Wicca is a contrary religion.
I was an atheist for most of my life, then I began to suspect that there was something bigger than us out there, then I got proof of that. I heard a great quote many years ago that faith is about revelation, which is why it's so hard for a theist to speak to an atheist without a lot of mutual eyerolling.
I didn't just wake up one day and say, "Hey! I'm going to be Wiccan!" Oh, no. My journey was much harder than that. I won't go into it in any great detail, but to say that there came a day when it felt more foolish and ignorant to remain blind to obvious truths instead of embracing them. I thought faith would enslave me. Instead, it set me free.
As I said, Wicca is a contrary religion, one that's slippery and hard to define. Traditional Wiccans such as the Gardiners, who practise in covens and have a 'degree' system may not agree with my interpretation of this religion or even consider it valid. Then there are fellow solitaries, like me, who will agree with my general interpretation of Wicca, but shake their head at how I embody the religions tenents. I don't feel any need to 'justify' my faith. How I practise is a matter of discussion between my gods and myself and no one else. Sometimes I'd like an 'elder' with whom to like dialogue, but it's fitting that I live my faith as I live my life, in solitude.
Being Wiccan for me means adhering to the Rede, honouring the Sabbats, celebrating the Esbats, and having a personal relationship with the gods I have come to know, love, and hopefully honour. It is about opening my eyes to the energy patterns that pulse through the universe and to live in harmony with them. It is about stilling my inner voice long enough for my soul to have a chance to speak.
I know a lot about other religions, considered them all, but could not see myself within them. I'm not saying that other religions are 'wrong' or 'narrow-minded' or 'closed.' They're just not for me and I refuse to argue the 'validity' of one faith or another.
Being Wiccan has given me a framework to add another dimension to my identity, that of Witch. Some Wiccans do not separate these two facets of their life, but I choose to do so. I see Witchcraft as my practical application of my faith. Again, some may disagree, and it's their right to do so.
Believing in something is still something alien to me and it causes a giddiness that makes me giggle. I cannot take my faith Seriously (as opposed to seriously). My gods are mischievious and have a sense of humour and while they usually turn out to be completely right, it still feels good to argue with them sometimes. They are my muses, my guides, my parents, my friends, my confidants, but never my judges. I'm hard enough on myself as it is.
My religion has enabled me to forgive myself for a lot of my faults and to even identify some of them as qualities. It has also taught me that self-knowledge, not self-denial, is the key to 'salvation.' I live lustily now, work hard, play hard, and finally feel that I am in control of my destiny. My spiritual dimension now has a focus and I am able to direct my life force instead of continually squandering it.
Wicca might be a contrary religion, but it suits me and I look forward to many more years of exploring the riches it affords me.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."