My True Identity
After I left the church, I stopped having contact with any church members outside of my family. I stopped because the people I was friends with were all really sad about my choice and felt obligated to try to bring be back into the fold. Unfortunately, when they did this, I got this used-car-lot-salesman vibe (when they went into "missionary mode") that made me uncomfortable.
Over the next several years, I had occaisional interactions with other former mormons (whom the faithful members call "less active members"), but they were just acquaintances. I realized that I missed an aspect of the culture.
I've described it like this before, and will again, but I felt like an immigrant to a new world. I still knew so much about the culture I came from... I speak the language, I know the customs, when the first Sundays of April and October roll around I know what it means. Just because I know all of these things, though, it doesn't mean that I want to go back.
What I've loved about Various Stages, and through it, the entire Bloggernacle, is reconnecting with my old culture. I'm able to be friends with Mormons who don't try to get me back to Sacrament meeting. I like discussing things from my oh-so-liberal viewpoint, because I'm practically a rebel in this media market.
It's also nice examining the beliefs I used to hold from my current perspective. I'm able to understand and come to terms with myself more.
Basically... Various Stages of Mormondom has been good for me. And let's face it... with Rebecca out of the picture... you all need someone impartially agnostic around here.