Sleep and I have never been on very good terms. Sleep never wants to hang out with me, sometimes I ask him to, sometimes I just sit around waiting for him, but he blows me off a lot. I think he doesn’t care much for Thinking, because I’m usually chilling out with Thinking while waiting for Sleep to come.
There was a kid in our class who wore an ankle bracelet to school. I don’t mean some douchey piece of jewelry, I mean a court ordered hunk of plastic that he treated like a douchey piece of jewelry. It was put on him after he broke into some kid’s house and just milled around there for a while. Whenever I think back on it I wonder if it was even real. I mean I saw the ankle bracelet, I knew full well he couldn’t get that thing off and saw the red light blinking, but… what the hell was he doing in our class? I mean this was a private school, why wasn’t he expelled after he got arrested? It’s just kind of surreal that he was never kicked out. He openly admitted to teachers that he smoked pot and constantly made jokes in class about Jesus smoking pot. Keep in mind that this was middle school. For our level these seemed like insanely crazy crimes that would ruin your future. Maybe the staff just never took him seriously.
For this story I’ll just refer to him as “the convict,” because when I used to tell this story to people I thought it made it sound cooler. Continue reading
I’ve been called one thing in several different ways: cynical, jaded, skeptical, pessimistic, gloomy, disparaging; always some variation. I wouldn’t dare deny it, though I prefer the term “realistic,” and I certainly don’t find it a bad thing. I wear it with pride. I prefer to view things carefully before jumping on the bandwagon. Some people wonder what made me that way. Well that’s an easy one: nine years of Catholic School. Continue reading
Nine years of my life were spent in Catholic school. Anyone who has attended Catholic school can probably feel a great deal of sympathy for that fact. I went for the full run, kindergarten to eighth grade- as this institution had no high school. I have some very vivid memories from this time, most of them rather… unsavory, but for now I’ll stick with the story when I felt my first real conflict with religion.
Like most kids I believed in god because I was told he exists. I never really thought about it before. It was presented to me as a fact and when adults tell you things are real you believe them. Now that I think about it, it’s a bit interesting that most kids question their belief in Santa Claus more than their belief in god, but I suppose Santa doesn’t have entire buildings full of adults praising him, now’s not the time to get distracted though. Continue reading
My most vivid memory of church took place when I was a child. I sat in the pew, my small body wedged uncomfortably between my parents, trying my best not to fidget warranting an irate glare from my mother. I remember what Father John was saying very well because it was a topic I had great interest in. It went something like this:
“During spring, the days get longer and longer until midsummer when you hit the longest day of the year, and then gradually they get shorter and shorter until night falls at its earliest hour.”
That’s it. I can’t even recall the point he was trying to make with that little fact, all I remember is that he said it and that’s when I learned how daylight savings worked. To this day I still feel that gradual shortening of sunlight every day as winter draws closer. It holds a heavy weight on me as I find S.A.D. to be a very real and unpleasant condition. But, when the shortest day finally comes I feel elated because I know long, orange tinted evenings are just on the horizon.
So I suppose church did have a profound effect on me.
This is the prologue to the story of my journey going from Catholic, to Atheist, to Agnostic, to Secular Humanist, and from there, who knows.
“Augh,” you might be saying, “Your pretentiousness is practically oozing out of my monitor.” I suppose there really is no way to convince you I’m not an arrogant asshole because these days even a great show of humility is, in fact, yet another way to be pretentious. Perhaps I’m so pretentious that my perceived shortcomings are just a subconscious effort to prove to myself and everyone else how great I am because I think I’m so terrible. There’s no way to know. In any case I’ll allow you to judge for yourself and if you find my story too self-righteous, either send me numerous emails complaining about it or just stop reading.
The truth of it is all I want to do is write. I have no other purpose in sharing this than that. To those of you who have reevaluated your religious or “spiritual” life once or numerous times many of these experiences and feelings will probably sound familiar to you. Maybe you’ll find comfort in that, or maybe you’ll feel cheated because I stole your whole backstory. In either case, thanks for reading.