I'm a late-blooming graduate (with honors, thank you) student working on my M.A. in English at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. Single. I like reading, cooking, old movies, animals, swimming, the beach and travel. I live in a large (and very rickety) old house overlooking the Piney River.
My atheist persona was crystalized a few years ago after some harsh treatment by one Christian in particular.
First, I must apologize for not responding sooner. For some reason, I took a fall out of bed on the night of July 3 and smacked my head on an old wood dresser. The blood was like spurting everywhere and I made a call to 911. Spent a couple of days in the hospital. Between the headaches and hideous black eyes, I was in a slightly bad and very-self pitying state of mind. Well, it's cleared up now and I feel like a person again.
I don't know much about hell--or should I say, yes, but not in the sense that you write about. For me it's being alone when the car breaks down and you have no one to call. It's being alone on Christmas day and just wishing for a present...any present, just to share a meal. Having your father tell you that he really wants nothing to do with you. I do not worry about hell too much.
Truckers...not a good life. In Europe, trucks aren't allowed on the roads on weekends because they cause too many traffic delays and wrecks.
I have just been so fortunate in that the school has thrown scholarship money at me.
I notice on the comments section you're also having problems uploading a profile photo. I've been struggling for a week now to do the same, but no luck! If you do figure out how to do it please let me know. Thanks.
You know, my childhood experiences were similar to yours. Nobody was ever mean to me in church (Missouri Synod Lutheran) or in school (parochial elementary school). Nothing terrible ever happened to me there. It was just so boring, so flat. In my church no one talked, no one clapped, no one made a peep. By the time I reached high school, I'd sit in the balcony away from my parents, just so I could sleep. I hated church, but my parents forces me to go by using a really big carrot. If I missed church, I couldn't use the car for a whole week. For a teenager, that's the biggest carrot possible. In hindsight, though, it wasn't really all that terrible.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, I was introduced to the concept of hell, or maybe I should say HELL, in twenty-foot-high glow-in-the-dark letters that spit flames and ooze pustulous boils. Even to this day, despite my logical mind telling me that no such place exists, I still have nightmares about hell. I guess fear of the place is embedded deep in my reptilian brain, because I have never been able to shuck off the fear. Oh well, I'll just keep soldiering on. What else is there to do?
I also have met a few Christians like Zelena, but no one has ever said to my face that they needed to put me out of their life. Believe me, they're not good enough for you.
Now, on to more cheerful matters...
My dog is seldom home with me. Instead, he travels with my husband in our semi. He's a huge beast (the dog, not the husband), part coon hound and part rottweiler, who sits in the passenger seat and discourages DOT officers from poking around where they're not welcome. Actually, he's so friendly he'd lick you to death, but he's so scary looking that no one would risk it.
You asked what it's like to be a trucker. I could probably fill a volume with great, important insights, but I'll just say this: endless boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror.
Actually, I drove truck with my husband (and dog) for 3 and a half years after our children were grown. I still have my CDL and everything, but I haven't driven now for about three years. It was fun for a while, but in truth, it was too hard. No regular meals, no regular showers, continuous driving, etc. My husband has been driving for almost thirty years. I don't know how he does it.
Like you, I have also noticed a dearth of women on this website, especially women my age. There are lots of young people, which is encouraging, but it's still fun to talk to someone my own age.
I've been an atheist for a long time, at least in my heart of hearts, but I've only recently begun to open up about it to some of my family. It's taken me 53 years to get that far. Isn't it amazing how deep the roots of childhood indoctrination can be.
In your profile, you referred to an incident of "harsh treatment by one Christian". I'd really be interested in learning more about that.