I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, nor am I one for confessionals. The former are pointless and rarely met; the latter often come off as pretentious and narcissistic. However, I hope to be indulged this one time. For I have much to say about one of the more consequential years of my life, though rather it proves to be to my dear readers I will leave it up to their judgement.
The year 2015 was a tumultuous year for the author. A midlife crisis hit with the power of an F-1 hurricane, and it was equally destructive on his psychological health. I dived headfirst into the vast sea of angry atheism, and nothing could stop it. I started a podcast, as well as an alternate Facebook profile, in order to vent my bile against the evil forces of religion that I found arrayed against me on all sides. I lost myself in the battle, deaf to the cries of moderation and pragmatism that shouted at me from the sidelines. I was a warrior engulfed in the blood lust of battle, and I gave nor expected any quarter.
In the midst of this, I attended ReasonCon in April of 2015. I had problems of my own making on my mine when I arrived, and I imbibed mass quantities of alcohol to mask my pain and anxiety. The demon who emerged upset some, offended many, and ultimately had the police called to witness the bonfire of my insecurities and anger licking at my soul.
Even after this, the blindness was upon me. The problem was not with myself, it was with others. They simply did not understand the struggle. They didn’t understand the powers that were bearing down upon our civilization. If the onslaught of religious domination was not stayed, it would break through our gates and overtake our government. Theocracy would plant he Christian Flag, and Mike Huckabee would preach from the battlements of the Castle of Belief.Darkness would fall upon Middle Earth
Something happened on the way to Armageddon, however. Slowly, surely, the light of reason peaked in upon me. Does this endless railing against religion help? Are you a more contented and fulfilled person for the battle? Are there other ways to engage?
And so I was left with a crisis. I climbed atop the hill. I saw over the forest. Yes, there was plenty of darkness in the depression of ignorance. But I could see from this vantage a refuge. And it was not solely populated by such as me. There were others there. Those who I had dismissed as irresponsible and irrelevant. They were speaking freely with those who I admired. Compromise was possible? Dialogue could be imagined? I stared in disbelief.
So I realized that the anger and pain I felt within myself unnecessary. There was a place where I could find peace. And then, in this clarity of thought, I found pain. For then I realized I had caused many pain for who I cared. I discarded them in the purity of my belief. The sorrow and regret almost overwhelmed me. But I was minded that while there is life, there is hope. And so I proceeded to attempt to mend those rifts I had myself enabled to occur.
Through all this painful pseudo-Tolkienian imagery I hope my dear readers have teased out my intent. I went crazy. I had a classic ‘mid-life crisis’. I went off the deep end into the sea of atheism. And in doing this, I lost myself. I have emerged from the depths, however, as someone else. I am not quite what I was, but then again not wholly what I thought I would become. I have emerged as a hybrid of quiet anger and vocal protest. No, I am not a sign-waving protester, for such was never my destiny. But I am a voice, however insignificant, in the clamorous chorus calling for a better path.
You have heard a confession, now you will hear resolution. Or, failing that, a goal. I must find myself, and, in so doing, find a voice. I am but a tiny speck in the vastness. And, yes, in the grand scheme of things, I am laughably insignificant. But I will be damned if I don’t make a raucous racket as I traverse the time allotted to me.