I realize that I haven't updated you on my pursuit of serving a mission. To sum it up, the bishop wasn't feeling very confident in endorsing me as a missionary because I support gay marriage and because I'm open and honest about my homosexual attractions (and actions... which, I thought, actually, would be a positive thing since I've never even held hands with a guy; I'm in the 99th chastity percentile of single guys my age).
About the same time I met with the bishop, my friend who has been teaching ballet for about a year asked me if I wanted to team up with her to teach dance.
I decided to go where I'm eagerly wanted, and I didn't plead my case any further with the Bishop.
Anyway, I really want to thank those of you who have been patient with and supportive of me as I've been learning how to live life unregulated by drugs (no, I'm not referring to illegal drugs) this past year. The job scene is still a tough one for me to handle, especially working under someone (I've found I have some significant issues trusting authority figures), so I'm really hoping the dance academy progresses as planned.
Things, so far, have been fantastic -- we just received our initial funding and signed a lease; the ballet student body is already built up sufficiently to at least ensure that we break even, and it's looking more and more positive that my ballroom and tap classes will do quite well (for example, I've started a class to train TAs for my ballroom classes; I was aiming for about three students, and I have twelve).
My life will probably still have some jitters and bumps and what-not as I'm still not 100% emotionally healthy and free from resentment -- in just a few days, however, it will be my one year anniversary of my last sincere suicidal thoughts -- but I think things are stabilizing more and more, and life is getting brighter and more hopeful for me every day.
I hope you all can be patient and understanding as I adjust to the light and heal after a very rough, dark, and damaging decade.
I love you all dearly,
Andrew M. Pankratz