Hi! I’m Sage. I’m a homeschool alumni, apostate according to some, who loves to write. I recently left home after growing up in fundamentalist churches, and this is the story of my journey to discover who I really am and what I actually believe.

I was homeschooled K-12. Until I was 16, my parents attended the church I grew up in–a cultish, highly toxic fundamentalist church. When I was 16, they made an extremely brave decision to leave that church (that countless of our family belonged to, going back for generations), and started attending a church that was much better but still quite fundamentalist. They still go there with six of my younger siblings.

At 18, I left home to attended a private Christian college. Sometimes, given my background, it’s laughable that I traded in some ways the frying pan for the fire. However, while at school I managed to make friends and began the rough and bumpy process of individuation. While there, I bought jeans for the first time, learned how to wear make up, started listening to Christian–and *gasp* secular rock, learned what it meant to give the middle finger and how to cuss, and realized that things weren’t black and white, like I’d been taught. I also started attending 12 step recovery groups, and these rocked my world in terms of giving me a new perspective on life and how to cope with it. The other game-changing thing that I discovered was the community of homeschool alumni, each at different stages of life, who were writing and talking about their experiences and advocating to make them better for other kids.

Today, I am passionate about many things. When I finally realized that emotions were not all bad and stopped stuffing them, I found out I had tons of them. I still generally have trouble expressing them, but I do it best in writing. While I love writing about random and ordinary beauty I see in my day, I also hope to write about my journey in leaving fundamentalism (and how I relate to my siblings and family who are still in it), the way homeschooling impacted me and how it could be changed, my struggle to stay afloat in a conservative Christian college, my love of teaching English language learners, traveling, and anything else that I find interesting/informative/thought-provoking/etc. Really, it’s all fair game.

As I write about any of these things, I often fly in the face of years, generations, and centuries of family and church tradition. While I no longer ascribe to the beliefs of my old church or to the dubious at best views on homeschooling that my parents held, they were deeply ingrained for years, and challenging them is scary and tough at times. Early in my recovery, a friend sent me a quote: “she spoke the truth, even though her voice trembled.” Even though my voice trembles when I speak my truth, it is getting stronger every day. And even if it trembles, I won’t stop! I will speak the truth even when my voice trembles, and it will grow stronger.

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