Man, this is taking forever. Who would have thunk that my views on religion took up so much space? I hope someone is reading. Maybe it’s just good for me to get it all out anyway, even if nobody is reading. This part gets weird, so just go with it, okay?
So where was I? Ah, yes, college. Learning to be comfortable with a God that didn’t really do anything. Just sat back and watched the creation move forward. I was not alone in my quest of understanding. One of my friends (we’ll call her Crazy H) was also going through this quest. She studied many religions including many new age theories. She loved crystals and healing and mediation. We would sometimes talk about our different views on religion and she questioned my spirituality. I was surprised by that. My spirituality was fine, wasn’t it?
I decided to think about my spirituality. I was not happy with my inner person and I am glad I took the time to reflect on who she was. Over the years, I have changed the person inside and, in general, I am happier with me. How did I get there? I stopped. I listened. I looked. I discovered that I needed the quiet of the night to find my spirit.
She was always there, just hiding. I found her in the hum of the buildings on campus. She hid in the starlight above the Earth and Space Sciences’ dome. The gentle rush of the waves on Long Island Sound brought her to me. She was hiding in nature. I discovered that my soul felt calmer in these spots. Standing on the edge of the sea cliff, watching the moonlight dazzle off the water as it washed over the rocky North Shore, I could find my soul. She wanted to be braver, to be a person of action, to be able to feel comfortable with making decisions and acting on them. While laying on the rooftop of ESS, she would say “See that? That star? Yeah, go grab it. You don’t have to be a PhD in astronomy. You can find your own way. You only have you to answer to.”
Slowly, carefully, I found her and plucked her out of the noise. I cleaned her up and listened, really listened to her. My spirituality was there inside me all along. I found some confidence and moved forward. I was graduating and not sure what to do, but she gave me to courage to ask for a research job at the university. And I got it. And I started taking classes. And slowly, carefully, I worked my way up to earning a Master’s of Science with thesis. I found my spirit and let the strength within help me move forward. This was the spirit I had not found as a child. She didn’t want to be told what to do, she wanted to stretch and learn. She wanted to dip her toe in the waters, but not make too many waves.
I was the first person to earn a MS with thesis from the astronomy department. In general, the MS was a booby prize. Thanks for playing, but you failed the qualifying exam, so instead of staying for a PhD, here’s a nice shiny MS. Bye! And don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Instead, I decided to stay with the person I was in love with (Dr. Jay), I declined admission to a very well known PhD program, and wrote a proposal for a thesis, lost all of the data in a disk crash disaster and wrote up ANOTHER thesis.
During this time, my love for Dr. Jay solidified and grew roots. My feelings towards God, on the beach, with the Baracardi Breezer, remained aloof. Jay was not upset with my religious feelings and I was not upset with his. We spoke once about the m word. If it happened, he could raise the kids Jewish. Fine by me. And that was that. It was important to him, not me.
I think I would have stayed happily agnostic for a while if not for 2 things: Aunt Renee’s death and Corey’s death. From these two events, I shifted away from the realm of religion and into atheism.