American None 2.0 This Time It's Personal
If you read my book, Confessions of an American None: A Credo of Sorts, then you know that homey don't play. (And I use outdated cultural references.) Following the publishing of the book in late summer 2020 (yes, that year), my mind starting brimming with possibilities because I am only one of approximately 100 MILLION Nones in our country. Surely there was something bigger– something more– that I could do to capture this movement and create community for those of us who are "spiritual but not religious."
But before I get ahead of myself, you may be asking, "What the heck is a None?" A None is someone who checks "None of the Above" when asked for their religious affiliation. These folks don't want to label their sense of spirituality or existential self. They are neither religious nor anti-religious. To each their own as long as you don't force your religious beliefs on others. And, most Nones have been influenced by many religious inspirations, philosophies, world views, etc. Think about the yoga-loving, raised Episcopal, and reads Rumi kinda gal. Or the dude who feels most alive in nature but loves going home for the holidays will all of its accompanying traditions. A None is the anti-label label. In short, don't put baby in a corner.
'None' is the anti-label label. In short, don't put baby in a corner.
Several years ago, I finally decided to quit pretending that going to church made my life better. Paradoxically, I felt a tremendous loss when I actually quit going. It was a loss of community that I and millions of other Americans were separately sharing. After I wrote my book, this GenX mama, who was late to the game on Instagram, discovered the #deconstruction movement. Similar hashtags include #exvangelical, #postchristian, #exmo, and others. Countless Nones were having a conversation without even knowing that there was an anti-label label for the lot of us.
After 3-4 years of research, I dreamed of building a massive organization that provided online content that would appeal to this unique audience but focused on what we all had in common rather than our grievances with religion. I devised a business plan that modeled other successful online content companies who had different audiences. And I was just getting started down the entrepreneurial highway when... dun dun dun... the Covid era took its toll on my then-family unit and I found myself a single, unemployed mom... again, again.
It's been nearly two years since my life was overturned, much in the style of Will Ferrell throwing one of his manbaby tantrums in any of his myriad movies. Having had to switch gears suddenly to get back in the "work work" world again forced me to put my love and passion–American None–on the back burner. But guess what mothertruckers, I'm back. And this time, it's personal.
Life sometimes just wears you thin. And guess what's left? You facing you. And that's all I have to offer this go round. No ginormous business endeavor. Just me writing about what I know– life as a None.
Granted, my life's expression of being None doesn't reflect all Nones by any account. But we probably share more in common than not. And besides, I'm writing because it makes me feel good. It's really that simple.
In this blog, I will explore meaningful living. Finding joy in the simple things. Questioning the big asks. Raw storytelling about being human. And I make you this promise– I'm writing candidly and vulnerably. Otherwise, what's the point? Take what you like and leave the rest.
But I hope you stick around. I love dialogue. You can be constructive. Just be kind. Meanies have no place in my life anymore. Oh boy, here we go!
P.S. If you're questioning my tattered sweatshirt, don't worry. It's nearly 30 years old and I love it. I'll write a blog post about it sometime.