I've been into non-Christian based religions since I was a little girl (even though I attended a Nazarene church with friends), really. I remember learning about Greek mythology and being extremely drawn to Athena when I was seven or eight and asking myself how these other religions could possibly be wrong when so many people once believed as much in them as I believed what I did. I also remember trying to figure out what happened to the religions and the people who believed in them, and wondering how a religion could just die out. My immediate family was more agnostic than anything, and didn't attend church at all. They were good about questioning, and so it (obviously) instilled a healthy dose of always questioning things that didn't seem quite right to me. My mom's mom had even gotten me a deck of tarot cards when I was about 13. Obviously they were pretty open-minded.
When I was almost 13 we moved from Oklahoma to Michigan. I stopped attending church myself, even though our neighbors also attended a Nazarene church similar to the one I attended (that is, rather reform, and not traditional by Nazarene standards at all). When I was about 16 I got into the internet. In my searching about mythologies (which I'd always loved) I discovered people who followed them as a religion. I was still so young and only nominally knew about various mythos, so I started to get into Wicca with its easy access and looseness to study and learn and incorporate various traditions. My parents (well, mom really) figured it out somewhere in between there and college, and ended up pretty cool about it. I was very lucky.
When I got into college I became involved with a group on campus. They were a fantastic resource and gave me a chance to finally do non-solitary ritual and network with other pagans. In high school and my early college years I tried really hard to believe I belonged to the Celtic pantheon, but I always knew something wasn't right. I had even been told by a reading someone in the group did for me (a divination system he'd been creating himself based loosely from runes) that I belonged to a particular goddess, and that within a fairly short time (he said about a year...it was a little more like two years, though...little did I realize it would be the same one who had won my heart as a little girl) She was going to claim me for her own in an unquestionable way. I kept researching and reading and waiting. In the summer between my second and third year a new play by Mary Zimmerman, called Metamorphoses based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, hit Broadway and I was entranced. My love for the Greeks was renewed. Somewhere in my fourth year (my college was going to be performing it the following year--being an Archaeology major with a Theatre minor I decided to be the Dramaturg/research assistant for the play when I didn't make the cast) I realized that there were people who still followed the Olympians. In one of my many rereads of the play it struck me like lightning that this is where I was supposed to be, and that Athena long ago had marked me for her own. She let me wander and explore and learn, and ultimately She led me back to Her and the Olympians.
So...for around five years now I've been following the Olympians. I wish there were more people around who also did, as I hate not having groups to practice and learn with. I plan on getting involved with other pagan study groups after the move, though. It will feel nice to get involved again, even if it's with people with different leanings. I like to help people learn, and I love to learn myself. So...if you know of any groups I should get involved with, please share!
And...there it is. Sorry for the rambling, I don't think I've really ever told the story quite like that before.