Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Been A Year & I Love It

I came out to my family a year ago.

I was so thrilled with their response then, and never imagined it could be like it is now.

I have had the pleasure of introducing a man that I love to my family... over a delicious (read: passable (I had to make everything sound as rosy as possible, right?)) and entertaining, albeit sometimes a little awkward, Olive Garden dinner.

It's been amazing.

I love it all.

That is all.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Come What May & What May Come


I have a boyfriend...










That is what I just said.

In the past I lived with a life motto roughly around the idea of if I stay positive, things will be good. It pretty much seemed to work.  I was very positive, and I found positive things in my life to appreciate.

Come what may, and I'll just appreciate the good things as much as I can.  (Just pretend I didn't invoke memories of an Elder Wirthlin talk.)

It is really hard to find the good stuff when things kind of just generally suck in your life.  I guess what I'm here to say is, things can get way, way, way better.  If I can finally figure out how to get into a good relationship and how to find someone insane enough to be in a relationship with me--you can get past whatever constant struggles seem to be in your life.  When the shit has hit the fan, I guess you just really have to get out your binoculars and look into the future... consider the amazing things that may come.

This isn't a great post probably... but I'm just happy and felt like saying so...


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sömebödy Just Learned How To Do Ümlauts & HOLY HELL!!!

So, I just discovered that Blogger will let me do all sorts of čräžÿ ãçćėñtš ń' śtüff if I just hold down the key for the letter that has those options.  GREAT?!  HUH?!

So, I was contemplating writing some great post about dating and how I'm really terrible at ever finding a boyfriend (and I never really had a girlfriend either), but wouldn't you all rather hear a crazy story about how I could have been killed if I didn't come out of the closet?!

Ok, so... I am a strong person that fought through a great deal of depression as I dealt with coming to terms with my sexuality and what that meant for my religious upbringing.  In the midst of that depression, I strongly considered committing suicide, but much to my present elation, that never happened.  After surviving the lowest low to which I ever plummeted, I really rebounded quite well, and part of that I think I owe to this blog.  It helped me get a lot of my feelings out that I just didn't have anyplace else to release.  And then there were awesome Mohos who started chiming in, giving me advice, and making me feel not so alone.  I got the courage to come out of the closet to myself, come out to my family and friends, and I started changing my life for the better as I gained a lot more self-confidence.  This lead me to changing jobs, and ultimately moving from the basement apartment where I lived when this blog began. Which leads me to the point of all of this... when this blog began, I wrote this post.  The most important excerpt from that post for right now is this:

For some stupid reason I can't get a thought out of my head that keeps creeping up, as if it were important.  Just to prove my brain wrong on that point, I'm going to expound it to you now... as I was laying on the floor/debris/shorts (florbrisorts), I was staring up at the terrible ceiling of this dark basement bedroom I'm holed up in.  It has a huge area that was clearly finished long after the rest of the ceiling... so it makes me wonder if at some point the floor caved in on a poor tenant of the past, that was laying on his florbrisorts.  See... there, dumb brain.  They agree with me.  It was a totally pointless anecdote, with no real purpose or entertainment value.  A tangent not worth exploring.
OH, HOW WRONG YOU WERE, GRAHAM!  How wrong you were.

I recently had a chat with the disagreeable roommate that continued to live there while the rest of were moving away. He informed me that that exact area of ceiling that was the subject of my seemingly pointless tangent just 8 and a half months ago collapsed!  Surely the odds of me being in the middle of that room at the moment it came crashing down are slim to nil, but it could have happened!  If I hadn't gotten out of the funk I was in and continued in the depression that was endemic to my previous two years of life, I might have just continued shutting myself in that dark basement room... only to be crushed by some plaster.  (What a way to go!)

Guys... I'M ALIVE!!!

And it's fücking great.

You made it through another post!  Here's a prize:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm Wondering & Specialization of Labor

While some of you may have assumed my previous post meant I was done writing on this blog, that's obviously not true.  I just don't think I have much more to say that is groundbreaking for the Moho readership I have.  I suppose I could just resume the initial direction this blog was taking in a very tell-all-blunt-spewing-of-everything-in-my-brain type of style.  However, that only worked because I was 100% anonymous.  Now, quite a few people know who Graham really is.  And thus, whether I like it or not, to one degree or another I hold back on the complete ridiculous honesty with which this all began.

None of what I was just writing about is important, but I felt some explanation was necessary.

Today I'm here because it's my blog and I've got to write.  I think writing is to me what sex apparently was to Elaine on Seinfeld.*  If I don't do it, the bags just start piling up in my head. Evidently it doesn't really matter whether it's just me spewing my opinions on life here, or whether I write some love poem for the latest man causing me pining, warmth, or agony, or whether I write some stupid life advice that everyone can ignore on my Facebook page.  I just NEED to write.

So today, I'm here writing about how I'm wondering how connected humanity is.  Not just connected, but connected to the point that we opt to interact, reach out, intercede, withdraw, or communicate at a certain impactful time. These are the instances that make us think, "Wow, how did they know to do that at just that time?" I've had my own reasons for pondering this of late, but I was also reading this post from a fellow Moho blogger and it got me thinking all the more about this stuff.  There are so many names and conceptions for this facet of the human race (or for why we act in such ways) which has me pondering.  A few with which I'm quite familiar (meaning I have heard references to these throughout my life) include:

  • A mother's intuition.  
  • The Holy Spirit.  
  • Fate.  
  • Intuition. (Just in the character trait sense.)
  • Gut-feelings.

I know there are likely many, many others.†

The point is, that I don't know what I believe exactly about this, but I do feel that there is some level of ability for humans to have sudden, unreasoned intuitions about other humans with whom they are close, and to act in time to intercede with danger, harm, or maybe even good things. (However, I suppose my only experience with someone having a sort of intuition for knowing when to intercede negatively in my life was a roommate with an uncanny ability to get in the shower (at completely different times of day) just as I went to grab my towel.)  I tend to think that something about us has the ability to maintain some connection despite physical distance, time, and maybe even life.  (I mentioned once that I felt at one time in my life as though I was in some way interacting with my grandpa who had passed.) However, it doesn't present itself often, so I'm still pretty open to the idea that it's all just coincidence.  There are such limited experiences in any one person's life of feeling this concept that I think it's not at all improbable that coincidences happened each time.  On my mission, I largely only told three stories about how I'd gained a testimony of prayer.  Each of them involved an interaction with one other person. I can look at each and tell you exactly how completely absent any supposed communion with God, the exact same thing would have happened.  (Save one of them where the time I spent praying may have actually changed events if I hadn't used the time that way.) And I can look at each of them and point out the absolute triviality of the "blessing" that occurred. (They really weren't miracles.)  Honestly, I look at each story now, and I see coincidences.

Despite all of this talk, I had an experience recently that made me seriously ponder whether people can be intuitive to the point that they know just when to intercede.

Wow... I just realized I'm not going anywhere with this.  So, I am actually just writing for the sake of hearing myself write.

I will say this much... I think people who think enough about others and often enough, just stand a very good chance of getting their timing just right.  I think this explains my most recent experience.  Sometimes it's just that a person cares enough about the goings on in the life of the other person, that they get it just right.  To the point that we're stunned.  Even if there is nothing environmental or magical about this, it's still a pretty beautiful concept.  The idea that one of us cares enough for another of us to act in such ways is pretty powerful in and of itself. Add in impeccable timing, and it's something we really take note of--we even come up with varying theological, physiological, or mystical concepts to explain it.


I've also been thinking lately about specialization of labor.  Humanity's agreement that we would all start doing specific things.  WHY DID WE DO THIS?!  I can't seem to find my specialization that's going to contribute to the rest of you.  I'm too damn interested in doing too damn many things that I can't muster the energy to stick with any one damn thing!  I think I need to actually practice my writing, fix it up (a lot), and make it my living.  I mean... if I just HAVE to write to clear away the cobwebs... doesn't that mean it's something I'm pretty passionate about?  Somebody just use your intuition and call me right now to offer me an incredible full-time position where I just get to write about whatever shit is in my brain.... right........ NOW!

(It didn't happen. None of you care enough about me.)

*"To a woman, sex is like the garbage man. You just take for granted the fact that any time you put some trash out on the street, a guy in a jumpsuit's gonna come along and pick it up. But now, it's like a garbage strike. The bags are piling up in your head. The sidewalk is blocked. Nothing's getting through. You're stupid."
- Jerry, to Elaine, in "The Abstinence"

 In fact, my research into some concepts that I thought might be similar were fruitless, but I'm sure there are more out there.  For instance, qi (we pronounce it "chee"), traditionally from Chinese culture, has more to do with your life energy interacting with the environment and what you take into your body. Also, karma is more about acts themselves (of all varieties, not just well-timed intercessory actions) rather than the reasoning behind them.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Necessary Sharing & Shifts of Focus

"...the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot."

Yeah, this was an absolutely necessary thing for me to share with someone!  For some reason I ended up here.  Hopefully this isn't a sad thing for you to watch, and hopefully you feel, as I do, it's a great reminder to just cherish the life you have and help others to enjoy their life, too.  Be nice to your fellow dot-sharers!

I mentioned that I don't know why I ended up sharing this here, and I don't know that I'll be likely to blog too much more often on this blog.  Why?

  1. I don't have depression about my gayness at all anymore.
  2. I don't really seek out advice on reconciling my Mormonness and Gayness anymore, and I doubt I have any helpful general advice or stories that you can empathize with that I haven't already shared.
  3. Because I am very happy in my present state, my focus has largely shifted to dating (which is a very personal matter) and my career (which you likely don't give a shit about.)  
  4. Basically, this blog isn't serving much of a purpose for me anymore.  While I could continue to come here once a month and tell you how incredibly happy I am now that I'm out of the closet, done with the church, and dating men... I think you've probably gathered that from just one or a few of my posts.  I'm great!  
If you have any questions whatsoever for me about anything, and I mean ANYthing... please write to me at graham cracker lawrence at gmail dot com.  I will happily answer questions and do my utmost to help you on your fun adventure on this pale blue dot.

Bye!  (At least for now.)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Risks & Time

I take risks more now than I ever have before in my life.  In a risky maneuver a couple years back, I left a career path that could have assured me decent employment, and the fact that I left it may end up having negative ramifications for a long time to come. I came out of the closet and left the church that has provided my world view and foundation for living behind.

I came out to almost everyone I know on Facebook.

I feel like I'm constantly telling everyone about how different I am now than I was a few years ago.  So much has changed for so much the better that it's almost unconscionable to me that I could have been living so blind to the happiness that was out there for me.  I can't believe I was so stupid that I didn't start taking risks sooner.  I was so judgmental about risk, too.  Other people that were willing to take risks seemed like the dumb ones... how wrong I was!

  • Friends are going snowboarding: Why would I risk injury like that?  You all come back so injured! Plus, what about the money!
  • The natural compulsion I've always had to travel the world stifled by doubts about the risks involved leads me to judge free spirits that roam the globe: I better save my money.  You're not going to have money when you need it because you're always spending so much on travel.
  • Subconsciously... love: It's too risky to commit.  I could get hurt.  There could be a painful rejection or breakup.  Even worse... what if I commit completely and then screw it up? What if my committed marriage or long term relationship ends up as sub-par as my parents'?
  • Leaving the church: Well, you're an idiot if you leave the church.  You're going to have instant gratifications, sure, but what are you going to do with that crappy estate in heaven?
  • Coming out of the closet: What if you lose your family?  What if all your friends hate you?  What if you get hate crimed?
Take some fucking risks, Graham... and you, dear reader.  Take some risks.  I may look like a fool... but believe me if it's being foolish living truly happily, then I'll gladly take my dunce cap and enjoy this warmth that has filled my life.  

Risks have led me to become a man that is truly happy and pretty well sorted.  That said, I still have never had a real relationship, but I've never felt more ready for one.  Can't wait.  

It feels like I've been dating men for a long long time--it has only been 3 months.  I've realized that time is moving very slowly for me of late.  That is AWESOME.  I wondered if that's because my perspective has changed from an eternal to an earthly one.  If this is a tiny test, a blip in the eternities, it doesn't matter much and flies by too quickly.  But if this earthly life is all the life I'm given to live out my passion, my love, my thoughts, my feelings... every second is all the more important.  I used to just hope to die while being worthy of a temple recommend.  Now I hope to die having really lived.  Having experienced all that my soul desires.  

So, when I exasperate, "Ugh, I've been dating for so long and I still can't find him!"  The real truth is that I haven't been dating for so long.  I'm just very conscious of each day I'm given.  And even the unsuccessful dating I've done has been very worth the while.  Some great guys and experiences have come from it!  

I used to be someone that literally did nothing but eat, sleep, and surf the Internet for entire days, and even days on end!  Now I've embraced life to the point that I struggle to find free time for things. I'm busy, and I'm happy.  It's good stuff.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

R&B & Q&A (It's a rambling post... be warned...)

Hey you.  Yes, YOU.  No, not you, or you, or you, but YOU.  
Who knows what the hell I'm talking about?
Have I ever told y'all that I get kind of hallucinaty when I have a fever?  I'm getting sick, and I think I might have a fever.  Hence, I might be slightly out of my mind.

It's Saturday, and I'm not doing anything.  This is an odd feeling.  I haven't not had plans for a whole weekend since October probably. (Shut up, I know it's a double negative, but it worked in that instance!)  Pretty great that I got sick this weekend, right?  I'm counting myself pretty lucky.  But having this time to myself has lead to reflection time.  Reflection time has made me a little blue that I am still alone. However, it has also been a great chance to see that I do NOT have the blues anymore.  (The year before I came out in October I would be content if I did something with one of the weekends of any given month.  I became reclusive from my friends and family. I never did anything, so it was amazing to suddenly have dates and friends to hang out with all the time.) Honestly... I am about 99.9% sure that I don't have depression at all anymore.  Yes, I just said I'm blue... but that's just loneliness.  Not depression.  I'm not beating myself up.  I'm not lethargic for no good reason.  (In fact, despite being sick I still want to go work out... depressed me would have wanted to go buy a dozen donuts... for serious.)

Let's think about this from the vantage point of the four main causes of my depression that I felt before coming out of the closet.  First, I have lost a bit of weight, and the gay guys I've dated have been quite complimentary.  I've worked out fairly consistently, too, so I've never felt more confidence in my personal appearance than I do now.  Not only that, but I'm confident in who I am to the point that much of my anxiety about others' judgments has melted away.  I even dance like an idiot in clubs!  That was NEVER me before.  I don't care that I lack rhythm. I get over it and just dance for fun! So, there goes one of the four main causes of my depression.

My religion was another... and well... as you know, I'm not really doing that anymore.  I still feel pretty great about what I've taken from it, and I'm not constantly wanting to bury myself under a pile of rocks because of the crushing guilt I always felt.

My career was another reason I felt depressed.  Yeah, not much has changed there, but I did start making career moves that are setting me up to do better in the future.  I've pretty well sorted out the general direction I want to go.  I want to work with people.  I need my career to make a difference in other peoples' lives.  Whatever that may mean for my day-to-day duties.  And I have a goal income level.  I read some study that spoke about the amount of money you need to make in America to have as happy a family as you can... and it's a very attainable amount for me.  So, while that isn't all figured out, I have no doubt I can get there.

The last thing causing my depression?  Loneliness.  I was so lonely in the closet.  All alone.  I didn't even realize I was in a closet half the time.  I was that lost!  Well, fuck the closet.  I'm out to everyone that matters in my life.  I'm even considering really really coming out to everyone that knows me these days, because I still haven't had a single regret from ANYONE that I've come out to.  It's always been a freeing thing for me.  But... part of the loneliness thing is that I've never had a real relationship.  I feel really really great about the strides I've made in dating over the last few months.  But I'm starting to wonder one of my old sad wonders... will I never have a real relationship?  I'm only 3 months in to gay dating, so it's fairly understandable that I haven't found someone that I want a relationship with and that wants a relationship with me. But sometimes I get concerned that I have a personality that no one that I am really drawn to will be able to connect with the insane man that I am.  Even though I know I'm hard for people to connect with, I still really like me.  (That feels so awesome to write and mean it.  I'm being honest.  I like me!  I used to hate me.  A lot.)  I figure eventually I'll find him.  You, if you're reading.  Ha!  That would be spectacular!  Quit reading though and come nurse me back to health so we can make out, you idiot!  (Yeah... I'ma say that's the fever talking and not my insane self.  :)  )

Anyway, back to YOU.  I keep wondering what you're like.  Love is still entirely enigmatic to me.  I wonder if you're a friend, an acquaintance, a man from my past, someone I just haven't noticed, if you're a Grindr creep, if you're someone I've professed to not like, if you're someone I'm crushing on, or if you're just going to stumble into my life at any moment now or 10 years from now.  Hey! I wrote you a poem the other day!  Wanna hear it?

In Your Arms

I want to die in your arms.
It sounds so dreadfully romantic.
They say you start dying sometime in your 30s.
I can't really get behind that mode of thinking.
Living is living.
Maybe we slow down, maybe we break down, maybe we falter.
Dead is dead, living is living.
I want to live in your arms.
There's a romantic phrase to live for.
I want to find you, unlock you, seal you mine,
and then...
I'll live in your arms.

Sorry reader who has made it this far... I really am rambling aren't I?  (I guess I still care about others' opinions of my writing. But I'm sick and a little bored... so I'm going to keep writing.)

I found this list of 100 questions to ask a potential gf/bf.  I've selected a few at random, and I'm going to answer them for YOU.  (Ha, still pretending that you're reading this.)

1. Where do you visualize yourself in 5 years, 10 years?

In 5 years, I will be about to turn 33.  I imagine myself very settled into a great career that involves perhaps guiding/consulting with people on their small business ventures.  I am in a great long-term relationship with a slightly older guy that constantly convinces me to take vacations to new places with him.  I am mostly in charge of my working schedule, so I can afford to do that.  He's a... teacher of some kind?  (Sure, why not?) We probably live together in Salt Lake?  My family has actually met him and likes him.  I'm out to everyone, and though there are the struggles that come with life... I have someone to help me through them, and to help through his own struggles.  I feel fulfilled by the mutual love we have for one another.  I look amazing!  (Hey!  I like this question!  :) )  10 years?  I'm about to turn 38.  Maybe me and 5 year guy worked, and maybe we didn't, but in 10 years YOU are definitely in my life.  We are freaking husbands!  We probably have a house (not too lavish, but in an incredible location).  We also have a beach house in California or some other (no duh) coastal locale.  We are waiting for the chance to adopt a child.  The wait is killing us, but we have each other to get through it.  I've sold a business, and am doing more consulting work.  He has published a best-seller in the dining category.  He has perfected the art of coming up with new dishes on the fly.  He is also an incredible dinner party host.  My dog has gotten kind of old, but he has become the king of the amateur racing league we've gotten him involved in.  Life is good!
2. Have you had an experience you would say has impacted the direction of your life?
Hells yes!  Quitting on the professional school I quit from gave me the confidence to make very difficult life decisions and to say "Damn my critics!"  I think that's why coming to grips with my homosexuality and coming out of the closet went so quickly and relatively smoothly for me.  It has helped me become who I am now.  A happy man!
37. Do you have any political opinions?  Ha... ha... hahaha... um... YES!  I have actually been actively involved in politics in the past.  Unfortunately, I wasn't really into the candidates I helped for political reasons.  Each time it was for the resume addition or money.  Ha!  I love staying up with politics, but it has become increasingly frustrating as I've realized I don't know a single politician that I can trust.  I honestly want a new party to rise up that sticks to its standards and doesn't sell the people out for cheap political gains.  These manipulative beasts we have running the show now are a train wreck.  As for my opinions on particular subjects... ask me I guess!
40. What do you think is the key to good parenting?  Knowing when to stand firm, and when to let your kids make some mistakes.  My mother taught me this when she let me make friends with a couple idiots.  I learned quickly that I didn't enjoy the trouble and stupidity that was my friendship with them... and I grew from the experience.  She also always expected me to hold certain standards, but it was always my choice to do so, and I appreciate that.  
48. What is your dream job? Roller coaster critic.  (Who somehow gets paid an adult salary?)
50. Which living celebrity/author/singer would you like to know?
Jon Hamm........ biblically  ;)  Ok, no... for real... it would probably be Bono.  Think of the incredible conversation, the amazing parties, and the music.  He could probably help me figure out how I can actually make a difference in this world. 
51. If you could meet a famous dead person, whom would you like to meet?
Jesus.  No question.
60. If you are allowed to do just one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hmmm... sex or travel... too hard to choose.  What an outlandish question!
70. If you have three wishes, what would you wish for?
Uh, 1. perfectly imperfect husband, 2. world peace, 3. for science to find a way for two gay men to have kids of their own??? (Without labor pains at all... hahaha...)    (I just saw a cute family hike past my house together... hence I'm thinking about kids.  :)  )
87. What are your expectations of me?  I expect you to be patient with me.  I expect you to try to improve and build our relationship as much as we can.  
88. Did you ever want to kill someone?  I don't think I've ever felt that violent toward anyone.  Maybe when I heard about a child molester or terrorist I felt that for a moment, but I generally only want to kick people in the shin/punch them in the face if they're actually in my life and I feel violent toward them at all.  
91. What would you do without electricity for 3 days?  Cry.  JK... I'd go camping and fishing.
94. Where are some places you like to go on dates?  Restaurants.  Eating and talking together is one of my favorite things in the world.  Being in nature.  Adding beautiful scenery to the mix usually always helps.  Fun places, too.  I always have fun at amusement parks.

Kind of odd for an anonymous blogger to tell you all about me.  I'm either really bored or really out of it to think this is a good idea!  


It's my blog, deal with it bitches!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mustering the Muster & The Listless Life

I have tried to muster the whatever it takes for me to write on this blog a few times this past month to no avail.  For whatever reason, we all seem to wax philosophical, possibly poetic, and (for some) full of hope for what lies ahead when an arbitrary calendar system shifts a number upward.  A 3 is a 4 now, and we're all suddenly better, brighter, bolder, and braver.  While my tone may sound negative toward this annual renaissance that seems to sweep through many of our lives, I actually feel that it doesn't seem like it hurts. I mean, what's so bad about all of us looking at our past 365 (or 366) days and thinking... "What happened?"  "Did I like what happened?"  "Can I make things better?"  "How can I make things better?"  ?  Nothing.  Nothing is bad about this.

I've spoken of the sort of apathy I've felt toward my religion of late, and I think my apathy miasma has extended outward to encompass the usual customs of self improvement, personal ambition, and seeking a higher plain of living that permeate my general environment and culture.  In other words... I haven't thought once about resolutions until just now when I thought about blogging.  I still don't know if I have anything to say about them, if I'm going to make them, or what they'd be.  I guess I'm just remarking on how odd it is that I haven't thought about them.  A few years back I thought quite a lot about them because I gave the New Year-ish lesson in priesthood about setting goals, etc.  I wrote an elaborate list of ideas for changing almost every "important" aspect of my life.  ...I'ma dig those up right now... found them:
  • 1.    Run or lift weights at least 2 times EVERY week.  
  • 2.    Develop my abilities to be understanding within my relationships.  Start by striving to let my mom know how much I care, and with [Insert name of a girl I was dating here] and any other personal relationships, make sure I listen to needs.
  • 3.    Say a prayer before leaving the house EVERY day.
  • 4.    Attend the temple at least once per month.
  • 5.   
    • A. Get to church on time each week.
    • B.  Attend all three meetings.
    • C.  Prepare to learn as best I can from each of the hours.
  • 6.    Be more comfortable bearing my testimony to those close to me, and then, therefore, be able to attempt to share the gospel with others.
  • 7.    Write in my journal at least once a month, and bear my testimony of the things the Lord has blessed me with/the experiences that have grown my testimony.
...Evidently I was pretty set on looking at the church and life accomplishments as a check list.  If I check all these seven boxes off... I'll be happy and righteous.

Well... I wasn't happy. No matter how good I tried to be, I could never find happiness.  I only got more and more depressed.  I'm happy now--I truly am.  How to explain that?  Maybe it's the apathy?  Maybe it's that I've finally figured out why I could never really identify who I was?  Maybe I'm finally free (for the most part) of the crushing anxiety I constantly felt about others' opinions of me?  Maybe I've rid myself of a church I didn't believe in?  I think most likely, it could be that I'm free of the checklist.  I don't have these boxes that must be checked for happiness to ensue.  That eternal marriage box loomed so so so large.  I just couldn't seem to get the pen anywhere near it to remove it from the grand list of happiness-providing stuff.  Checking boxes didn't really do much for me, really.  I think I got a false sense of comfort and got pride that I could show off my checked boxes to others.

So, shall we just get to the big finish?  This year, I'm going to live free of a check list.  I'm not going to try to squeeze my life into that shape that my culture, you, and even I have spent years telling me to sculpt it into.  I'm after happiness, and I suppose that this listless (hmm... that has multiple meanings, don't it?) life is how I've come to find it.  I'm still trying to also conquer the enigma of love along with all this happiness and general contentment... but that's another story.