What is the meaning of life? Whatever you want it to be. Doesn't that sound wonderful? So refreshing after spending a majority of my life in Mormonism. Instead of the Cookie Cutter mold that "they" tried to force me into, I get to decide what the meaning of life actually is for ME. And although I wish I had arrived where I am now many, many years ago (long before I became a middle-aged woman, when I still had my whole life ahead of me), I'm thankful to have arrived at this point at all. After all, the odds were against me getting away from the Mormon Church at 52 years old. At such an "advanced" age, I would seemingly be stuck in my ways, unable to adapt to big changes in my life. But luckily, I'm not "the norm." And I have a few good years still ahead of me... LOL
I spent most of my life trying to conform to what Mormonism said I should be. Trying to squelch my individuality. Attempting to deny my uniqueness. Setting aside the rational thoughts that tried to invade the wall I had put up to ward off the "evils of the world." After all, I had been told that I was supposed to live in the world but not be "of the world," and I took all of that tripe to heart.
When it comes down to it, life is simply not fair. We are born to parents who believe one way or another, and in many cases, we are basically expected to adopt their belief patterns. Even brainwashed to a certain degree (especially as Mormons). In the Mormon Church, people are looked down on if their children do not adhere to Mormonism. If they do not follow along like sheep, attending Primary, Sunday School, Sacrament Meeting, Seminary, going to Young Men or Young Women, going on a mission (if you are a boy), going to Institute, going to the temple, and on and on and on, then you are considered "less valiant," and are grouped with members who are considered the scourge. Many 19-year old boys go on a mission simply to please their parents and advance their resume and profile so they can get a good TBM woman to marry them when they get home. Simply put, they go on a mission because they feel they "have to go." There is no real option in Mormondom. In fact, there are many, many videos posted on YouTube of young men opening their mission call letters. One in particular that I saw a while back made me very, very sad. The boy was obviously not enthusiastic at all about the whole thing, but he was made to sit there (by his obviously TBM parents), read the letter, and comment on it. My heart broke for him because it was blatantly obvious that HE DID NOT WANT TO GO. I've tried to find that video again, but it looks like it may been removed (probably because of the boy's attitude toward the ritual). Sadly, there are most likely a lot of others who also don't want to go but are much better at hiding their real feelings (somewhat like a survival instinct within Mormonism).
I used to dread getting older, probably because I wasn't happy with my life. Everything had begun to seem so mundane. Going to church had become a mind-numbing experience. Trying to fit into the mold that was set out for me by Mormonism had become more and more difficult, and trying to buy into the whole Mormon ramble had become next to impossible. Allowing myself to finally question it all and realize that it was my choice whether or not to believe in it was a freeing experience, just as was finally acknowleding that I really did have my Free Agency to do as I chose with my life. And finally realizing once and for all that my thoughts and opinions really did matter was like breaking free from chains and/or a prison. Of course, going on some ExMormon / PostMormon discussion boards and seeing that others felt the same way I do, and had similar opinions about it all, was very reassuring as well.
When I finally broke away from Mormonism and began to voice my actual opinions, I began to see life as an exciting adventure again. Instead, I now see the rest of my life as exciting and memorable rather than average or mundane. And that is a gift all by itself.
And hopefully, we all know what the meaning of life is for ourselves... and don't need to consult any computers or websites...