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fallenleaf

Life Gets Better

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It does get better.  I just logged in here for the first time in years.  I haven't been posting here, because I haven't really had the need for it in my life. And, while I want to give back and help others, there is a lot of emotions and drama that posting here can tend to stir up.  This forum was a very beneficial part of my life, and maybe I will continue to post here more often.

 

Many years ago, I posted a follow-up to what had been going on in my life.  I had a fairly rough process coming out.

 

Over those years, I have developed my own life.  I don't even know how to describe how much better it is.  And, I don't know how to describe how much things have changed.  In those posts (13-16 years ago), I was a vegetarian.  These days, I have been eating a carnivore-style diet for several years.  I think it's a bit more than six years now.  While some things change, my tendency to go to extremes never has.  I am happily married.  When I met my future wife, my mom asked me if she was a Christian.  I responded, "you know I wouldn't date her if she was."  My wife is actually a lapsed Catholic.  She's apathetic to the whole religion thing.  She used to get frustrated with my strong feelings against it, but she has learned to accept them.  She still asks that I don't engage the people who come to the door; and, I respect her enough to do as she desires.

 

I am still teaching and I am a volunteer firefighter.  But, I am thinking of maybe going career firefighter.  I enjoy it so much.  Actually, I am considering violating one of my cardinal rules (no cross/religious tattoos) because I really want the Maltese Cross as a tattoo.  It has a non-religious meaning in my life.

 

I'm still an atheist.  Well, and an Erisian/Westernized-Zen Buddhist.   I see no problem blending those two.  That drives my wife a bit crazy, as I insist on celebrating Festivus for its secular and absurdist values.  But, to her credit, she goes along with it and even bought a nice Festivus pole ornament for the tree.

 

As for my family, I have taken to my role as the "bad uncle" to my sisters' kids.  Although, not really.  They (my sisters) get nervous about me when their kids bring up religion, and I never lie in response to direct questions, but I don't attack or challenge their beliefs.  They aren't old enough to ask deep follow-up questions.  When they ask if I go to church, and I tell them I don't, they don't know where to go from there and I let the topic die.  I refuse to set foot in any church unless it is a wedding, a funeral, or some special event where someone is being recognized for an accomplishment.  It is very rare.  I didn't get married in a real church either.  My wife and I had a secular ceremony in Las Vegas.

 

Life is good.  Things got better.  My mom still believes she will see me in heaven, but I don't need to remind her that I won't be there nearly as often as before.

 

I guess that is all I have to say about that.  Stay strong.  Stay true to yourself.  Don't stoop to becoming someone you are not in order to try and find happiness in the acceptance of others.  Find happiness in your own strength and your own actions.  We're out there with you.  We're living our exChristian lives and making our own way forward.

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Hey Fallenleaf, it’s nice to ‘meet’ you. Always good to hear from somebody who hasn’t been around for a while.  Glad to hear life is good for you.  Good luck - and be safe - in your fire-fighting career!  Lots of respect for guys like you.  You could always get an atheist tattoo alongside the Maltese Cross!

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Thanks.  I forget when I was first active here, it was probably around 2000 or 2001.  I hung around for a while, but life has a way of distracting you.  I have a few ideas for various tattoos, but the maltese cross is the only one that would/could be considered christian in any way.  Still, it is almost universally associated with firefighters, and that is the meaning I want it to carry.

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Hmmm... Wikipedia has this to say...

 

The cross of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters, is often confused with the Maltese cross (for example, the New York City Fire Department so calls it);[14] although it may have eight or more points, it also has large curved arcs between the points. The Philadelphia Fire Department, among others, incorporates the St Florian cross into its insignia, as does the International Association of Fire Fighters.”

 

But then there’s this...

https://www.firerescue1.com/history/articles/the-maltese-vs-florian-cross-which-one-is-correct-Xr7pnTxy1nwnHe0M/

 

Personally I think the Maltese cross is much the cooler-looking of the two. 

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Right, the St Florian is the one I am considering a variation of, although the more traditional maltese cross is something I did consider as well.  The former has the benefit of being more widely associated with firefighters.  Nearly everyone calls the florian cross as the maltese cross.  Maybe because NY does.  I am in the habit of calling it the Maltese Cross (even though it is not) because that is what it is known as to most of the firefighters I talk to.

 

The other problem with the true maltese cross is that it is vaguely similar to the iron cross, which brings a different kind of history with it.

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25 minutes ago, fallenleaf said:

 

The other problem with the true maltese cross is that it is vaguely similar to the iron cross, which brings a different kind of history with it.

 


Yeah, you upset somebody and then you wake up one day to the news story: “Local Firefighter Appears to Have Nazi Tattoo” and your life is ruined. 

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