I Never Thought I Could Have Everything

By the time anyone reads this, it will have been months or maybe years since I've written it. I've probably hovered over the "Post" button a couple dozen times. In a sense, this post goes against a conviction I hold dear... I'm not "coming out." I share this post with no hard feelings, no regrets and about as much humility as I can muster. I hope the tone and words I use reflect that.

Coming out--a term and practice I disagree with--happened long ago. I came out when I finally admitted to myself that God loves me the way that I am. I came out during years of therapy where I battled internally every day. I came out to a loving family when I needed support during the most grueling trials of my life.

I don't feel it is necessary to explain myself or make any sort of announcement. I'm the same Spencer I've always been. I love the same things. I have the same friends and family. The difference is that you may now know something about me you previously did not.

You may be wondering why I'm writing this. Well, here it is:

I'm here to tell you that I'm moving on. For 25 years, I was scared of what everyone else thought of me. Your opinion of me was once more important than my self-respect. Though I still may care about you and your thoughts, I love myself and my life enough to live it for me.

I needed some time to find myself--by myself. As harsh as that may seem, radio silence became the solution, and my personal gauge of happiness became my companion. But the radio silence is over, my friends. I am not ashamed of who I am nor the personal progress I have made. I love writing, and I'm excited to feel like I'm back in control of what is being shared.

There's a depth to the situation that many people have yet to acknowledge. There is so much to be said, but now is not the time. If you have questions, I am more than happy to address them. I intend to be a resource for those who may not yet understand, a place to go if you feel burdened, a shoulder to cry on if you or a loved one are struggling and love you in spite of our differences.

There is a way for us all to co-exist and love each other regardless of our difference of opinion, religion or comfort level.

This is not a pity party. I am not asking for you to agree or disagree with my choices. It is a miracle that a boy like me has finally found the peace he deserves and has fought to attain. I'm not coming out, I'm coming alive.

None of this is new to me. I've been dating a wonderful "dude" for the past year and a half. We improve each other, we challenge each other, we love each other, at times we tolerate each other, but most of all, I'm so happy when I'm with him.


Colton and I in San Francisco - Memorial Day 2014
If you were not previously aware of this information and feel offended that I did not discuss this in person, I am truly apologetic,  but I also ask you to look at it from my perspective. This does not change any of my relationships. Put simply, I am happy and don't feel that any further explanation is necessary.

To those of you who have stood with me and uplifted me through thick and thin over the past few years... I thank you in the sincerest manner possible. Because of you, I am alive. Because of you, I have faith that human beings can love one another regardless of their differences. Because of you, I am the person that I am today. Because of you, I know what unconditional love really is.

I can truthfully say that my relationships with my family, my friends and myself are the best they've ever been. Because now I finally see that even on the worst of days... That is my everything.

Shiz Friends Say Part II

I know it's been a while, but calm down... I was taking a WELL-DESERVED summer break. Well, now school is back in, which means I am busier than ever. That also means that I make more time to blog. Doesn't make sense? I know, I'm a crazy person.

Here is the second edition (on this blog, at least) of 'Shiz Friends Say.' It's really not my fault... You all just speak gold. Enjoy.

"I used to be metrosexual. Can you believe that?! I even had a bic in my shower."
-Tyler the Co-worker

"So Spencer... I'm sure you've recognized by now that I'm pretty odd, but I just have to tell you that I've had the Grease soundtrack stuck in head head for three days straight." - Tyler the Co-worker
"What song are you singing the most?" - Me
"Definitely Beauty School Dropouts. It probably explains a lot about me, huh?" - Tyler

"When most people reminisce about their 'glory days,' they're generally referring to a time AFTER they've hit puberty." - Mark

"I swear I'm not stalking you..." - Lindsey
"We just have the same pee schedule." - Me

"Believe me, they aren't surprised. They know me, and you have a nosering." - Me

"If you were a mermaid, that would be reeeeeally pretty!" - Emily
"I know, but I'm not a mermaid this time." - Me

(At the grocery store with Mamacita)
"We don't need anything from this aisle." - Mom
"That's because it's the baking aisle, and you only come here if you're making things from scratch." - Me
"Are you freaking kidding me?!" - Mom

"That girl is always gnawin' on a pickle." - Lindsey

"I don't like to use my hands so I try to sneeze on the floor." - Tyler the Co-Worker

"Yeah! Don't drink and drive! And don't drowsy drizzle!" - Lindsey

"What are you doing?" - Mark
"Pretending I'm a hamster." - Me
"Don't ask questions you don't want the answer to." - Mark

"I just wasn't sure how I'd tell this story in the future without giving away which of my friends is the hermaphrodite." - Mark

"Well, life's tough for a hermaphrodite." - Me

"Did ya get my sausage?!" - Mark
*Waitress pretends she didn't hear that...*

"Did you see that lightning last night?!" - Amber
"No, my room is in the basement so I don't get much action." - Spencer
"Ummmm...." - Amber


I'm going to stop there for tonight... So many more to come!

Shameless PR Plug: Sonicare EasyClean

Ladies & Gents,

I have made an investment.

It has been exactly seven days since I materialistically fell in love with my new purchase. I don't use the word 'love' lightly. I spent what most people have told me is "too much" or an "overabundance of money" for something that is simply "not worth it."

Well, they're wrong. It was and is totally worth it. That's why it's called an investment. Investments don't sound as bad as impulsively spending $96.15 for a toothbrush.

So why on earth would I do that? I blame my Aunt Jenn.

You see, she is a dental hygienist and not only that, but she has
impeccable teeth. You just can't see it behind her mask.

Some of you may know that I have some obsessive compulsive problems with oral hygiene. You would probably be surprised to hear how many times a day I brush my teeth. (To those of you who I have kissed... You're welcome). Also, I have to admit I have whitening trays that I use a few times a year. Judge me. Sue me. Whatever. I find white teeth attractive. Anyway, I just feel like they get gritty and yellow(ish) faster than they should. Am I a tad overdramatic by saying yellow? Probably.

Naturally, I decided to call Auntie Jenn in a panic and ask her what to do. She suggested that I purchase the Sonicare EasyClean. So I looked it up online. $89.95?! Ah, heck no!

But wait... how much am I spending to keep my teeth white? Hmm. How often am I buying toothbrushes that do not satisfy my needs? Hmm x 2. So I contemplated... for two months. And then one day, I had finally had it! I had to get one. I just had to.

So I went to Walgreen's (you can find one there) and purchased my very own Sonicare EasyClean brush. I was so excited to go home and try it out. After the two minute timer turned off, I was in heaven. Literally. I couldn't have been happier. Since that moment, I have brushed my teeth a countless number of times per day, and I have noticed a huge difference in the feel, color and cleanliness of my teeth and gums.


I'm excited to brush my teeth again! Sonicare's ad should read something like this, "Sonicare: making you a more delightful person to kiss."

A little too infomercial-ish? Don't care. You need one of these. Aunt Jenn says to get the least expensive one because they other ones really aren't worth the extra money. That's what I did and obviously, I'm in love. However, I did find a Groupon the other day for the brush that is regularly $199.99 and it was on sale for $69.99 (or something like that). If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you the link.

A word to the wise... I don't recommend buying a used one from Amazon. But who am I to judge?

The Happiness Project Part III


I have an amazingly supportive family. I have incredible friends. So why do I always insist that I have to bear my burdens alone?

Last year I decided to ride the Salt Lake Century with my parents. It's a 100-mile bike ride that takes place in the Greater Salt Lake area (obviously). I've always wanted to do a ride like that, but let's be honest, I've never been the most coordinated or athletic person. Since I've been in my twenties, I have tried really hard to expand my interests and be more involved in physical activities in which I find interest. Among those activities are running and biking.

I had never ridden 100 miles before this ride so I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into. Those of you who know my parents know that they are in extremely good shape. They could kick all of our butts in a race any day. In fact, my dad just completed a one-day ride from Seattle to Portland (over 200 miles) for the ump-teenth time. So naturally, when I went into this 100-miler, I was pretty nervous. 

This must have been before the ride because we all still look somewhat decent.
The weather was beautiful that day. It couldn't have been better for our ride. The first 20 miles were a piece of cake. I had my perfect playlist going, we had a good pace and I had eaten just the right amount of food. The next 20 miles were a breeze, and I began to get a little cocky. Forty miles and the worst thing that happened was that I really needed to pee. After that was taken care of, we were golden. Twenty more miles were no problem for me. I was waiting for this "wall" that everyone kept telling me about.

(This story relates to my topic, I promise).

You think I'm going to go another 20 miles before I get on with the story, don't you? Well, I'm not. At about mile 63, I hit "the wall." And holy cow, it was a wall. I was breathing fine, but I thought my legs were going to fall off. And yes, I mean that literally.

I began to panic that I might not be able to complete my goal of 100 miles after all. It was actually quite depressing. And then the worst part came... A hill. It seemed monstrous at the time, but you'll probably chuckle at me when I tell you it was just a freeway overpass. At the time, however, it may as well have been Mount Everest.

I really wanted to finish this ride. I needed to prove to myself that I could do something hard and unexpected. I had to finish. So I did the only thing I could think of while slowly pedaling along, I prayed. I prayed for strength to get over the overpass. I prayed for the strength to finish the ride. I prayed for whatever help I could get. Then, I began the ascension up the mountain ahead of me.

That's when I felt it. It was as if someone placed their hand on my back and began to push me up the hill. I know what you're thinking... did God really send Spencer an angel to push him? The answer is yes, He did.

I turned to look over my shoulder to see how on earth I was making it up that hill and to my surprise, I saw my dad. His hand was planted on my back and he was pushing both of us up that hill. I didn't have the energy to choke back the tears that came to my eyes. In that moment, in the two minutes it took him to get us to the top, my perspective on the ride and on my life had completely changed. I am so blessed.

I am blessed to have the family I do. I am blessed to have the four of them who love and support me, even during my roughest hours. I am blessed to have parents who carry me when I am weak and hold me up when I can't stand. I am blessed to have friends that say the right things at the right times and will never leave me stranded. I am blessed to have all these angels that I have been sent.

When we reached the top of Everest, my dad pushed me ahead of him and yelled up, "Keep going, I'm heading back down to get your mom."

The truth is, I coasted for a little bit after that. With tears streaming down my face, I offered one more prayer, but this time, I didn't ask for anything. The only think going through my mind was, "Thank you."

Since that ride, I have gone through many personal trials. I have had ups and downs and admittedly, some crazy moments. But every time, every single time, my parents, siblings and friends have been there for me. There isn't a single time where I have been left alone or felt misunderstood. As I look at the freeway overpass directly ahead of me, I still see Mount Everest. I have no idea how I'm going to get up there, but the one thing I know is that I'm not doing it alone.

100.51 miles that I didn't finish alone.

The Happiness Project Part II

I feel like this is a lesson I am learning over and over again.

It's ironic, really. I look back to all of the relationships I've had in the past and I think each one ended for this very reason. Either I was unhappy with myself and therefore, could not be happy with someone else or vice versa--they were unhappy with themselves and nothing I could do would change that.

Yes, other problems developed along the way, but I firmly believe that each problem stemmed from this. You cannot, I repeat, YOU CANNOT be happy with someone else until you can be happy being yourself.

All too often we plan our happiness by our progress or goals we plan to accomplish.

I'll be happy when this semester is over.
     I'll be happy when I have a significant other.
          I'll be happy when I have a good job.
               I'll be happy when I'm married.
                    I'll be happy when my car is paid off.
                         I'll be happy when I'm done with school.
                              I'll be happy when.....

No, you won't. 

If you judge your happiness by hitting checkpoints, you'll never get there because there will always be another checkpoint.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be happy when we reach a goal. That's good. But I have learned that I cannot expect reaching one goal will fulfill my need for happiness in every other aspect of my life. So, hard as it is, I am doing my best to be happy right now. Right here. In my dimly lit kitchen watching my mom run around cleaning a house that's already spotless.

So how do I become someone that makes ME happy?

Good question. That's opening a can of worms.

If I'm being honest, the first time I looked in a mirror and thought, "I like myself" was less than a year ago. I spent 24 years looking at all of the things about myself that weren't good enough. And even more than that, I only focused on the things I knew people didn't like about me. I thought if I could change them, conform and become more like everyone else, I would become a person that I actually wanted to be.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

It was not until I could look at myself and see the good things that I really began to develop any sort of self-esteem or confidence. Has that realization made this last year perfect? Hell no. It's still been the hardest year of my life, but I'm learning to be happy when it's hard. 

Who, exactly, do I want to be?
I don't know.

Where am I heading?
No clue.

The only thing I know right now is this human experience is full of ups and downs. I hit rock bottom so that I can feel alive when I'm soaring. I face tragedy so that I know when I see miracles. I'm confused so that I know when I do get a clear answer. And sometimes I can't stand myself so that I know when I'm on track to becoming who I want to be.

Who am I?
I'm Spencer. I'm fun, loyal, sincere, adventurous, spontaneous, "rebelliously obedient," anxious, sarcastic, spiritual, uncoordinated, quirky, determined, sometimes dramatic, capable, anxious, honest, real and most of all, imperfect. That's right.

So that's my goal. To be happy being me. To love myself when I feel like no one else does. To do the things that make me happy. To live and be alive. Everything else will happen along the way.

Matinee Movie Tuesday: Pacific Rim

So... we have a little tradition. For those of you who don't know, Cinemark movie theaters has this special deal where you can see any movie on Tuesday nights for the price of a matinee. That's a big deal for us college students. Amber, Kristi and I have become quite the dependable Tuesday movie-goers.

To make a long story short, all three of us generally like the same types of movies... until we start picking them apart, that is. We've decided that we'll each give a personal review of our movies so you can decide which movies will best suit you.

Disclaimer: We are NOT professionals, and we like it that way. We just know what real movie-goers want to see or don't want to see. So here begins our Amateur Movie Review.

Today we saw Pacific Rim. The previews gave us low expectations, but our action-loving junky friends were quite impressed. Amber and I entered the theater with mediocre expectations. (Kristi was in Ogden... she bailed. Someone throw rotten fruit at her. Thanks).

Amber


Liked: "I liked all of the action. The storyline was pretty good. Mostly, the main actor man was nice and attractive."

Disliked: "The girl. She was a whiney, sniveling little woman. I did not like her, and I tried really hard! They also tried to make it funny, but it didn't always pan out very well." 

Rating:  

Would you suggest this film to a friend? "It really depends on the friend. If you love action (not the romantic kind), you should see this. A lot of females really shouldn't see it. They'd be disappointed there was no romance.

Kristi


Liked: N/A. You ditched us.

Disliked: N/A Ditcher!

N/A. No show.

Would you suggest this film to a friend? You should probably see it with your friends for Tuesday traditions.

Spencer


Liked: "The action. It was like a perfect blend of Power Rangers, Transformers, Godzilla and an adult version of Monsters University. Don't worry about any of that love gunk. If you want to escape your dating or married life for a few hours, this is your chance."

Disliked: "Two of the main characters looked too much alike. The only difference was that one had an Aussie accent and one was American. It took me half of the movie to figure out how to tell them apart. I spent more time worrying about that than how society would defeat the alien monsters. Casting directors should really take that into consideration."

Rating:  

Would you suggest this film to a friend? "As I mentioned, I would suggest it to those who are in need of some action... Not THAT kind of action, but those who want to see buildings crushed, bombs, explosions, fights and alien monster warfare. If that appeals to you, then go see it. The Cinemark is even handing out free posters you can hang in your room. And... You're welcome."


Stay tuned faithful film fans. Next Tuesday will be another epic adventure.

Shiz Friends Say

"Did you know that there are only 5-7 percent of people that can smell the foods they eat in their urine? And, I am one of those people. This is why I don't get dates."
-Linze

"We tried to do it again. I mean, we tried to sleep together again. It's just his head and his back and his hips... They don't settle down!"
-Grandma Sharon (while talking about how Grandpa has to sleep in a chair rather than the bed...)

"I just don't like that they have chicken balls on the menu." -Mom
"Well, they have chicken breasts, why not chicken balls?" -Spencer
"You're right. They are just an equal opportunity restaurant." -Mom

"You should've seen your mother trying to protect my breakfast burrito!" -Dad

"Oh, you're allergic to shellfish?" -Waitress
"Yesh." -Me

"I haven't done this since I done it last time!" -Grandma Sharon

"You must be careful what kind of lettuce you eat. I'd stick with Romaine. Iceberg is what makes you gassy." -Grandpa Chuck

"I'm just really against bunny blasting." -Courtney (completely serious)

"I don't think you understand how passionate I am about wind power!" -Linze

Around the dinner table:
"Tanner, I sure hope your new family in Australia has a sense of humor..." -Me
(To me) "Well, you're just lucky that we do!" -Mom
"Me? What? Why?" -Me
"Are you kidding me?! You're freaking crazy!" -Mom (I wish she was kidding...)

One of my new co-workers was making fun of himself by how he pronounces 'two by four.' He says tube-uh-furr. While that was supposed to be the funny part of the story, he starts out with the phrase...
"So I was cutting my couch in half..."-Tyler the co-worker

"I wasn't going to have one of these red bulls, but that noise freakin' pissed me off. All I want is to scroll on my computer, but now I'm just gonna binge on caffeine." - Tyler the co-worker

While singing Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You..."
"I know that song better than I know my wife." -Tyler the co-worker

"Get your hands out of your pocket, twit!" -Mom
(She really has something against Cat Deeley).

"Well, Spence... You're just going to have to make everything look good... except your face!" -Dad
(My family reeeeeally loves me...).