Hey - I think I feel sort of like you. This year my wife went to the convention with my mother. It was the first year not going for me. When I saw them pulling out of my driveway to leave, I had to fight back tears. I thought of all the years I went and it was the highlight of the year and I saw friends and was with family and I believed it. It was just sad to me and I was feeling nostalgia for old times.
A few weeks ago, I watched the videos on the site you linked. My feeling is that if JWs really believe the end is imminent and that billions of lives are at stake, why are they spending so much time making keychains & totebags?
Even though I feel nostalgia and long for old times, I realize that there is MUCH wrong with the relgion and most JWs are unreasonable, ignorant of their own history and doctrine, and self-righteous. The org is deceptive and I have evidence that virtually proves it.
So I have mixed feelings. I long for the safe feeling I had when I was a believer and thought I was on the road to paradise, but I realize how wrong things are in JW land, and what is beneath the veneer that we might see on the surface - the lies, hypocrisy, deception, crazy history and subsequent cover-up, money-grabbing, etc.
I have wondered, too, whether I was being too critical, but when I sit down and look objectively at the evidence, I realize I'm not. I actually want it all to be true, but there's just no evidence to prove it is and there's too much against it. The only JW I've talked with about my feelings could give me only two reasons for believing JWs have the truth: 1) look at the unity JWs have all over the world. My answer to that was that what JWs have is forced unity as in N Korea. No one is allowed to disagree or question without being punished. 2) Look at the preaching work JWs are doing. My answer to that was "yeah, look at it. It's completely ineffective. It's extremely inefficient with much time being wasted with JWs riding around packed in mini vans and counting time stopped at McDonald's and callling on dud calls. Also, by far, the majority of the publishers are unqualified, many having never even read the Bible and not even being able to explain the basic JW doctrines."
I suppose a lot of it could be because this is my home town and seeing the familiar places and faces and the history I have here
I think that is true. It's the same reason I almost cried when I saw mother and wife drive off without me going to the convention. It's local; it's personal; it brings back memories.