The Black Sheep
I do not come from a conservative family, and the past couple of years I have spent as a very public, openly right wing writer and commentator have turned me into the black sheep.
It started with feminism, simple enough. I looked at the world, I looked at women, I looked at men — and I realized that the version of reality feminists insisted upon was nothing but a delusional fever-dream.
So, that was the first few years of my awakening.
Re-examining everything I had ever been taught by our culture about gender, talking about it on the internet, trying to find my place in the anti-feminist sphere between the “tradcons” and “men going their own way”.
(Spoiler alert: the answer to the societal scourge of feminism is “the Catholic Church’s eternal teachings on the roles of men and women”.)
It didn’t take long for me to realize that if I had been unanimously lied to by the culture about the history of gender oppression, perhaps there were other sacred cows of my worldview that deserved a second glance.
Even years before my conversion, God accepted my offering of curiosity and bestowed me with gold. The view of politics I had adopted as obviously self-evidently correct fell apart. Finding my voice as a right-wing thinker felt like seeing with the lights on for the first time. My mind was engaged. History, art, science, religion, culture… my brain made connections that made coherent the chaos of life and the world that had driven me mad since childhood.
Enter my conversion.
If heading right was like turning the lights on, becoming Catholic was like stepping foot on the sun. I realized it wasn’t politics that had ever interested me, anyway, but the theory of everything.
I talked about “politics” because it was the closest thing to what I was looking for.
Falling in love
The Catholic Church is so intricately linked to everything that matters. I’m so in love. Truth is a man, Jesus Christ, and yet that man is also God. Becoming Catholic didn’t limit my thinking, as so many people who observed my conversion thought. Instead, constraining my intellect to obey a cogent structure of reality bred freedom to think.
Jesus Christ and His Church are the tiny pinprick of light at the center of my being, and they’re the entire universe and everything I will learn for the rest of my life (and, Lord willing, the rest of eternity).
But the light of the sun is painful. Re-examining my left-wing beliefs as a young adult didn’t really hurt. It hurt to see how family and friends reacted, but the old ideas themselves were chains I cast aside with joy.
My present state
Now, in my mid-twenties, with a public record of stupid things I believed in writing, video footage of me insulting the Holy Catholic Church, a two and a half year old child born out of wedlock, a divorce, and an unreasonable number of stray gray hairs, re-examining my re-examination has felt like being burnt alive.
Eternal Catholic truths, ripping out my nonsense at the root.
I grew up with the instinct that I was not a victim. I grew up believing, for some reason – probably my own pride – that God was going to use me for big things. That if I worked and was smart, dreams would come true. That the world was not out to get me.
Even as I was assaulted on all sides by the leftist victim mentality, even when I suffered through a terrible season of childhood major depression, this core instinct that I could be more remained alight.
Of course, I now believe, that was my soul, and it was being kept alive by God’s extraordinary Mercy, even while I killed it with my constant sin. And every soul is called to do the most difficult, extraordinary, beautiful thing in the world and in the next world – to become a Saint.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stefanie Nicholas, 26, lives in Ontario, Canada. Growing up, she was primarily surrounded by the hippie-granola-Buddha-yoga-crystals-co operative board game homeschooling crowd. Today she is a divorced single mother who became Catholic at Easter 2018.