Elle est bizarre, la vie, pourtant je l’aime bien. Elle peut être gentille, tranquille, inutile, et chiante, et desfois tout à la fois. Elle est agréable d’un moment, et de l’autre une vraie salope. C’est ceci qui me fait me demander pourquoi est-elle comme ça? Me voici, petit qu je suis, quand on se compare au grand monde mystérieux. Une petite fourmie au vrai dire.
Je me trouve dans le monde au moment où il semble que tout s’achève, où tout s’accomplit. Il y a de la guerre, il y a de la haine, il y a de la violence, de l’immoralité, et de tout ce qui est mauvais. Mais qui a dit que ces chose sont mauvaises? Dès la fondation du monde, et bien avant cela, il fussent des lois, des lois qui distinguent le bien du mal, le saint du méchant, et ces lois nous gouvernent tous.
Me voici, petit que je suis, et ma vie me semble grande, importante, plus importante même que celles des autres. Et c’est qui qui décide cela? Ce n’est pas moi, c’est certain. Donc pourquoi est-ce que je pense de telles choses? Pourquoi me semble-t-il que ma vie miniscule se sépare des autres? Ne sommes-nous pas tous égale?
Au vrai dire, et au point, je suis confronté de deux vies. Je me vois sur la route mystérieuse de ma vie—mais je m’arrête à une fourche. D’un côté se trouve la route qui se ressemble à celle que je mène maintenant. C’est une vie ou les décisions sont similaires aux celles que j’ai déjà fait. Cette vie consiste d’une vie “normale”…
A rough translation:
Life is bizarre, but I love it still. It can be kind, tranquil, useless, and a real pain in the ass, and sometimes everything at once. It can be hunky-dory one minute, and a real bitch the next. This leads me to wonder, “why is it like that?” Enter me, small as I am when compared to the great mysterious world, truly like a tiny ant.
I find myself in the world at a time when everything seemingly is coming to an end, where everything is coming to pass. There is war, there is hate, there is violence, immorality and everything else wicked. But who determined that these things are bad? Since the beginning of the world, and well before, there have been laws, laws that distinguish good from bad, holy from hellish, and these laws govern us all.
Enter me, small as I am, and my life seems to me to be grand, important, even more important than that of others. And who decides this? It is not I, that much is certain. So why then am I thinking of such things? Why do I seem to think that my own tiny life could be different or better than others? Are we not all equal?
In truth, and more to the point, I am confronted with two lives. I see myself on the mysterious road of my life—but I am stopped at a fork. On one side is a path that resembles that which I have led up to this point. It is a life whose decisions are similar to those that I’ve already made. This life consists of a “normal” life…
I can pinpoint this little tidbit to around October 2004, a time in my life that was full of transition and self-discovery. I had recently returned from serving as a Latter-Day Saint missionary in Belgium and France, I had just begun a new job managing a warehouse full of vacuum cleaners, and I was making my first educational foray into what I would soon after discover as my love and passion: graphic design.
And if that wasn’t enough, I was also trying to reconcile my religious upbringing with the internalization and personal acceptance of my homosexuality. I was still living at home with my parents, I had told no one of my Great Secret, and my internal struggle was temporarily assuaged with the penning of this cryptic, stream-of-consciousness musing about the world in which I found myself. I chose French because, at the time, I knew that I could use it to feel comfortable about divulging my innermost conflicts. It was both for security—no one in my family or close circle of friends could read it fluently—and because two years of speaking it every day rendered my English tongue a twisted, garbled train wreck. French was a beautiful, emotional, idiomatic dream in comparison.
Had I finished the piece that I had scribbled down during a train-ride home from class one autumn evening, I no doubt would have detailed the other side of the fork, a path which would eventually lead me to be true to myself, following my heart and embracing my inner self. This path would be far from straight and narrow—contradictory to all that I had been taught about God, The Commandments, and The Righteous Path To Salvation. Yet with more than three years of hindsight under my belt, I can’t say that I would have foreseen The Other Path with as much clarity as I do now. Would I recognize that a path this windy and obstacle-ridden was exactly what I needed?
Yesterday I attended the third Gay Pride parade of my out-of-the-closet existence, and despite my general distaste for the obnoxious display of gay cultural stereotypes, I enjoyed being able to be myself amongst other people being themselves. And festivities aside, I took a moment to reflect upon how far I’ve come since that naïve twenty-year-old Mormon boy stepped onto a plane bound for Europe and a two-year tour of proselytizing and service to God.
In the past four years I have left the Church altogether, affirmed my apathy toward organized religion, and spent a good deal of time actively purging the doctrines that were inculcated throughout my youth. Only now do I feel comfortable approaching the precepts of religion again, though it still remains a low priority on my list of things to do. I have led what I consider to be an honest, contributing life. I try to keep an open mind, and do right by other people.
I look back upon my upbringing, and I am grateful for my parents and their parenting. I could have been a lot worse off. I do not regret serving as a missionary, because I recognize the work ethic, values, and personality that it helped me to develop. I do not see myself as strong a person as I am today without that history. And I am grateful for the experiences I had while there, which have led me to dispense with bigotry, hatred, and a closed mind.
I am happier now than I can ever recall, and it is the life that I have led and the choices that I have made along that path that are directly responsible for bringing me to where I am today. There was a fork in the road that Autumn day in 2004, and I made my path. I cannot foresee what lies ahead, nor how many more forks I will encounter along the way. All I can hope for is the wisdom to make the right choices, and the humility to learn from any mistakes. And I cannot ask for more.
We all bear the scars.
Yes, we all feign a laugh.
We all sigh in the dark;
Get cut off before we start.
And as the first act begins,
You realize they’re all waiting
For a fall, for a flaw,
For the end.
There’s a path stained with tears.
Could you talk to quiet my fears?
Could you pull me aside,
Just to acknowledge that I tried?
And as your last breath begins,
contently take it in,
‘Cause we all get it in
And as your last breath begins,
You find your demon’s your best friend.
And we all get it in
– Justin Bond