I don't know exactly where to start, I'll try to keep things as simple as possible, but it's quite complicated, so please, bear with me
I'm 27 years old, from Koper, a small town in Slovenia. Until a couple of weeks ago, I declared myself as agnostic. I used to see everything from a purely scientific point of view, but I guess that deep inside my heart I always suspected there must be some kind of "higher power" driving the universe, it's just that being unable to prove (or disprove) it, I didn't want to think about it.
Now, a little about my background. My maternal grandfather was italian, he went to Belgrade after WWII for work, and met my grandma there. He was always fascinated by the Orthodox Church, and spent hours every day listening to the chants. They fell in love and he actually planned to convert himself and marry her with Orthodox rite. But they were in a hurry (mostly for bureaucratic and political reasons), and marrying as an Orthodox would've taken too long... so their only chance was to marry as Catholics, and so it was. They had to promise all their descendants would be raised as Catholics too, but in fact, my mother's been raised with both cultures...
When my grandma died back in 2002, we decided to have an Orthodox funeral for her. That was my first experience with Orthodoxy, and I have to say I liked it. It was different than what I was used to see, living in a mostly Catholic place, the Orthodox rituals seemed to bring God closer to us human beings. I always had (and still have) a relatively negative opinion about the Catholic church. In my very personal opinion, they're thinking too much about power and wealth (I mean, they even have a price list for their services - at least here in Slovenia! Didn't Jesus himself get rid of the merchants in the Temple? Aren't we supposed to give offerings based on what we can and feel right to give?). I didn't see that greedy attitude in my local Orthodox parish.
Now comes the hardest part... On January 18th, a cancer prematurely took my mom away from me (she was only 57). I had a really tight relationship with her, probably tighter than most mothers and sons have. She was my guide, my inspiration, my best friend. And then, all of the sudden (it was a very fast form of breast cancer - we actually knew it was cancer for only 5 days prior to her passing away), I found myself alone with my father. I still didn't fully realize she's gone, and I'm so afraid of the moment when I'll finally understand it.
Since my mom had similar feelings about the Catholic church as I have, and since she really loved her mother's Orthodox faith... We once again asked our priest to help us and bury her with the Orthodox rite. And thank God we did. Since that moment, I started to feel a very powerful attraction to this faith. Going to the mass on Sundays makes me feel better, almost as it would literally heal my soul. People there accepted me and my dad as their own, there's no people looking at us like unwelcome strangers, we feel at home. I then started to reconsider my agnosticism, since what I felt could not be explained with any scientific explanation. I have to be honest, there are still moments that I'm unsure, but the more I think about it, the more I can feel a sort of... call.
Yes, I want to become an Orthodox. I'm still a total newbie, I need to look at others to know when to cross myself, I have everything to learn, but I want to. I already started, since I have to prepare my mom's parastos (mnemósynon)... and after that, I'll ask our priest what do I need to do to get baptized and finally, officially, become a true Orthodox. The path in front of me is long, and I'm also sure there are going to be obstacles, but I'm quite confident that I'll be able to surpass them to reach my goal - unite myself with God.
In the meantime, if it's ok for you, I'll stick around, ask questions and use this forum to understand more about Orthodoxy. It'd also be useful to try and make some friends around my age, I guess that would be helpful too... So if you feel like helping me out, I'd be grateful
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone that read all I wrote. Thank you!