As A Kid I Was Told Armaged­don Was Near, So I Wouldn’t Need A Job. Now I’m A BDSM Model.

Death is tricky. I was brought up to believe that I’d nev­er die. Com­ing to terms with the idea of my own even­tu­al death, and that of every­one I love, was dif­fi­cult at age 13. As Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es, we saw our cur­rent exis­tence as a sort of warmup ― a qual­i­fy­ing stage, per­haps. The main event would be Par­adise. But now, I rec­og­nize that I prob­a­bly have just one shot at life. Every­thing I want to achieve, I must do now, because there like­ly isn’t anoth­er chance.

Ariel’s sto­ry is super relat­able. As I wrote about last year, death has been one of the most dif­fi­cult things to come to terms with since leav­ing the reli­gion. We were told we were only tem­po­rary res­i­dents” here and that liv­ing this life is like unpack­ing at a hotel you’re briefly stay­ing at.

My whole pur­pose in life was to serve this orga­ni­za­tion and help peo­ple in it. Many times I’m left with a feel­ing of empti­ness as I try to fig­ure out what to do with my life now that I con­trol it. Some days it feels like an adven­ture, oth­ers it feels like a chore.

I yearn for the day when I look for­ward to this new life ahead of me, and I find all the peo­ple who will come to love this new ver­sion of myself. But right now, I most­ly feel grief.