Monday, January 20, 2014

5 Little Bottles of Happiness

I don't normally talk about my feelings here, but after looking over my first 3 (somewhat cynical) posts, I decided to share some of my more sincere feelings.

First, there are difficult days. Kelly Clarkson's lyrics from People Like Us are particularly applicable here:
Hey, everybody loses it; everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes.
The rest of the song is applicable too. I do have these feelings sometimes. But I have learned to identify them, and I made a decision a while ago: when I have these feelings, I don't make any decisions. I distract myself--with homework, friends, music, youtube, whatever--just long enough for them to go away. And they do go away, I promise.

Other than those occasional days, I am generally and genuinely at peace with my experience. I have been called an anomaly--in a good way. I don't have and haven't had a lot of the same feelings that some of my gay friends have had--namely depression, anxiety, and shame. Once I understood that my natural attraction isn't by choice, I was almost instantly at peace. Afterall, being hungry is a natural phenomenon of the human body and there is nothing shameful or embarrassing about it (except for the stomach growl in the middle of sacrament meeting on fast sunday haha). If there is any shame due, it would be for gluttony in the unhealthy eating habits to fulfill that hunger. Same concept here. Attraction: natural. Reaction to fulfill it: my decision.

My friend Spencer updated his facebook status recently:
You ever feel so good, peaceful, and full of joy that you wish you could bottle it up so that you could save some of that good energy for a bad day? Yeah. That's me right now :)
I started thinking about this. Some days (including these past 3 or so days at the time I'm writing this) I just feel incredible. Optimistic, hopeful, sure. I'm trying to capture what about these days make them so great so that I can port them to my Kelly Clarkson days. Sometimes what makes them great is pretty elusive, so I'm taking it one day at a time. I offer up 5 little bottles of happiness that have made my days great (don't ask why...I still don't know, but I'm trying to figure it out):

Friends and being yourself and talking about whatever. Finding other gay friends and hanging out with them is so relieving. Gay stuff doesn't dominate our conversations, but occasionally being able to talk openly about how we're feeling, what our future plans are, and what our challenges and experiences are is really great to be able to find peace. They don't judge and are good allies to have.

Racquetball. Some regular exercise and stress relief brings lots of happiness. A good 1.5-to-2-hour session of hard racquetballing makes me feel like I can conquer the world.

This video. Though I'm not a proponent of living the gay lifestyle, I laugh every time I watch this video (I have watched it many, many times!). "If you're gay, then you're gay. If you're straight, well THAT'S GREAT! If you're somewhere in the middle, it's the best place to be: every fish in the sea wants to kiss you!" A good friend shared this video with me, and it makes me feel awesome. (Remember that awesome song Say Something by A Great Big World? Same group.) From the youtube "about" section:
A while ago, our friends Kristin and Dannielle (who run a website called that offers advice to LGBTQ youth) challenged us to write the "gayest song ever" for a compilation. And this song was the result! We believe in their mission and stand by all those who live in fear of being their authentic selves. NO ONE deserves to be bullied or treated unfairly based on sexual preference.

This video. Through Heaven's Eyes, from The Prince of Egypt. Being at peace and coming to terms with who you really are and seeing yourself through God's eyes is the first step. Once you achieve this, you can then decide how to respond to who you are--how to act on it.

And, finally, this video. Yep, I'm baby hungry, want to be a dad, and want an eternal family. This video just mesmerized me. I guess it's just a waiting game to find the right woman that could love me for being me--which isn't an issue specific to being gay but a definite twist on the traditional issue :) Keeping in mind what I really really really want brings perspective and happiness.

Of course, prayer, fasting, scripture study, and temple worship help tremendously and are at the top of my list of bottles of happiness, but these were some of the other things I've come across that I hadn't thought about before. Sometimes it's tricky to identify your feelings, but with practice, you can correlate them with things you do and invite them back on those Kelly Clarkson days :D

Dan Bunker


  1. :)

  2. You are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings!