“Hey. Hey you. Ya, I’m talking to you. I just wanted to take a break from eating my acorn here to say thanks for coming by.”
Acorn, Dexter marathons . . . same difference, right?
Well . . . I started this blog six months ago exactly – to the T, on the dot, crossing my i’s . . . err . . . something like that.
Anyway, I want to thank you all for reading.
There are many types of readers here . . . and I’m glad for all of you.
Most of you are silent visitors, and I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen and come back often. Some of you come here because of curiosity; you look around for a minute or two, maybe longer if you liked an article.
Others of you are here to get your weekly frown in, giving sighs of ridicule while reading and talking about it later with friends or family in a “what a twerp” kind of way. I really hope you’ve had more “hmmm . . .” moments than frustrated sighs and I hope I can open the conversation with you a little more.
Some of you are here because you relate; reading others’ thoughts helps you define your own experience. Others of you are here because you want to understand why I left and why I oppose religious belief today.
Whatever brings you here to read, thanks for coming by. There are so many things to do each day, so many people and companies asking for your attention, seeking your belief, time, or money. I hope I’ve used your time well and that every time you’ve clicked away from my blog you’ve taken a little more knowledge, a little more understanding, and maybe a little more empathy for the “other side” of this issue, whichever side you come from.
Six months . . .
In our six months together there have been 28 posts, 331 comments, and 10,776 views. Nine of you have shared your own stories and that has become the best part of the blog, I think. Friends I hadn’t heard from in years have sent me messages, some calling me to repentance, others giving their critiques (which are always welcome), but most saying “thanks” or that they understand. Some who are struggling with doubt or family problems have messaged me and we’ve made new relationships (or deepened old ones) in the solidarity that comes from common experience.
In writing I find ways to express myself, to develop my thoughts slowly and make sure I mean what I’m saying (though often I’ll still revise later). Writing gives me a way to remember past thoughts and experiences and leave them engraved somewhere where others can find them. I’m happy with how this blog has gone and am looking forward to the next step.
The next step
Well, we’ve focused on Mormonism for long enough, I think. As the title of this blog suggests, this is about my accidental and unwanted step into atheism, from devoted disciple to active skeptic. I’m brimming with ideas and topics I want to discuss about atheism and have a lot of material ready – it’s time to move to the topic of atheism, at least momentarily. There is so much to write about though . . . so much I want to think about and put on paper.
Here’s what’s coming up:
- Transition – my religious experiences after leaving the LDS Church, the search for another religion, the problems I found, apathy, a long break, agnosticism, and finally, atheism.
- A series of articles about what death means to me as an atheist and former believer and how that view affects the way I live my life.
- A discussion about bitterness in ex-Mormons, a new Story Series by those who are bitter, and a look into why I probably won’t stop talking about religion for the rest of my life.
Would you like this blog to take a different direction? Are there any topics you’d like to hear about or to discuss as a group? I can’t guarantee I can cover them – this blog is a place to tell my story, after all, and some subjects weren’t important to me or I may not know much about them – but I’d love to hear your request and see if I can fulfill it.
What parts of the blog have been your favorite? Your least favorite? Post your comment below or send me a personal message. Also, go check out my philanthropy blog! I’m traveling to Nicaragua in November, I interview local philanthropists and write about their programs, and I discuss common problems in philanthropy.
Thanks again for coming by! If you like what we’re doing here please tell your friends or anyone else you think could benefit. Until next time!
(props to Genista for the awesome squirrel pic, and props to the squirrel for being so ridiculously attention-grabbing)
ps – here’s a note from an old friend (an active and believing Mormon):
I came across your blog tonight and have really enjoyed reading it. Who knew that the kid who would lurk below in the pool and bite down hard on peoples’ limbs for no reason was capable of such emotion and eloquence.:-)
I think most active Mormons fail to fully understand the emotional struggle that those who leave the church experience. I appreciate that your blog highlights these complex emotional issues. I think most members have many of the same struggles that you have had, but the culture of the church is such that any doubting is seen as weakness. More openness would be a lot healthier for members psychologically. I think the sugarcoating of history does more alienating than ‘protecting’ or whatever justification is given for it. It gives the appearance of a ‘whited sepulcher’ to those already struggling with the history or tenets of the faith.