I keep trying to blog more, but gah! Life gets so busy. Anyway, Patrick and I are visiting his parents in Juneau, Alaska this week. I thought I would share a picture I snapped shortly after getting of the plane. I hope life finds you all well.
So, I’ve taken a little break from blogging. I needed some time to adjust when I got home from Ireland. To all you Irish and others who gave me encouragement, thank you. The past 6 months have flown by. I got super busy with refocusing my relationship, school, and just trying to grow as a person. There have certainly been a lot of ups and downs, but I truly am so happy. I’ve decided to start writing again!
As a general update, I’m graduating next May and getting married next June (yay!). I’ve started a new job working at a non-profit women’s health clinic, full time for the summer and then part time when classes start up again. It is an awesome atmosphere and I am learning a ton. Everything from how to use electronic health care software to all the deets of birth control and STI’s to giving shots and taking blood pressures. Walking through protestors everyday is a bit odd (they really hate abortion), but I’m used to it now.
Anyway, hope to find all of you doing well too! Stay adorable, M.C.
A Facebook friend recently wrote a status asking what people’s favorite mood booster was, and it got me thinking. When I was Christian, I would read my bible, do a devotional, go to church, pray, talk to my Christian friends, listen to … Continue reading
Hi Friends 🙂
Just writing a post to say thanks to all of you that have been reading and commenting. I love hearing that there are so many of us that can relate to one another. I was so hesitant to start the blog because I feared a negative or judgmental response, but I am always amazed at the positive feedback. Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and thanks for being you!
As for my life, my semester in Ireland is coming to a close an I’ll be returning to the states on December 16th. I miss my fiance terribly and the homesickness really has been overwhelming. I am ready to be back in the good ol’ US of A. I have been incredibly lucky for the opportunity to study in another country, but I must admit I don’t think it was the best fit for me. I have not felt the same drive, focus, and passion for life that I feel at home. I am not able (or perhaps willing) to invest myself in any sort of friendships here, as they are all feel so shallow and I know they will not last a day beyond my departure from Ireland. At one point in my life I would have craved the excitement and the mystery of creating friendships and memories in such a short period of time, but I wish for so much more in my life now.
I miss and adore the deep multidimensional relationship I have with Patrick and the genuine connection we have. It is fulfilling on a level that I never could have imagined when I was seeking short and exciting relationships. I see the the students in my program building these “once in a lifetime” relationships and I know that they are wary of my distance. But I do not feel any pressure to join them nor do I judge them at all for creating them. Everyone is at a different place in their life and I truly wish everyone the best. I can only speak for me, and I know my heart has been chasing what is fleeting for too long. The grass is greener where you water it. I know just where I want to be and some grass that could use some watering.
So, just a week of studying, a week of exams, and then I can be rid of the crippling homesickness.
― Kurt Vonnegut
Listening to “Home” by Phillip Phillips
I cannot believe it has been nearly a month since I last posted! Getting ready to study abroad and then getting settled in Ireland really took up my time. I’m adequately settled now though, and ready to resume the blogging life. So, greetings from Ireland!
What I want to write about today is not particularly related atheism, but it’s related to my life. As I’ve mentioned before, back at home in the states I have a wonderful fiance named Patrick. (He’s an atheist). I’ve known him a little over 4 years now, and I couldn’t be happier that I’m marrying him. But being with him has opened my eyes to my relationship with relationships. And I’m not talking just romantic relationships, I’m talking any personal relationship.
Let me tell you, my children will NOT be getting dating/relationship advice from the public school system, and certainly not the church. Because they seriously fucked me up. Between school, church, my parents, and random other adults who had influence in my life, the message I was constantly berated with was, “Don’t spend too much time with a boyfriend. Don’t ditch all your friends to have a boyfriend. Go on fun and exciting group dates! Really, never be alone with a boy.” I even read this Christian book Dateable. Here’s a nice quote
“It will not last. You heard me. Whatever relationship you are in right now, whether you are 14, 15, 16, or even 18 years old, know this: It will not last! Period. The end….You will break up. It will end. It will hurt. It will get in the way of your purpose in life, and it will complicate things and distract you from your passion and destiny.”
It was a long time ago that I read it, but I’m fairly certain the book also mentioned that girls should never ask guys out because they will take the rejection too personally, and if a guy says anything nice it’s because he has used it on so many other girls and is a player (You asshole Patrick, you must have proposed to so many different girls), and of course, the typical “the only reason a man looks at you is so he can hopefully put his penis in you”.
And that’s just dating advice. The friendship advice always seemed to be, don’t just do something because your friends are doing it. Do things alone or independently. Always be making new friends. And as I got older, if I ever spent a lot of time with one or two friends, my parents would tell me that maybe I should spend time with some of my other friends. Still to this day my mom points out to me that I’m probably hurting old friends feelings blah blah blah.
And when I went off to college, everyone starts to talk about this NY Times article titled “Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend.” I’m not going to go into too much detail about it, but just because someone printed it in the NY Times doesn’t make it fucking gold.
Now, 2.5 years into a happy relationship, I still struggle to act fully committed. Patrick and I spend WAY fucking less time together that I think we should or want to. I have been SO manipulated throughout my life to be both the socialite and totally independent. I have been so scared that being in a close relationship would mean not being fulfilled and internally miserable.
But guess fucking what? I am capable of determining what amounts of time to devote to whatever and whomever I want in order to create my optimal happiness without this stupid advice.
I am so sick of hearing this advice given to people. I am so sick of the church promoting this culture of never getting too close to someone of the opposite sex. What is the point of telling people to spend less time with people they care about and enjoy being with? Stop being so afraid. Stop telling people they won’t enjoy life or “find” themselves if they don’t backpack around Europe by themselves meeting strangers. The one thing I wish I would have done is spend more time with the people I care about and not be so concerned about chasing this magical and mythical idea of the perfect young adulthood filled with adventure and fulfillment.
I wish people hadn’t spent so much time scaring me about close relationships and instead showed me their value and taught me that they take effort. I’m so sick of living a life where as soon as a relationship starts to require effort I move on. It’s not fulfilling.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I am leaving to study abroad on Sunday. (mini freak out here). I’m going to Ireland!! When I come home, I am officially moving into my new apartment with my fiance Patrick. This means my mom wants me to clear out my room and get rid of all the junk I’ve been storing in here since 2nd grade. I started with the bookshelf.
Most of my bookshelf was Christian literature. It was a weird feeling to see all of these. To be honest, I was super surprised at just how many I had. I haven’t read all of them, but most. They brought back a lot of emotions for me. I remember hating memorizing passages from Luther’s catechism for my confirmation. I remember really enjoying Mean Girls, Sexy Girls, and Idol Girls and the retreats I read them on with my youth group. I remember being angered and frustrated by A Call to Die because it made me feel like an awful person.
My friend got me 10 Lies the Church Tells women for my birthday after I had a heartbreaking conversation with a youth leader who I admired. He shared his messed up ideas about women and their “role” in society. I remember breaking down and sobbing, being angry, and then just deciding that he was stupid. It was a defining moment in my teen years, and what shaped my desire to be a rational Christian for the following years.
These books were my efforts to make sense of religion. To make me feel fulfilled and happy. The topics range from building faith to seeking logic and truth. I read all those words looking for answers, and now I know I only needed one thing: atheism. Some of the books I have good memories associated with, others not so much. But the ones I have the most positive memories with were the ones I read with other people, in bible studies, youth groups, church, small groups, or whatever other settings bible things are read. Which only supports my theory that I liked religion for the community it provided me.
My bible especially still holds some value that I have a hard time letting go of. I was in a women’s bible study at my university. Sure, some I thought were a little loony, but I still liked it. We would read passages of the bible and pray. It was an hour a week to escape from work and school. Patrick would always ask me what I got out of it, and sometimes I had an answer, sometimes I didn’t. But looking back I think I mostly enjoyed having a break that I could look forward to every week where I knew I would be surrounded by women with positive attitudes.
But I know when I go back to school my relationship with every single one of those girls will be non-existent. They don’t really know anything about me, and we no longer have the commonality of Christianity. So I suppose my atheism opens the door for me to cultivate new and meaningful friendships and find a new weekly break to look forward to. As far as my bible goes, I’m still opening it up and reading, but it seems a whole lot crazier, weirder, and less good-promoting than I remember. And it’s a little sad. Something I put so much trust in, so much thought in, and so much hope in is really just a crazy book of a vein god. It’ll be less sad overtime, and new things will become important and sentimental.
I also feel less guilty about consulting my stuffed penguin chewy after a bad day instead of the bible, so that’s a plus.
I know this was a long one, but thanks for letting me share. Please share something about your story.
I really enjoy sex. That being said, I was a big believer in waiting until marriage at one point. Eventually that evolved into a more reasonable part of me that believed in waiting until it was a person that meant something to me. I ultimately made that decision, and I didn’t make that decision in a heat-of-the-moment have to have you now situation. It was a several month long constant debate in my head, followed by a lot of “are you sure’s?” from my now Fiancé.
I always thought that abstaining from sex would make me feel pure, or superior, or more in control. But having a blanket rule with no room to question isn’t empowering. I lied to myself. I wasn’t empowered, I was suffocated. When I decided to start having sex, I was the most in control of myself and my body that I had ever been and it was liberating! It felt private because it was. There was no God judging me. It was me and Patrick and extremely special.
I feel a lot more in control and connected to myself by being able to say, “Hey, sex is really fun, and I get to choose who I want to share myself with”, instead of , “Sex is this super dooper sacred thing and I won’t even think about it until my wedding night”. I’m not going to sit around saying that my sexuality is some sort of “gift” for someone else. Of course it’s special, but it’s also fucking mine and I can fucking enjoy it however I want!!! And I do. And it’s fun!
So hooray for sex and having the guilt free luxury of being in control of my atheist body!
I have posted a lot about my thoughts and atheist things, but not enough about the adorable animals in my life.
First, there is my Welsh Corgi Kevin. My mom claims he has “English champions in his pedigree,” and any time the queen’s corgi’s are on TV we tell him to look at his cousins. Regardless of the truth of this statement, he is adorable. If you think he looks like a stoned, it’s because he takes morphine everyday for hip pain and is considerably happier after he has it.
There is also Patrick’s wonderful cat Figaro. He is a nice, cuddly sweet guy, but he can also be a big fat jerk. The first time I ever met him, I had set my water bottle on the kitchen counter. He looked at me, he looked at the water bottle, back at me, back at the water bottle, and BAM! Hit it to the floor and walked away. It’s been mostly uphill since then. I love him dearly.
The other adorable animal I have in my life is this comic cat. Whenever I’m having a bad day, I just look at Shoelace and smile. He also makes good days better!
Apparently, I am a surprising person. Many of my friends and family are surprised (or would be surprised) by the fact that I’m an atheist.
People are also surprised that I would not call myself a feminist.
Mostly because I have no fucking clue what feminism is. I went to a hippie college for a year. (Worst year of my life–more on that later). Everyone there was a feminist. But I still have no idea what it was. Everyone I asked gave me a dramatically different answer. From my year at hippie college this is what I’ve determined feminism to be:
1. Thinking the Vagina Monologues are cool
2. Telling people (me) they are close minded because they (I) disliked a poster across the hall from me of a woman’s bare breasts and hairy armpits advertising “The Breast Project”–a bunch of pictures of breasts.
3. One or more of the following thoughts. (Most feminists I knew didn’t stick to just one, creating much contradiction.) Women are better than men, woman are totally equal to men, woman can do whatever the fuck they want, appreciating the difference between men and women, or something else about women. Also, spelling woman “womyn” so it didn’t have the word man in it.
That about sums it up. I will not call my self a feminist because I don’t understand what it is. There were a billion different kinds of Christians and I hated being lumped in with the ones I’m wasn’t. I’m not about to do that to myself again.
Women are cool because babies can grow inside of them and then get pushed out a really little hole. They can act, dress, think or express themselves however they want, but being a woman doesn’t give them any sort of right to not be judged about anything. As a human being, I reserve the right to judge whoever I want because I can and there is nothing stopping me. When people start acting on that judgement in a way that harms others, well, that’s a different story.
I love strong women. I love beautiful woman. I love a good pair of boobs. I love my boobs. I love being a woman. But my view on what a good woman is no better than anyone else’s.
Also, rape is bad.
I’ve called myself a lot of things in my life. Lutheran. Quaker. Follower of Jesus. Non-Denominational. I don’t want to talk about it. Not religious. And finally, Atheist.
And ya know, I’m the happiest as an Atheist. I have the most self-esteem. I have the most meaningful relationships. I feel the most secure with my place in the world.
I can finally stop answering the question about how a Christian and an Atheist can date. I can stop justifying why I can have premarital and stand up for positive sexuality. I can put the people who matter most first. I can spend more time laughing and talking with my friends and family. I can be more myself. I’m constantly overwhelmed with the new meaning my life has.
But from many people, I feel the stereotype that because I am a nice, bubbly, cute twenty something girl from Michigan that I’m a conservative Christian. And that’s not the case at all. I don’t want to just allow people to go along that. I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud to call myself an atheist.