Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not-First First Post

I've been blogging for a long time. My parents had AOL dial-up when I was in middle school (we're talking '95-'97ish), and I had my own website even way back then. It was mostly a collection of Letterman Top-Ten lists, funny pictures that I'd gathered, and cryptic messages about the girls I liked at school. What can I say, I've always been at the cutting edge of all things dorky.

Then I guess you know the story. Blogging went on to become an actual thing that actual people do. Suddenly everyone is a writer. I rode that wave for a long time, and maintained several blogs where I'd talk about whatever project I was working on, or just the randomness of my life at that time. But I always blogged with my true identity, even going back to my AOL days. I posted pictures, names, stories, etc. Friends and family knew about my blog, and would visit frequently. It was not always easy because shortly after returning from my Mormon mission I "lost my testimony" (that's Mormon-speak for "stopped believing"), and became in many ways a disappointment in the eyes of my family and friends.

So I wrote carefully and deliberately. Watched my language. Omitted certain story lines. I tried my best to be reverent in order to avoid offending anyone. Eventually my writing slowed to a crawl, and then stopped all together. I like writing, and have always enjoyed blogging, but I went through about a two year writers block where I couldn't think of anything to say.

I was recently thinking about my time at BYU, and how I have a kind of unique perspective of the school, Mormonism, and life in general. What's sad isn't so much that I've been unable to share that perspective, but that I'm beginning to forget the details myself. So I've started a new blog, this time anonymous, in order to be able to express myself freely, to share my experience as an atheist at BYU, and hopefully to help those who went or are going through a similar experience. Enjoy!


  1. I'm doing the same thing...blogging anonymously about leaving the church. It's somehow not quite as fun, is it?

  2. I'm a goodbye kitty fan. Clicked through from your comment on her blog. I was a born-into-it Mormon, and came to terms with my lack of faith during my first semester at BYU. I only stuck it out for 3 semesters. But, I might have stayed longer had it not been for the poor education I was getting there (BYU is far from strong or respected in my field but I recognize that it is stronger in other fields so please don't take this assertion personally) and the rampant sexism I dealt with in a male-dominated field. This was several years earlier than you were there and things may have changed in that time. I often wonder if I could have handled BYU as an atheist if I hadn't had other compelling reasons to transfer and so I am eager to read about your perspectives on being an atheist at BYU.

  3. Hi Amy, welcome to the flock of three (goodbye kitty, yourself, and I). I ended up in two different majors that BYU does fairly well in, luckily. I still had to sit through the GE's however. It was always strange to be sitting in a class like HEPE (Health, Exercise and Physical Education, I think), and the professor would be going through a series of power point slides on how to measure blood pressure, then suddenly there would be a slide with a quote from Bruce R. McConkie about the importance of exercise. Or my favorite was when President Benson would be cited as an authority in political science because of his time as secretary of agriculture. Hmmmm . . .

  4. Sexism and homophobia are huge problems at BYU.

  5. Not that it's any of my (or anyone's) business, but, what event or realization made you leave the church? I'm a born-again athiest myself and I'm always curious to here people's stories as I really relate to most leaving-the-church stories...

    Thanks in advance.