Finding My Self

2019 and 2020 have been some of the most influ­en­tial years in my life. I left the reli­gious cult I grew up in, had some pret­ty life-chang­ing break­throughs in ther­a­py, and I’m slow­ly find­ing a polit­i­cal voice I was­n’t allowed to have previously.

It’s a strange thing to have one’s whole belief sys­tem and sense of real­i­ty chal­lenged. It’s dis­ori­ent­ing; full of grief, sob­bing, and deep emo­tion­al pain. While many of my for­mer reli­gion would say I’ve tak­en the easy way out, I can say con­fi­dent­ly that there has­n’t been any­thing easy about it. As I explained last year, death has been an incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult thing to grap­ple with now that I don’t believe in an afterlife.

And yet, I’ve found hap­pi­ness. Not a hap­pi­ness root­ed in rose-col­ored glass­es, or with­out chal­lenges. I’m lone­ly. I feel as if I have no close friends or fam­i­ly who tru­ly know me except for my part­ner. Peo­ple who claimed to love me don’t talk to me any­more. That’s tough to deal with in a nor­mal year, I can’t begin to describe what it’s been like in a pandemic.

But for me it’s always been about truth. Was what I believed true? Not does it make me feel good, not does it sur­round me with most­ly lov­ing (albeit con­di­tion­al) peo­ple, not because it would dis­s­ap­point my fam­i­ly if I didn’t.

Is it the truth?

The answer for me is a resound­ing no.

Ulti­mate­ly, going into 2021, I’m a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent per­son to who I was just two years ago. It’s change at a mag­ni­tude I did­n’t expect, but as the storm in my head set­tles, I’m a per­son I love deeply and accept ful­ly. I know who I am, what I stand for, and the val­ues that guide my life. I want to live a lov­ing and thought­ful life, and I’m doing my best to do so.

Hap­py New Year y’all.