When I was 18, I was able to escape the limitations of suburbia by going to Harvard to read English. I loved it there - studying, writing, and running a modern dance company. I began to discover who I was, and even though I lacked the social confidence that so many of my classmates seemed to have, I started to emerge from my shell bit by bit. I even had a boyfriend - a genuine, lovely guy in the year above me who was heavily into drama. He was a committed Christian, but this didn't cause too many problems, as long as we didn't talk about how we thought each other's beliefs were completely deluded and wrong.
Eventually, the relationship ran its course but, after graduating and landing a job at Carnegie Hall, I began to acknowledge to myself that I no longer found my aggressively atheist take on life adequate. Although I still found it impossible to believe in a god, I gradually became aware that there were other, non-theistic approaches to experiencing the spiritual side of life. I started to do hatha yoga, and was then introduced to Zen meditation by a colleague.