When I saw this Doonesbury cartoon strip, I really laughed. That kind of says it all, doesn't it?!! And although it doesn't necessarily describe me (at least, I'd like to think it doesn't), I can certainly relate to its sentiments.
When I first created my blog, it was to post a book I have written about my Exit from Mormonism entitled, "Finding My Own Voice: A Former Mormon Woman's Journey of Self-Discovery." Once I had posted my book, though, I decided to start posting my ideas as well. Expressing my distress and disgust with the Mormon Church and the way in which I was brainwashed into believing so many ridiculous things has really helped me continue to sort through it all.
Overall, blogging has become one of my ways of coping with all I have been through, and sorting through the endless list of ridiculous beliefs I adhered to for so many years. After all, I was 52 years old before I finally left the Mormon Church so there is A LOT for me to sort through. STILL.
Several months after starting blogging, I discovered Main Street Plaza (http://www.latterdaysaintmainstreet.com/) and Outer Blogness (www.outerblogness.org) - and I felt I had "arrived" when my blog began to appear in the feed on that website. Of course, the Mormon-related correlations between the names Outer Blogness and Outer Darkness aren't lost on me... and I find the parallels rather amusing...
These days, I have really gotten into blogging. Especially after entering Outer Blogness. I find it exhilarating and life-affirming to state my opinions openly for the first time in my life, and to realize that my opinions are actually being heard and appreciated. Blogging has become one of my lifelines, just as has going on various ExMormon discussion boards and joining some ExMormon Facebook groups. Blogging (and the thoughts that go into it) feeds my soul just as reading some other Ex-Mormon blogs has done. And of course, realizing that I'm not alone in my position regarding the Mormon Church is very assuring as well.
Once I opened my mind to the actual facts, I began to see that I had been a SHEEP my whole life, just following along without really thinking about it. Simply going with the flow, doing what I saw everyone else doing. Believing what I was told to believe. Not making any waves. Becoming complacent. And since breaking away from the mold, I've come to see my blog is a statement reflecting what is embodied in this Far Side cartoon:
In many ways, I see my blogging as a way to reach out to others who are stuck in the goose-step march that so epitomizes Mormonism. And I've become so comfortable with my Ex-Mormonism that I have even begun to mention my blog on Facebook, something that would have made me very wary and nervous just a few months ago. I am very proud of my progression from Mormon Woman... to Former Mormon Woman... to Openly Full-Blown Ex-Mormon Woman.
And it feels very good to finally just be ME. I make no apologies for who I am anymore, which I did regularly when I was an active Mormon. You know... never feeling good enough, never doing enough, never able to relax and just exist without feeling like I should be doing more, always worried that unless I tirelessly did everything "they" said I should, I wouldn't make it to the Celestial Kingdom. It was exhausting being a Mormon.
Accepting ME for who I am has been a big step, and it feels very good not to expect so much from myself anymore. And I certainly don't feel the urge to confess anything to a Mormon Bishop anymore...
Now if I could just figure out how you can die from blogging...