Confessions of a Disney Reject Part 2. Concerning Spiritual Matters.

29.11.12

Ello everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks, but well, I’m back with Confessions of a Disney Reject, part 2, where I’ll be finishing up on my two months in Florida. This post, like the last, is intended for anyone who’s curious for glimpse into my experience. I was astounded at the reaction from my last post (part one) not for the negativity, per se, but from whom the negativity came from. With friends like these…

I digress.
For anyone that may be wondering… Yes, I am Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it. (see this talk) As such, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a very important part of my life, and moving away from the “Utah Bubble” wasn’t about to change that.
Have you ever been in a place that just felt yucky? Like you’re in a place you know you shouldn’t be? Where uneasiness boils in the pit of your stomach, and you itch to leave as soon as possible? Have you ever been in a place where you, yourself, start to feel dirty because of the things around you?
Welcome to my experience in Florida.
In a nutshell, I felt attacked every moment of every day, from the Cosmos on our coffee table, to Fifty Shades of Grey read aloud sessions, Magic Mike posters, dirty language left and right, violent and drunk roommates vomiting in our front hallway, and immoral behavior right in my closet.
I was surrounded by negative things 24/7. Except at church.

The nearest LDS church was about eleven miles away, so I devised a system where I would ride a bus to the nearest point and then walk the remaining mile to the church. Now, is walking a mile alone—in a skirt--- the best idea for a young girl who’s about 5’ 1” and a whopping 109 pounds? I’m gonna go ahead and say “no”. Especially not after the meeting, when it was 9 o clock at night and dark--and spooky--in the swamps that surrounded the meetinghouse. I even had a run in with a smiling crocodile, but that’s a story for another time.
Nevertheless, I was convinced that the church is where I needed to be. And let me tell you, without the Spirit in my life, I wouldn't have lasted as long as I did. The Gospel was a lifeline for me. An anchor when things became unbearable.
Now, church wasn’t a “breeze” either. The most frustrating thing was that these new Mormon friends that I was meeting, didn’t exactly have the same standards I did. And my roommates noticed.
“Hey Kynia, your Mormon friend has a tattoo and wears bikinis? I thought Mormons couldn’t….”
or
“Hey Kynia, that Mormon girl from my work I was telling you about totally got wasted last night! I thought you couldn’t…”
or, my personal favourite,
“Hey Kynia, that guy that I slept with last night, he was a Mormon! I though you said you couldn’t….”
Now, these were really great opportunities to share my beliefs. I explained that we believed in modest clothes, and treating our bodies with the upmost respect, not defiling them with tattoos, piercings, or harmful drugs or drinks. I explained that we believed in Chastity before marriage. I explained that these were my standards, as well as the standards of the LDS church, but that obviously everyone is free to choose for themselves.
But despite trying to be a good missionary, it was still hard feeling like I was the only one in the Gospel trying to do what was right.
Bottom line: it’s tough to have values in a world that doesn’t.
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to put your moral fibers to the test and see what you, yourself, stand for.
But there is a very fine line between standing strong and benefitting from it, than standing alone and breaking Spiritually.
And that is the real reason that I came home. I knew that I could not live in such a hazardous environment for 8 months and emerge in one piece.
I was absolutely miserable.
Those of you who know me well, know that I am ridiculously STUBBORN. I was NOT about to just give up, no matter how utterly destroyed I felt inside. When you’ve wanted something for this long, when you’ve dreamed of an adventure your entire life, it’s impossible to just “quit”. No, my friends, I fought. I fought for myself. I fought for my standards. I fought for my dream.
And in the end, I won.

I wrestled with the idea of coming home for about a month. I felt that myself, as a person, was slowly deteriorating. I was becoming a mangled, rude, and selfish person.
Survival of the fittest, they call it.
But I didn’t like it. Not one bit. I felt my Spirit was being slowly degraded away, like every ray of sunshine in me was being snuffed out by the dinghy darkness. But still, I fought. I prayed. I received a blessing from the missionaries. I read my scriptures.
All the while, the Lord had already given me an answer, I was just too stubborn to accept it.
I continued to fight, letting my light be drained away, until one night, I read it.

Genesis 39.
The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.

10. And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
11. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to go about his business…
12. And she caught him by his garment, saying, lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Got him out.
Not “Joseph told Potiphar’s wife to sit on the edge of the bed, and began to explain to her the law of chastity”. He’s already tried that.
Or “Joseph patiently tapped his toes and said, ‘Potiphar’s wife, would you please give me back my shirt?’
No. He knew the situation was disastrous and he didn’t even entertain a thought of staying to “wait it out”.
He got himself OUT.

As I read these verses, I thought “do I have the courage to get myself out?”

And I mustered up the courage, and I won.

But even though I won, I still have this nagging bug that I gave up on my dream. It’s a sort of identity crisis, really. Which is why these posts are entitled “Confessions of a Disney Reject”. Because, in essence, I am a Disney Reject. And I am strangely proud of it. Because by being a Disney Reject, I am brave. I am courageous. I am strong.
And just because I’m a Disney Reject, doesn’t mean I’m going to Reject Disney.
Don’t worry, friends, I STILL love Disney more than the average six year old.

I’ll end with a text sent to me on May 26, 2012 2.08 pm:
“Keep your head up Captain! The waves will continue breaking against the boat; but the boat (you) was built strong and will hold. Remember, it’s always the journey that you always respect/appreciate later… once you’re out of the storm. With much love, Daddio”.

Once I read this aloud to my mother and in a small voice said, “But Mom, I quit. I wasn’t strong enough. My boat didn’t hold”.
And my sweet mother replied, “Yes it did hold because every strong Captain knows when to steer clear of a storm and adjust the sails”.

So there you have it, my friends.

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.

Mischief Managed.

_Kynia

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