I have a friend who says that our beliefs don’t change but are often oppressed by the rules of society that are instilled upon us since we were born. According to him, the time when we feel that our beliefs change is not necessarily change but the reinforcement of what was always our truth. I have come to be a believer of his philosophy and I agree with it.

Photographer: Chris Brackley

When I look back at my childhood I see the impact that religion had in my life. I come from a strong Catholic background on my fathers side and a strong Christian view from my mother. Interestingly my mother’s side is not very religious, at least my grandpa never pushed religion, he believed that a balance of good and bad is a personal thing. Perhaps that’s were my beliefs originate from.

Religion was never really a thing that was necessarily pushed on me but it was somewhat expected. I attended church with my mom on Sundays, I was taught to pray, to be a good Christian. Can’t I just be a good person in general? That was always a question I asked. At one point I thought that my life was to serve the God I was taught to believe in, to stay in church and continue serving by helping others. Everyone had high hopes for me at church. Then I decided that I wanted to continue with my education, I was going to college.

A part of me always knew who I am now, or who I have come to accept to be. I remember praying once when I was a child, I apologized for not fully believing in the man I came to know as God. It didn’t matter because I continued with it, I attended mass, I tried to learn. Deep down I knew, I knew who I was.

I no longer label myself as a Christian but an Agnostic. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I don’t believe in a higher being. My thing is science, I like to find proofs, to find reasoning and that is what I believe in. I love to learn about religions, I find it very interesting. I may be wrong, maybe there is a tangible higher being. I’m an agnostic, this is who I am, and it doesn’t matter who thinks I’m right or wrong or who judges me because to me this is my belief. I believe in science, and I’m lucky to have a family that supports me no matter what.

Smile, stand up for your beliefs.