Been down a few times but I always get back up and try again. Life goals may not have been fulfilled the way I'd wished, but there's much to be thankful for. Older and wiser than I used to be, but I still have a spark of optimism and believe that all things are possible. Love my family and friends. Want someone who truly cares about other people in the world. Love to laugh, help others, listen to their stories. Human rights and social justice are the most important things to me. Fighting against those who hurt others anywhere in the world is extremely important, even if I can only help by donating now and then to Amnesty International or writing Facebook comments to help educate the uninformed.
Proud that I earned a masters degree in counseling, even though I didn't take my first college class until about age 35. Specialize in trauma survivors. Did pro bono work for a while at the St. Louis Center for Survivors of Torture & War Trauma. Had a license to practice in Missouri but right now it's expired until I get it renewed when I decide to take on clients again.
Meanwhile I pay the bills by working as an Administrative Associate at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Started at the Children's Advocacy Center on campus, but transferred to the Department of Economics in July 2012. I like where I am now. Still hope to get a part-time trauma counseling private practice going on the side someday.
Music and singing makes everything better. Love music from the Beatles to Elton John to John Denver to Billy Joel to Nora Jones to the Temptations to the Supremes to Frank Sinatra to the Carpenters to Matchbox 20 to the Eagles to the Moody Blues to Queen to Reba to... you get the picture. Like to laugh and play cards or board games with family and friends, listen to Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon or Bill Cosby's old albums. Love to read, from serious political books and biographies to Calvin Hobbes and Doonesbury. Especially loved Harry Potter series, both books and films. Could discuss them all day, but I'm not into the conventions or dressing up or anything like that.
Content being casual, but enjoy dressing up now and then for a special occasion. Been working on my physical self with a goal of getting healthier and enjoying another 20 to 40 years on this earth. I'd be happy and feel much better getting to about size 14/16 and I'm working on it, so if you're looking for a size 6, sorry but it's not gonna happen.
Went from being a conservative Republican to Independent to Liberal / Progressive Democrat over the past 30 years. Happy where I am now and looking for someone who's not a hard-core conservative (hard to find in the Church, I know, but you're out there -- I have active LDS friends who do fit into the liberal category and don't think it's a bad word :) ).
On the very personal side and to explain why I haven't attended church in recent years, I had a gradual crisis of faith in the mid-90s -- it came on over several years, and then really consumed me and lasted much longer. Bottom line, I stopped trusting in God's promises when it came to my personal life. The big stuff (plan of salvation, etc.) I was always fine with, but I became too scared to trust in God or my own efforts anymore. I'm still trying to learn how to be more optimistic again but it's taken the last couple years to start pulling myself out of it. Still not sure if I trust my instincts or what I used to believe were answers to prayers and the Holy Spirit, but I know when I eventually go back to church, it will be the LDS church. I never stopped believing in God or Jesus or the restoration, just in whether God really is interested in my individual personal dreams and goals coming to fruition (or anyone's for that matter). One dream after another were unrealized despite my working so hard to attain them, and it all got to be too much. Let's just say I became someone I never thought I would be in a million years. I had joined the Church in 1979 at age 23 and been a faithful member with a temple recommend and numerous callings for the following 14-15 years (I miss choir!), and always thought I'd be a strong member forever.
I'm on the upswing in my faith journey now, though. Trying to remember the saying on a plaque I bought a few months ago, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." I guess I thought my life would be generally okay or even good with storms and even the occasional hurricane sprinkled throughout, but instead it became a 20-year monsoon. I truly admire those of you who have remained faithful to the Church throughout your own journeys, though. Whatever resentment or bitterness I had toward God is long gone now. Just working on not being afraid to trust Him again. (I've definitely learned that for me at least, it's easier to trust other people again even when they've disappointed me in the past, than to trust God again. I wish I hadn't felt like this for so long, and it makes no sense, I know, but there you go.)
If you've gotten this far, I thank you for your patience. I debated how much to reveal but decided I want to be completely honest up front. Whether we get together as friends or something more, or not at all, I wish you all well and hope you find happiness and peace.