So, as mentioned previously I am in the process of filling in a Ministry Application Form. For those that haven't had the 'pleasure' of seeing one of these, it is rather detailed and requires some soul searching to say the least. Questions like:
'What do you consider to be the main events in your life?'
'Please tell us very fully about your family background, upbringing, formative experiences from childhood through to today. Please include details of family members from birth together with your family history'
'Please tell us in detail how you believe your faith has developed over the years'
I mean the form is 13 pages long before you even type anything of your own onto it! On top of this a Priest friend of mine has been giving me a bit of advice and a few things have come up that I feel I need to address. Particularly my need to control everything and that I have an issue with Love. (I will post on these more thoroughly).
So I have been looking back at my life and thinking about the person I am now, the person I was and why I am the way I am. It has been interesting, but painful. I had a fairly average childhood, white middle class, some state education, some private. I shouldn't really have anything to complain about. But somewhere along the way I became a control freak and very opinionated, judgemental even. Even now I am not sure where the change happened. I was a shy child - so shy, I was always going red, even just when people spoke to me. Now you can't shut me up, I have an opinion on everything ;)
So a few weeks back I went to my parents and in the loft dug out a box with all my old diaries in - which I kept from age 13-24. I'm not sure what I expected to find. I hoped there would be some triggers that I could point to. What I actually found has made me cringe, cry and laugh, but no big thunderbolts. It has made me realise that actually, although sometimes we have big/bad stuff that happens to us, actually the little things can really shape us too. The little niggles, the odd comment, an arguement with a friend. It's funny the things I wrote about. I did not have a good relationship with my mum. We argued a lot and I struggle even now to feel close to her, but yet there is virtually no reference to this in my diaries.
I find I remember odd little comments, like my Dad, seeing me standing in my Pjs, said 'you be careful or you will end up life your Mum' - which was a reference to my Mums slightly tubby figure. I was not a tubby child by any stretch of the imagination, I was and still am pretty skinny. But at age 14 that comment stung and still sticks with me now 20 years later.
I also found in my diaries several references to the fact that my younger brother had not only read my diary but had showed it to the neighbours son - who I had a crush on and had written about copiously. You can imagine the 15 year old me being mortified, gosh even when I read it I felt the embarrasment from all those years ago.
All these things I can see have affected me. But in all this reflection should I be looking back and saying 'well that's obviously why I am this way'? I don't want to be laying blame anywhere. I mean we are all the products of our past, so thats just life right? Somehow I think I have to look back, accept the things I find, accept how they have shaped me and then let go of them. I want to burn my diaries when I am finished with them. Partly from the fear of anyone else seeing them! but also as it feels symbolic. I will write up my thoughts on reading them and anything thats stands out, but then I will have no need of them any more. So to get rid of them in this way seems symbolic of shedding those things from my past that I need to let go of.
So the next few posts will undoubtedly be reflecting on the diaries and my past. This is probably more of an excercise for me to do rather than blog about but I think sometimes putting things out in the open takes away the fear, or takes away the hold they have over you. So I need to do this.
It's quite ironic that just a couple of years ago I used to boast about the fact that in my 30s I really felt happy with myself, I felt I finally knew who I was and where I was going. And yet here I am now, with my life being 'deconstructed' before me, I have no control over it, no idea where I am going, or rather, where God is taking me...