Hi everyone! My name is Vanessa and this is my first blog post that will be read by people other than my close friends. Hooray!

When asked to guest post, my first thought was to divulge all of Jen’s dirty secrets, as I had been her roommate a couple years ago (and incidentally will be again in a few days). Unfortunately, I couldn’t really think of a whole lot to share (though she does get quite a collection of dirty socks under her desk). So instead, I am going to share my atheist conversion story.

I grew up Catholic. My parents are Catholic and we went to church every weekend. I went to Sunday School (though it was never on Sundays) from 1st through 11th grade.I was baptized, confirmed, reconciled, and had my first Eucharist (eating the bread and drinking the wine, for you non-Catholics) all before I was 9 years old.When I was young, I was all into this. I mean, what else was I supposed to think? My parents told me this was the truth and I had no reason to believe that they were wrong.

It was probably around 7th or 8th grade, when I started taking serious science classes, that I began to question my beliefs. In high school, I became a critical thinker and started analyzing religion.Most of it didn’t make any sense to me. But I wanted it to be true, so I tried to hold on. That didn’t last long, however, because by 11th grade, I had given up on trying to make sense of religion. I remember watching the deleted scenes of Donnie Darko in which Donnie is talking to his therapist. She described an agnostic as “One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.” I decided that described me. That same year in English class, one of our spelling test words (yes, I actually had spelling/definition tests in 11th grade) was agnostic. The definition our teacher gave was “someone who doesn’t care whether God exists or not.” I was offended by that. I cared very deeply, because I was still trying to work out which side of the fence I was actually on. Incidentally, this was the same teacher that canceled our school’s annual Haunted House because it promoted demons and Satan and the like.

When I got to college, I was still pretty firm in my agnosticism. I made friends with a bunch of other agnostics and some atheists. Being around them and not being forced to go to church every day, I realized that the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous the idea of a god seemed to me. So by the beginning of my second year at college, I began defining myself as an atheist.

That is where I stand currently, and I am proud of it. However, I can’t bring myself to tell my parents or the rest of my family. I feel like it would greatly disappoint them. I feel like they would think they failed somehow in raising me. One day I hope to come out to them, but until then I’ll just continue with my secret life.

This is post 16 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.