I grew up in the Northeast United States. I didn't care for school most of my life and was exposed to a mainline Protestant church. Due to socialization from the media and educational systems, I was pretty much a de facto liberal until the age of 22. When I say I was a "liberal" I mean it in the American Leftest variety and not the classical Liberalism of the enlightenment.
I joined the military at 22 in the attempt to bring some excitement to my life. After the Bush administration raised my pay by 15% I figured I must be a "Conservative?" In March of 2003 I led an Infantry team during the invasion of Iraq.
After I returned from the war--still believing I was a Conservative--I started reading pop-Conservative books. I took up many of the positions of the Right and believed "the liberals were the problem."
After being honorably discharged I moved home with an intense desire to learn and change the world. I started school and majored in political science. I also picked up an opiate addiction in an attempt to numb the physical and psychological effects of the war. It was during this time of substance abuse that I first started challenging everything I thought I "believed" in. While I don't recommend it, being under the influence of opiates allowed me to question many of the beliefs that I had an emotional attachment to.
After a couple years of abuse I got clean. Looking back at this time I now realize it was critical in changing me from a "believer" to what people at this site appear to call a "rationalist." Also important in my transformation was the study of statistics, probability, logic, economics, and Western Philosophy.
This site looked like a good place to learn more?