As the holidays as upon us I find myself pining for traditions that have nothing to do with Christianity. This is something I have been feeling for some time. When I left the Mormon church, I also rejected most of the traditions and holidays that revolved around it; I didn’t want to be associated with it anymore. But it left me wondering, “What am I now?” I don’t want to be a cultural Mormon, I’m still too close to my leaving to be able to do that and be happy, I’m still too bitter. I also resent being American, I feel like there is too much blood and shame in the history to be proud of that heritage.
I have been exploring religions, reading up on different kinds, taking quizzes that ask about my personal beliefs and so far I have been attracted to Unitarian Univeralism, Secular Humanism, and Neo-Paganism. What I am looking for something in a religion, or belief system, is a group of people, close knit with a sense of community, that believes in something. A group that shares traditions, that celebrates things together. I would prefer a group that celebrates the changing of the seasons, like Paganism, or a group that celebrates scientists and scientific achievements.
Why is this important to me? Why is this something that I have been investigating so heavily? Why do I have such a strong desire to define myself, even if by someone elses terms? Is it a desire to find a group that identifies the same way I do? That is plausible. I wish that I wasn’t leaving the area that I was in. I love the nature, the trails through the mountains and the way the summer is. I like the people...kinda. I would love to make more connections, investigate UU or some of the Pagan groups. I would love even more to become a member of the Mounted Posse.
The more I think about it, the more I think that is right: I’m just craving connection, a group, my herd. I’m even more excited to move to Wyoming now, if only to start to build more connections. I’ll miss the few connections that I have here in Small Town. I’ll miss my bio family and my family-of-choice and my coworkers and my friends. But I’ll have a chance to make new friends. And that is exciting.