"I wanted your opinions on what brought you to the CoS and how it has impacted your life in the long term."
At age 20, I was reading the books of various people who were labeled heretics, interested to see what vilified people had to say, and was astonished to find that there was one who I completely agreed with and found quite interesting -- Anton LaVey. I read through The Satanic Bible, and loved it. However, though I now had suspicions that I might be a Satanist, I wanted to be careful before labeling myself one. What else did LaVey have to say? Was I sure I agreed with everything? I explored the rest of his books and found even more that he was a brilliant, entertaining man with a lot of sharp opinions that I found logic in. I realized that indeed, Satanist was an accurate word for me, and threw my lot in with The Church of Satan
. Since that time, I've met some enjoyable company, made some friends, and amongst other things, found some very interesting discussions on this board.
I'd like to point out as many shall, it was more than "a bit of research" before I knew I fit the bill. If you have not read The Satanic Bible, do so. Before you start looking for other literature suggestions, start at the start.
Many have come here having read a website page (part of it) or the first 10 pages of The Satanic Bible, claim to be "one of us" or "our peers", only to demonstrate with their posts that they neither understand the philosophy nor have what it takes to live their lives in a Satanic way. They'll spend hours on the message board, attempting to solicit LaVey's philosophy from others, asking for information or answer that are easily found in The Satanic Bible, expecting spoon fed information. It's insulting for someone to claim they are a Satanist when they can't be troubled with purchasing an inexpensive text and taking a week or so to read it and absorb what it says.
I'm not saying you are such a person, but rather, advising you not to be such a person.
It's worthy of note that there have been many who have loved what LaVey has had to say, agree with the principles of Satanism, but have shown in the way they conduct themselves and live their lives that they are indeed not a Satanist. It takes more than just agreeing with the philosophy. One must also have the strength to avoid misery (a difficult task for many), take responsibility in their lives and actions (a very difficult task for many), and live life to the fullest.
Welcome to the forum, but do the work first. Once you have, and you find you do resonate with Satanism, enjoy your time here.