Advice to a Younger Me

As a disclaimer, as I write this blog post to myself about some wisdom I’ve gained over the years, I have a stomach full of macaroni and cheese I asked my parents to mail. So I’ve grown up some, but not enough to abandon the disgustingly artificial delight of mac and cheese. That just seemed like a relevant fact. But I write on.

Someone recently asked me, if I could give a piece of advice to my 15 or 16 year old self, what would it be?

Now, there were not nearly enough rules assigned to this hypothetical. I am going to assume my 15 year old self finds her 20 year old self giving her advice to be perfectly normal. I wasn’t sure how much time I had either. If it’s like, a drop a line in her sub-conscious type thing, the one liner is:

 Don’t believe everything people tell you, even if they seem really smart, convincing, and convicted.  

Now, if I get to ya know, take her out to a nice dinner and have a good conversation, I would say something  more along the lines of this:

Don’t believe that your faith makes you any more moral than someone without faith or with faith in another god.  Don’t think that it makes you better and don’t think that it makes you happier. Just because it seems like all the good people you know are good god loving Christians, don’t assume there aren’t plenty of amazing non-Christians out there. Take time to really really put yourself in the shoes of other people and other perspectives.  When you are searching and searching for the right answer, instead of trying to forget about it, settle, push it away, or tell yourself that having unanswered questions is part of your relationship with god, just try to think of life from the atheists perspective. Not from the biased perspective your church and friends and media are telling you about atheists, but as objectively as you can. And even if it’s uncomfortable keep trying. You are not better than anyone because of your faith. And I know you know that, but take a second look at your actions and beliefs. Just because someone says what you’re doing is selfless and good doesn’t mean it is.  Be more objective, seek more answers outside of Christianity, and always wear your seat-belt.

What would you say to a younger you?

stay adorable,

M.C. 

visit me on twitter 🙂

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Relationship Ramble

Hi Friends,

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!

It’s fucking windy

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.

Stay adorable,

M.C.