Living & Working in Great Places
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Today I have less than 6 days left until I depart Utah. My days have comprised of working, doing missionary work, going to counseling over my broken heart, going to the Temple, reading The Book of Mormon and hanging out with my best friend Tom. I have planned my trip until Calgary, Alberta Canada. I still must plan the rest of the trip. I don't have much time.
Who am I going to be? At work I had a disappointment. There is a lesbian couple that are my regulars. They have been my friends for years. Last week I informed them that I was going to Alaska. Initially they were excited for me. I told them that I am going to check out all the National Parks and LDS temples I can on the way to ALASKA. One of them said, "You are getting out of the fu**ing state get out of the fu**ing Mormon bubble don't go to the temple when you leave". As a friendly professional I tried to deflect and defuse the hateful tirade by saying, "Sorry you didn't know I was Mormon"! That only angered the couple more. It was like I had just arrived in crazy town. I served them quietly and did not bring up the fact that she had cursed at me. At the end of the service I thought we were back to normal. I jokingly said, "OK I will take your advice and do more National parks than I do LDS temples". She then took a fist to the table and said, "SHUT THE FU** UP about your stupid temples and get me my fu**cking check". And they left without tipping me.
Who am I going to be when I do get out of Utah? I am going to work with people who are not Mormons. I am going to be the only one at the resort I am at. The rest of the people are seemingly normal non religious types. I don't want to be afraid to be who I am. I am perfectly capable of existing in non Mormon circles. I am indeed getting out of the world as I have known it for my entire life. My persona is the cheerful, nice, funny girl.
I am not a judgmental Mormon girl. So I was not expecting to be judged. I am too busy working and trying to help others feel the love of the savior by loving them unconditionally. I am a service missionary. I serve on my days off. I am not though one of the LDS missionaries who proselytize. My calling is to feed the poor, and comforting the sick and sad. I work out of a place called the bishops storehouse. I help to fulfill food orders for people who are struggling financially. They seek the help of their Bishop who fills out a food order. This way people don't have to worry about feeding themselves and their families while becoming self reliant. At the same time my happy and fun demeanor cheers them up. I am also assigned to a neighborhood hospice. I visit people who are dying and try to be a friend and support to the families.
I am the lucky one. In serving my brothers and sisters in Christ I am able to forget my own problems. It is a wonderful succor for my spirit. Otherwise I am struggling with fulfilling the stages of grief over James. I have sought comfort also by diving into doing a lot of Temple work and marathon reading of The Book Of Mormon. When I am alone with my own thoughts though I have been sad and angry.
I have not been attending Church in the ward that I belong. I have been going to church anywhere else I can to avoid that. In some ways I am self isolating. My Bishop and friends are worried about me. I am an active LDS person so not going to church is unusual for me and a cause for alarm. My ex spoke with the Bishop and informed him I had not been to church for weeks. I was summoned to a meeting where Bishop expressed his love for me and arranged counseling that is paid for by my church. James is the problem. He has a girlfriend but continues to pursue me as if I was still his girlfriend. He stares at me until I acknowledge him and is always trying to be physically close to me. He follows me when I am with my friends and is always hugging and holding me. This makes 98% of my friends uncomfortable so they leave me to my demise of violation.
My friend Tom became my friend when he became my boyfriends Home Teaching companion. As with our missionary Elders our men travel in pairs when they minister to people. Home teachers are the glue of our church. They visit monthly to ensure that the members are cared for temporally and spiritually. One day Tom found me crying in my truck outside the church. I had actually been to church but James made me cry in the front of people. I was embarrassed so I left. "Why are you outside"? Tom asked. I replied, "I don't want to go back inside"! He sat in my truck and watched me cry for several minutes. During an emotional intermission he asked, "Do you want us to go somewhere else"?
From that day forward Tom has been my wingman. He has been coming with me to church at other Mormon wards. And we have been hanging constantly. He is my best friend. I can be myself around him. An example of this is an embarrassing confession. When I date a guy and he takes me out to eat I pretend to be skinny. I usually order a small meal or if we went to a buffet I will only make one plate. With Tom when we go to a Buffet with him you would think I were training for competitive eating. And he enjoys doing things spontaneously with me. I love to go dancing. There are church dances that are fun. Secretly I have been going clubbing. I do not drink or anything but I do have fun getting down on the dance floor. I love meeting people who are not members of the church. I love just being myself MOLLY and not always Sister Swantner.
My friends and family love Tom. They pointed out pictures of James and I together that Tom is in. I never noticed that in all of them he is looking at me. A photo of us alone during Christmas when we were only acquaintances it was pointed out that he is smiling large and beaming. His smile is like sunshine to me. And now his family including his mother are starting to refer to us as a couple and asking when we are getting married. We are getting closer. He started as a best friend. I can tell him anything. He would go anywhere with me. I am afraid to cross that line.
As time draws near for me to depart for Alaska Tom is getting sad that I am going. And as I wonder if he is a good kisser I feel fortunate I am leaving. I have only a part of my trip planned. I am going to drive to Glacier National Park in Montana, then I am going to Calgary to attend the LDS temple.
The things I have unfinished:
1. Buy another suitcase.
2. Buy gas cans.
3. Get my car serviced.
4.Rotate the tires.
5. Buy travel food.
6. Clean my apartment and prepare for a 4 month absence.
7. Get a sleeping bag,
8. Buy 2 solar windshield shields.
9. Put my gym membership on hold.
10. Lock my heart.
In 6 days my adventure will begin and I can get out of my life and become a different woman who is an Adventure girl. My blog will transform from my venting blog into an bonafide travel blog.