We grow bigger, stronger, smarter… As we age all these things come into play, that as children we never experienced or could image comprehending. As adults we are often lost, confused, and afraid. We try to give guidance to younger generations but struggle to hold our own lamp.
As an atheist I have spent many hours reading about religion and non-belief. I have gone though my own struggles, as many people do, and it has shaped my views and often made me bitter. Blame was something I was no stranger to. It was spout onto anyone and anything that convinced me that we were a shit race. Anger and resentment filled me to the brim and often I felt I would split in half with rage. Never sure what I was truly angry about, just mad at the world.
I started doing yoga and I became a more peaceful and accepting atheist (or as accepting and peacful as possible). Finally, I felt that I had come to some sort of understanding of my non-belief. I stood true to my point of view and I was unyeilding to anyone who would attempt to convince me other wise. The world is the way it is and only we have control over what happens to us.
When I was an even younger woman, full of angst and misunderstanding, I hoped and dreamt of a love that would drive my desire to move mountains and run through the fiery trenches of Hell to keep the person’s soul safe. I found a love, a love that I would have swam oceans for but it was all an illusion fueled by my self delusion. I clung to this idea I had about my relationship. Strong hope and faith pushed me to hold onto the cables of our collapsing and crumbling bridge of a romance. It finally ended and I was left in pieces, left using others to try and stitch myself back together. Looking in all different places for someone to hold me up as a person because I was too fearful and weak to do it alone. I was in and out of dating and with boys who pushed a plateful of their idea of Olivia in front of me. They force fed it to me until I was standing in their glass case screaming but no one cared. I was their Olivia.
Then came my second relationship and that seemed to be a serious mountain I was climbing, but with no one to help carry the oxygen tanks. I again felt more alone with this boy than I did when I was alone. We sat and watched television at night and he would spend hours of time on his phone. We went out from time to time but I was not there, it did not matter to me. I became cold and distant. I felt backed into that corner. I saw no future, I was using him like the others. I needed them to hold me up while I hoped they could restore my faith and hope in love. All I was doing was digging myself into a greater hole of unhappiness and I was never going home. It was not that the boys were not nice or attractive, I am not sure what it was. I just could not grasp their love for me. The more down the road of relationship we traveled the more I despised and refused to be close to them. I pulled away and compared everything to past lovers who only pretended to care. Maybe some of the boys I become involved with cared for me, but I lacked feeling for them.
As I went through crap shoots of dating, and a couple of on and off again relationships (more on than off). I decided I was an atheist. I looked at people I worked with, people I had been friends with, and some I was romantically involved with and I fell into a deep self doubt. I knew this was it and the fact that this was all I was going to be and have in my life convinced me for sure there was nothing more than what we had at these very moments.
I became single, yet refused to define myself in such terms. I felt no need to explain my situation to some boy at the bar. I sneered at them, barking for them to just chalk it up to my bad personality and a chipped tooth.
Then, suddenly, I was slapped out of my self doubt and table for one pity party by a really good man.
I am not talking about a religious man or a prophet, but he was someone who I thought could give me hope that there had to be more than this mundane existence. I, once unwilling to bend to the needs of others, want to compromise and succeed with this man.
He is sweet, intelligent, challenging, and most important “liked” Olivia (not just in a facebook thumbs up sense). He did not have some idea of Olivia, but only wanted to see the “real” Olivia. The one who trips as she runs to her door, who drives too fast and cuts off taxis at 1 am, who makes faces when she thinks no one is looking, and cannot take off her panties all sexy like. He liked that I made penis jokes and giggled at anything that sounded dirty. There were no “shhhing” sounds in this and he made me feel special but he planted a seed.
A seed of doubt in something that I stood strongly behind; my non-belief.
I was finally a woman able to stand alone, stand up for what she knew and found right. I was finally becoming completely independent. Yet, here I was in the mist of a man who took me to doubt. Not self doubt, but doubt about a greater truth. My whole life, as a hopelessly hopeless romantic, I wanted a soul-mate. Perhaps this was my chance after all those times of fishing in the deep, swimming with the sharks. Right when I was about to stop treading water here was the life boat.
I had shakes and trembles, thought of a future of more than myself and I knew that I wanted to give everything and every part of me to this man. He and his family were something bigger than I, a bigger aspect I never thought I would be able to conquer. When he held my hand on the street corner I knew that this was it, I was smitten and bitten. The world could turn over twice and I could fly into nothing, but as long as he kissed me before I would die happy.
In my final note: I am, still, a Humanist, quiet Feminist, and idealistic Socialist but it seems I am a faltering atheist. So there must be a revision of my non-belief and that revision comes in the form of a really good man.