Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: burning man, heather and stacey, mormon resignation, Natural High, proposition 8, tyler
I am so glad to say goodbye to 2008. I want to kick its ass on its way out the door!
But first, I want to take an inventory of sorts. Here’s what happened, and what I learned.
The year started in Puerto Rico, and centered around work. My restaurant, Natural High, was doing okay, but we had the worst tourist season since before 9/11 and it was clear to me that the restaurant couldn’t survive another dead summer. Even the supposed busy time — which normally lasted until April — wasn’t busy enough. I stopped teaching yoga so that I could devote all my time to the restaurant, but nothing I did was enough. I had already decided to leave in April… I had wanted to leave the previous September, after a visit home during which I accepted that as much as I loved Puerto Rico and the restaurant, I needed to get a job that actually paid enough to get me out of debt, but I let Tom and his mom talk me into seeing the season through. After all we had invested, we needed to follow through, they said. I knew I was leaving in April, and I brought Pooka to Utah in January and had an awesome week watching Ted and Sharon’s boys with my mom. I got to bond with Cooper — a priceless experience that is the main thing that has given me some comfort since his death.
The last three months in Puerto Rico were difficult, full of long hours, contention (I learned this lesson — never go into business with your ex!), and stress, and yet, I accomplished something important — I supported the struggling organic farmers on the island by buying everything we could from them, and connected up the locals who cared about organic produce with the farmers before I left. Natural High was more a crusade than a business, and I will always treasure it, despite the way it turned out. And honestly, I wish Tom the best. I hope that re-opening the restaurant inside Freshmart will be well-received and I really hope he will be successful. I have to acknowledge that the restaurant’s debt that I put on my credit cards is the reason I came to Utah, and because of that simple act, I got to be here with my family when Cooper died.
It was so hard to leave Puerto Rico. I missed four planes before I finally got home. I spent the last week wandering around barefoot (I had sold my car) and sleeping at random friends’ houses. People kept saying I wasn’t meant to leave, but I knew I was.
One of my greatest struggles is learning to live my life without letting it live me. Another way to put it is to choose my path rather than to follow someone else’s. Staying in Puerto Rico was following Tom’s dream. Leaving was choosing my path.
In May, I reconnected with a close friend in Moab and spent a few days hiking and rafting and starting to love Utah.
In June, I went to my ex’s wedding in San Francisco and witnessed a gorgeous celebration of love between two women, who were supported by both their families. And I was there at just the right burning man moment (they met at burning man), with two fake fur coats for them, just as the weather started to turn cold and the wedding was shifting into the reception. It was unexpectedly heart-breaking being there, as I still love Heather, but it was also beautiful and joyful. I’m grateful that we’re still such close friends and that she wanted me to be there. Five months later, however, Californians voted to pass proposition 8, threatening Heather and Stacey’s marriage. I will do everything I can to help people see that Proposition 8 is misguided and wrong. I can’t wait until people lose their prejudice. Love more, and fear less!
When I got to Utah, I didn’t feel ready to fall in love, but I wanted to. I missed being in love — it had been about a decade. The first step was distancing myself from Tom so that I could be free to find love. And I did! And it’s absolutely amazing! When I moved to Utah, I asked the universe to bring me someone positive, kind, smart, hot (can’t help but ask!), funny, who was either divorced or widowed with children. And it happened… within two and a half months. I tried the match.com thing, which was appalling. So depressing! And craigslist… holy hell. But then I got on Facebook and Twitter. And along comes Tyler, the sweetest, kindest, most positive and loving person. The energy was — and is — cosmic. He became my best friend almost instantaneously. It’s the kind of relationship where we want to be our best selves when we’re around each other. I’m so happy to be part of his life. Meeting Tyler was possibly the best thing that’s happened all year. Thank you universe! (You just have to ask.)
Another big event was resigning from the Mormon church. What a burden lifted! Though I hadn’t been a practicing Mormon in decades, I was still feeling stifled by them. And when they inspired millions of their members to promote bigotry by campaigning for proposition 8, I had to take the formal step. I feel so much less anger in my life. I don’t think of myself as a mormon anymore. If anyone asks, I say I’m not. I don’t say I’m an ex-mormon. I’m just not mormon. Yeah! I am letting go of that story, all the conflict and shame and frustration associated with it.
Recently I started the process of dealing with abuse from my childhood. I think that being in a loving relationship and being free from the mormon church made this crucial step possible. Telling my family was horrific, but I’m glad that they know and that I have their support. I just realized that healing from this is necessary, because I’m developing a relationship with two young children who deserve for me to be loving, healed, free of anger, and aware of how everything that happens to them as they grow up influences their future.
There have been some painful events — losing Cooper, and giving up Gogo (thank you, dear Bethany for rescuing him and training him to be a happy, well adjusted dog!), and dealing with my debt, karmic and financial, but I’m so grateful to be here, to get a chance to start over (thank you, Mom and Dad, for the beautiful home!), to meet new friends (Tyler, David, nakedJen!), and to reconnect with family, even though it has been tough at times.
I started writing again, most notably for yoga journal, which makes me happy. And starting to blog again in October changed everything.
Things are lining up to make 2009 happy, prosperous, and promising. So glad to be alive and in it.
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