Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last May: or dancing with the devil.

Last May, at the exact same time, I finished up an assignment for church and my second year of grad school. Both activities demanded a certain amount of sheer adrenaline.

So, May left me standing in the shower most mornings wondering what would happen if I ceased to exist. I thought, it would be so easy to cease existing because, in the end, I was alone anyways. I woke up alone. I drove around alone. Ate my quesadilla alone.

At the time, this seemed eternally useless. 

I know my married friends would say, Enjoy it! And a lot of other people would say, You don't need someone else to be fulfilled.

Being single is joyously fun. I'm not going to lie. I can do anything I want pretty much whenever I want. Stay up until 2am listening to whatever music I want. It's lovely. And fine. And I don't think loving someone else is about being fulfilled (p.s. I hate that word). Loving someone for one day, two months, twenty years, five decades—the practice of that kind of adoration—what can you say about it? I would like to be allowed that practice. Just to see what it would do to my soul.

And last May, I was very tired of being unallowed, and all the old insecurities, the ones I do a pretty good job of battling out, were yelling in my ear.

I ended up on the side of a road in Long Beach crying my eyeballs out. I was supposed to meet a guy. But, I felt ugly. The kind of ugly I hadn't experience since I was 14 years old. Worse actually—because at least when I was 14, I had hope that maybe I'd get prettier as I got older. I texted him and told him, I'm sorry, I can't meet you.

But then, I decided I had to meet him because it was rude. So, I showed up—crying-face and all. Luckily, my older brother was at the same event. So after the terrible meeting, I just stood by him like I was 14 again. He didn't ask me any questions—just let me stand by him. 

The next day, I asked my dad for a blessing. He said many things—which I've written down somewhere. But, the most important: I bless you that you'll be satisfied with your life. I know a lot of girls would be pissed if they were given this blessing when nothing in their life was really the way they wanted it. I knew this in my brain. But, there was so much relief in my body—I felt like I had been healed of something—maybe the sadness that something was missing.  If God wanted me to be single forever—I could do it. Nothing would be missing.

The experience left me with 2 things:
  1. We talk a lot about the purpose of this life. The things we need to accomplish. But, really—the only thing that matters is our relationship with God. Do I know he loves me? If I know this, I can do any thing. If all I can do is hope that he loves me—I can do any thing. Even if being alone forever is the only thing that will save my soul.
  2. Marriage is eternal. That means it goes both ways. Christ's atonement was in force before it ever happened—which meant people could be forgiven of sins because of their faith in Christ even before he was ever born. I have complete agency in who I end up marrying. But, if I get sealed in the temple, that means the sealing will go both ways in some way I don't know how to describe yet. (But I'm working on the articulation).
These two realizations were a catalyst for a kind of happiness that is still snowballing down a mountain. I feel like God has been saying every single day: Look Emilia, I love you. I knew it before. A year later, I know it better.

I hope I can do something useful with it.


  1. I love you! And I love this post.

  2. This is beautiful. I love you and your way with words.

    And being single is LOVELY.

  3. I wish you could meet my sister. I think she would really benefit from talking to you about singleness. Too bad she just moved from Utah to Minnesota indefinitely. :(

  4. Can't make things change for you, but if you ever need a getaway, I know a home that would welcome a visit. :)

  5. Ocho, we love you so much! You have a lot to offer this world! :)

  6. I want you to visit me, too. Please come stay with me! You have such a refreshing perspective. I know it is hard won in some ways and in other ways it is just you and I would love to be around you.

  7. Boy, does this sound familiar...

  8. Love this and love you, Emilia!

  9. I love God for knowing exactly how to heal us through His perfect words. You have His gift. Thank you for sharing it with me (on

  10. As the stalker I am, I remembered you writing a post along these lines, and I really needed it tonight. Thank you for saying exactly what I needed to hear.


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