

Maybe we should bite the bullet and start implementing non-corporal punishments as a motivator. Then, once I’m better at managing my time, we should adopt a bunny. I know the perfect place to put the cage.

Arms

I love my baby with such strength and intensity that it’s impossible to describe with words, but as she’s nearing four months old, there is one thing pressing heavily on my mind: I want to put her down. Maybe paint my toenails, practice yoga, or knit without her weight on my arms. I’m cool with anything, really, as long as I can do it without holding her.

I’ve gotten really good at doing things one-handed. I can use my sewing machine, cook dinner, and clean up with only one hand. But the baby seems to be gaining weight faster than I’m gaining muscle, and my arms are starting to hurt. I need a break.

Epiphany

I feel as if my brain has been torn wide open. I’ve spent my whole life with concepts that didn’t make any sense to me, then suddenly all at once I discover that I understand. The epiphanies were overwhelming, bringing lots of tears and an uncomfortable migraine.

I feel liberated, as if poisonous notions were purged from my mind.

I can’t even explain what happened. I know that if I try to share, it will mean as little to others as it did to me for all of these years.

Dedicated to Natalia

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild, wild heart

I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It’s hard to find relief
And people can be so cold
When darkness is upon your door
And you feel like you can’t take anymore

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn you’re not alone

When you feel all alone
And a loyal friend is hard to find
You’re caught in a one-way street
With the monsters in your head
When hopes and dreams are far away
And you feel like you can’t face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn you’re not alone

Because there has always been heartache and pain
And when it’s over you’ll breathe again
You’ll breathe again

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild, wild heart

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn you’re not alone

Savage Garden – Crash and Burn

I’m here for you through all of the challenges of life, as your best friend and adopted sister. You’re gonna be okay!