Well all these entrys have been great, but they started 6 years ago, when I was 19. My path away from orthodox judaism started years before that.
As a child, I remember as a first grader moving my lips during davening (praying) instead of actually saying the words. Although that might have been because I was always terrible at languages, and usually they didn't give us enough time to finish all the prayers at the halting pace at which I could read it. But then again, I still believed in it, and followed it. I followed everything I was taught by my parents until I got to high school. Well, maybe I didn't say a bracha (blessing) before everything I ate, but that was more lazyness I think.
Then, the night before my 15th birthday, I met my friend M (who is today one of my oldest and closest friends). He probably doesn't want to be known for this, but I remember the first time I met him was on a friday night when I was at a mutual friend's place for shabbas, and somehow the subject of keeping shabbas came up. And he told me that he kept shabbas, except when he thought of a really good poem and had to write it down (he was into writing poetry back then).
I had met people who weren't jewish before, and even people who were jewish and not religious. But they were different than me, since I was an orthodox jew, and orthodox jews did things a certain way. But M was raised in a family just like mine; modern orthodox, followed everything I did. And yet here was someone raised in that culture, who was writing on shabbas! And yet there was no lightning striking him down! God wasn't doing anything! And really, would god even care if he was writing down something he didn't want to forget? It was a revelation to me. Before then, it just had never occured to me that I didn't actually have to follow all those laws...it was just a given that I would. After that point, anything could happen!
It took 10 years to get from there to trying bacon for the first time (which happend last week). I think my next few entries will be about that path, since I remember every single time I first violated a jewish law. Each and every time I violated something new was significant to me, since I was crossing over a line that I had never crossed before.