It's May and the A-to-Z is over, which means I have no excuse for slacking on my usual blogging goals. So here I am to achieve one of said goals, posting for my "Out & About Me" series. This series is one in which I strive to share a little bit more about myself with you guys out in the blogging community. And as I suspected it would be, this thing can be a little nerve-wracking at times, mostly when dealing with topics like this (it's the first really "serious" topic so far). And be warned, it's kind of a long one! I really tried to whittle, but didn't do so well.
Religion is one of those topics that you "just don't go near" on a public platform. People get too riled up about it, and for good reason - it really is a deeply personal matter for many. Just like with politics, feelings are easily hurt when it comes to discussing religion. So, all in all, it's a topic best avoided. Right? Thing is, I've realised lately that I'm almost the only person out there who does avoid it. I don't mean that everyone else is out debating and yelling and shaking fists. No, I mean that many people are on their own blogs, being totally open and honest about their personal beliefs, and getting to express their thoughts on matters that mean a great deal to them. Why, then, aren't I?
That's why I'm here and saying it loud and proud: I'm atheist, dudes!
This is definitely no secret to anyone who knows me in my "offline" life, although I don't really shout it from the rooftops while at my day job, where there is a very strong Catholic bent. In my personal life, I am basically alone in my beliefs, though thankfully not entirely so. I'm almost the only one who doesn't believe in something. And by "something", I mean some higher power who watches over me, and some promise of an afterlife. I certainly believe in other types of "something" - goodness, kindness, hard work and self-sufficiency, friendship, that sort of thing. I thank my parents for raising me to be a decent human being, and for letting me make up my own mind. Even if my Dad is fond of saying, "Trisha, I had nothing to do with it!" like I was born this way or something. ha.
In high school I had a born-again friend who was sad for me that I would be burning in hell someday. Another high school friend once told me, during a particularly interesting period in her life, that she understood exactly why I might not believe that she had really and truly communicated with aliens, but that if I had seen what she'd seen, I'd really know it was true. My response was, "Well, if you had seen what I've seen, you'd know it's not." (In other words, I had seen nothing) This probably makes me sound totally close-minded and stubborn, but honestly, I am actually of the belief that anything is possible - that all the answers are out there, waiting to be found. I'm the sort of person who needs to see it for herself to believe it. Which perfectly explains how I wound up atheist, I suppose. I believe in science, and that as time goes on, scientists will catch up. Though I wouldn't be surprised to see science always at least a few steps ahead of the people who work with it daily. ;)
I believe completely that I don't have all the answers, or even most of them. And I'm totally at ease with that notion.
Being atheist makes me pretty lonely at times, I'll admit. But I never feel empty, aimless, or depressed because of it. I actually feel strangely relieved, even comforted, and I can't really explain why or how. I just do. I also feel proud, because in times of hardship it's me who picks me up and dusts me off and keeps going. I stand on my own two feet, admittedly with support from very lovely friends and an amazing family, and keep on going. I am also glad to be a compassionate human being, a person who is kind to others - people and animals both - not because somebody told me it's right, but because I feel that it's right.
None of the above changes the fact that all my friends and acquaintances who are believers in a higher power are extremely good and awesome people I am very grateful to have in my life. And that includes you all, my blogging friends, of course! So, that's it. Thank you for listening. :)