10 years is a very long time for a 31 year old. It's essentially a third of one's life. So what's with the title and why is 10 years so important today? Let me take you back in time...
10 years ago, to this very day, I was on a plane on my way back to America. I had fulfilled my 2 year mission and I was scared. I had no plan. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I didn't know what I was going to do next. It was on this day that I realized I was lost. I had never been more lost and I don't believe I have been as lost as I was on that day since.
Sure I had an idea (the same one every other RM has): come home from my mission, spend some time with family and friends, find a job, look at starting college, find a woman to marry in the temple, and have kids. But why? I was struggling with my belief, or lack thereof for a better perspective. It was in high school that I came to a realization that the faith was a lie, but due to familial and social pressure I trudged on through the muck.
I was a 21 year old who missed out on things young adults did for the last two years. I spent two years spreading an idea I didn't believe myself. I was told my mission would be the best two years of my life. While some of it was, a lot of it was the worst two years of my life. I was miserable. I wanted to come home, but only to get away from the smothering environment of a Mormon mission. My whole life I was told The Gospel will make you happy, but it never did. I was told a mission will make you happy, but it didn't in the sense my family and church leaders said it would.
I was depressed, to my family I was a success, to myself I was a liar. I kept thinking to myself, where should I go from here? What do I do? The only thing I could think to do was put the mask back on that was sliding off. I couldn't imagine just walking away from the faith just like that after coming home from a mission. So that's exactly what I did.
10 years ago I put my mask back on and trudged forward thinking maybe one day The Gospel would make me happy...
Now come back to the present. I have left the LDS Faith. My journey has been laid out over my previous 32 blog posts. I am happier than I have ever been. I have an amazing fiancee and the best dog anyone could ever ask for. What would the 21 year old me say about who I am today? I know what he would have said, "I wish I was as strong now as I will be in 10 years," but then I would reply to my 21 year old self with, "you are, you just don't know it yet. The journey you forged was what made us as strong as we are today."