That’s all behind me now, the beliefs and the underlying system to boot. I un-converted myself. Like, all the way. I didn’t want to let go of the beliefs but hang onto the patterns — become a judgmental atheist, for example, or a dogmatic yogi.
After dismantling my life, I picked back up a few handy concepts, like soul. You might say that I lost my religion but found my soul.
Life outside of fundamentalism is less simple, but it’s a lot more meaningful and enjoyable. Instead of certainty, you get curiosity. Instead of black-and-white simplicity, you get gorgeous, colorful complexity.
If you happen to be stuck in fundamentalist hell yourself at the moment, I’m happy to point you toward an exit and be a companion along your path out.
A particularly literal strain of right-wing Christianity defined my entire life growing up. I attended a Baptist school, went to missionary camp in the summer and, of course, multi-weekly Bible studies and church services. Starting in my early 20s, I un-converted myself.
I've written a book called Soul Bone. It's about those experiences and the role fundamentalism plays in our culture. I'm looking for a publisher.
I write and give talks about recovering from fundamentalism in a way that I hope is both illuminating and entertaining. You can read some of my recent articles on The Millions, Bustle, Racked, BuzzFeed, The Hairpin and more.
For more of my story, you can read my take on being lost and being found.
You can even sign up for an occasional newsletter from me, which I’m going to start any day now. I’m fancy like that.
I was an English teacher for a few years, then went to grad school. After that, I started an editorial
career as a travel, shopping and arts editor in San Francisco. I moved into management positions as I moved around the country — to Los
Angeles, D.C. and Nashville, then back to San Francisco and off to London. Along the way, I started doing what the kids call "content strategy." I’m still doing that, now for a big tech company, living in London and drinking tea and saying "whilst" and "fortnight" like it's totally normal. I teach classes about voice and tone and about writing for emerging markets.
That's my day job.
Also, Susan Gray Blue is my real name. It’s not from an elaborate color wheel naming ritual or anything. Gray was my maiden name. Blue was my married name. Weird but true.