It’s been several months since I posted anything, and some readers have asked me about my plans. In short, I don’t know.
I’ve been blogging (first at No Longer Quivering, then on my own) for four years. I began with a heap of stories about fundamentalism and the act of leaving that I felt needed to be told. In 2009, I still felt like I had invented leaving the Message of the Hour, and was unable to talk to anyone in my new life about religion without inspiring pity or utter confusion. NLQ helped me find community, and my blog subsequently connected me with a group of ex-Message believers, too. Even if I’m not the most active participant in those online communities now, I have thoroughly learned that I am not alone. I’ve also learned how to find ex-fundamentalists in real life (hint: there are lots of them in Unitarian Universalism!) and how to tell “normal” people stories from my background without sounding like a Lifetime movie.
I began with a number of issues burning on my mind, mainly involving the modesty doctrine and the harm it inflicts on young girls’ body image and sense of self-worth. I still regard my posts on modesty as this blog’s main reason for existing. Since I wrote those posts, I’ve been pleased to see other bloggers take up the call for an end to “purity culture” and misogynistic “object lessons” that compare women to various consumable treats.
After four years, though, there has been a slow, but major, change in my life: I am no longer connected with fundamentalism.
My mother has realized a lot of the harm that came from my church and has somewhat distanced herself from it. I’ve lived states away from my old community for a long time, and no one tries to recruit me anymore. I don’t deliberately read fundamentalist media because it just dredges up anger about things I don’t think about otherwise. With my contribution to the modesty debates complete, I no longer feel a sense of mission in blogging.
The main struggles of my life right now are about figuring out my career. How to take what I’ve done so far and get where I want to go. How to reconcile my desire to travel and excel with my responsibilities to a family. How to pay the bills. Deciding when, if and how to become a parent. In short, normal twenty-something anxieties.
This blog is supposed to be about religion. It’s therefore understandably fallen to the wayside when religion no longer dictates the direction of my life. I have put my past relatively comfortably in my pocket, but that leaves me with little to say.
So I put it to my readers: Thank you for being there and for your encouraging comments along the way. Is there something more you want to know about my experience in fundamentalism, or in making a life afterwards? Leave questions in the comments and I’ll make my answers the subject of my next blog posts, assuming the questions are about things I’m comfortable discussing.
I may eventually fold my most important blog posts into a website and lay aside religious blogging for good. For now, let me know what you’d like to discuss.