Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Don't Look Back

I started my daily scripture study by watching the above video.  I've always loved the story of Lot's wife because it was one I can so sadly relate to.  As I left the me of the past behind and became a Mormon, I changed a lot.  It's been a while so it's not a huge deal but the past haunts me a lot.  I have this ridiculously good memory about inane things, and so I can remember a lot of life in my 20's when life was quite different than what it is now.  I know without a doubt that once the Spirit communicated to me, there was happiness I never knew in the gospel and an understanding I have that I didn't always before.  But that doesn't mean I don't still have doubts.  About if it was just a fleeting emotion because it was something new.  About all the stuff that just requires a bit more faith than I'm able to have right now.  

Recently, I've had a few conversations with friends who are LDS as they asked me about what it was like to drink alcohol before.  A lot of times, LDS folk will say, oh if I weren't LDS, I'd definitely be a coffee addict or I'd definitely be an alcoholic.  Some even comment about what kind of "beer" drinkers they'd be based on the marketing they've seen.  I tell them that beer is an acquired taste and wine sort of is too.  If I compare it to the first time they drank ice tea - oh wait, Momos don't drink ice tea, so then I say... umm diet coke?  That seems to ring a bell. Mormons friggin love Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper.  But honestly, who loves Diet Coke the first time they drink it (besides my two year old?)  I tell them that jungle juice, or basically any concoction with hard A and something to tone it down (think margarita though a little saltier or Long Island ice tea or pina colada) it tastes just like the virgin ones you drink, because hello, that's why people drink it - it tastes so good and you can't taste the alcohol and the next thing you know, you're done for.  But most people don't drink those things outside of college or the first few years after college graduation at a bachelor or bachelorette party because they aren't really sustainable.  They're so full of sugar that most people end up having a bacardi and diet coke or red bull and vodka.  Okay, see what I mean.  I can just get going and then all I'm doing is living in my past of alcoholic days.  I digress.

The truth is, I'm not really good at talking to people at parties without being a little buzzed.  Six years later, I'm still learning how to have a conversation at a party without a little alcohol to assist me.  The truth is, I do miss the bubbly delight of a mimosa early in the morning, or the chic coolness of holding an apple martini, but then there's Martinelli's and martinis aren't even cool anymore (apparently, Moscow mules took over a few years ago, and yes I do wish I knew what they tasted like but I don't).  I guess trends change and tastes change, but looking back at it, well, it's just plain silly.

I'd like to learn from my past, but not dwell in it.  Though I left behind a really fun world, I got an even better one.  I'm excited for 2016 and all the adventures in store for our family.  I'm excited about still being Mormon and knowing that I still have a lot to learn, even though I'll probably always feel like the new convert, still trying to figure things out.

The hardest part lately has been the realization that as my kids grow up, how will I be a good Mormon mom to give them a good balance of what I think are great principles and what I think might be too much Mormon cultural jibberish?  I want my sons to be Eagle Scouts, but I've also heard the debates from supporters and not so avid supporters (all Momo).  I've never been a teenage girl who was LDS, so even though my super strict Chinese mom didn't let me have a boyfriend until I was 16, it's just a coincidence that I kind of great up like a Mormon (newsflash: Mormons girls are encouraged not to date until 16, and then to go on group dates then and not take anything too serious... ummm, sounds like being Chinese to me).  At the same time, my parents never talked to me about sex, so when Andy had a talk with Jordan (who is 4) about how he should try to shield his eyes if he sees a naked girl on TV, I was at a loss.  Growing up, we made crude jokes about things we didn't understand, yet we were all naive and most of us just thought "sex" was when the lights went out in a movie and covered our eyes as we giggled anyway.  We also probably ran around screaming sexual obscenities that our Asian immigrant parents didn't understand (we weren't allowed to say any curse words but anything else, they didn't really get and neither did we).  It's going to be an adventure raising my LDS kids who already know more Bible stories than I did at their age.  At least I know with faith and an eye towards the future, I should be up for the challenge.  Here's hoping...


James Wynder said...

I grew up LDS and tried out different things: cigarette smoking was ok as long as it didn't go down your throat, when it did it burned like the dickens!
Alcohol wasn't much of a temptation, everything I tried I gagged on. I remember friends telling how this wine was so sweet and I stuck my tongue in a spoon of it and gagged. It was like old grape juice with bitter. (Grape juice I love) When I said what it tasted like, they would like, "well, yeah, but..." lame, lame retorts!
I was living in Taiwan working as a voice-over artist and a voice-over friend of mine from Canada was with me in a session and I asked him about beer how it tastes so awful and why would anyone drink it?? He replied, "Well, the first time I tried beer I gagged on it too, (then he smiles) BUT I persevered." Which is, I'm sure, the same for the rest of the world. But seeing TV shows where EVERYBODY drinks beer and loves it still mystifies me.
I like the smell of coffee but drinking it still is awful. Unless you cream and sugar it to death, then it tastes good. I have 5 kids that grew up in Taiwan and once I bought coffee ice cream. At the time, my kids only spoke and understood Chinese so my two youngest were in like first & second grade so I wasn't worried. But no, my youngest saw the ice cream in the freezer and yelled out, "coffee ice cream! Dad is leaving the church!!" Then her and her older (second grade) sister proceeded to throw it away. I couldn't say anything, once I brought a 2 liter coke home with pizza and while we were eating my angelic Chinese wife (like you a convert) snuck upstairs and poured it down the toilet.
So these kinds of things have never been a problem for me; either I don't like them or my family protects me from them :-)

SupaFlowaPowa said...

I'm a sucker for some coffee ice cream, it's one of my favorites!!! HAHAHA I also still drink a ton of herbal tea, I make sure to always preface my tea drinking with ohhh some nice HERBAL tea! lol