While I haven't reverted yet I'm seriously considering it. I hope I don't ramble too much but I feel like I need to express my journey so far! It's a huge decision and being brought up as a middle class white Christian from America means I need to make some obvious sacrifices to my lifestyle.
I feel like my interest in Islam should go back to when Islam was in my conscious in some way or another. My conscious of Islam sadly goes back to right after 9/11 when I was in sixth grade. I was sadly an Islamophobic at the time because when you're 12 and you hear all this horrible stuff about a group of people...you tend to believe it without questioning it. Actually I had not heard anything about Islam before 9/11 which is just pathetic. Anyways I held the views until around high school. My high school was extremely multicultural so I was introduced to a bunch of cultures. This really expanded my limited view on the world. Naturally I met a few Muslims and my Islamophobia immediately dissipated when I realized they were just average people they just stayed true to their beliefs. I must say in high school I did have some angst in me so I went through a rebellious atheist phase. I was angry about religion without a clear reason. Right after high school I quickly reversed that seeing how it's impossible to know whether a God exists or not. A person must have faith as their proof for God as I believe.
After I graduated from high school was rough for me. I didn't go straight to college but I worked full time at a local technology distributor that installed computer systems for public. It was a great job and paid well but I eventually got laid off. So I enlisted in the military and went off to basic training. Found out I had anxiety issues so I got shipped back home without even finishing basic training. I felt disconnected from my friends and family so I started doing stupid stuff like taking drugs and partying but I quickly stopped because I realized I was messing up my life (lasted a month thank goodness). Then I went back to school the next semester at a local community college. I've done really well and I'm going into IT. Anyways after the month was over and I wasn't in school yet I devoted myself to intellectual activity (this was like a year ago). I've always been a computer geek but I never really paid attention to world news. When I found out Israel/Palestine I realized the mainstream US media had been lying quite a bit about the situation so I gradually decided to educate myself on the Middle East on a grand scale. Naturally because I did so I would come across Islam quite a few times. It started to spark my interest. Late last summer is when I really became interested in Islam. The whole "ground zero" Islamic center had me quite upset. Then the recent surge of Islamophobia in America after the Islamic center incident made me a Muslim apologetic. I started lurking around various Muslim discussion sites (someone referred me to here and said I should post my story) and started reading the Qur'an causally for further self studies of Islam and the Middle East. It's been really satisfying for me just to read the Qur'an. I suppose the next logical step would be to visit a local mosque. I am a bit shy and anxious around people I don't know well but I'm sure if I contacted the mosque before hand and tell them my story they would be glad to help.
To sum it up...I had a negative impression about Islam initially after 9/11, became neutral about Islam. Then after high school had some rough patches...read up on the Middle East and eventually Islam then started become increasingly interested in it.
What would be your advice from here? I've only read about a quarter of the Sura's in chronological order so far (been really busy!). Is contacting a mosque too early or what?
Thank you so much if you've taken the time to read this!