Hello. I wrote the below (minus a few edits) in August and then of course abandoned it. I’d very much like to write about a host of things I’ve thought and done over the past year but am a little overwhelmed by the task, so my brother advised me to start small. Here is me starting really small, hopefully more little thought farts will join it later and make a sort of story of my one-thirds-minister-ship, for any that are interested.
I wrote a really terrified confession over 6 months ago, secure in the knowledge that I would be updating my blog regularly and you would all benefit from my learning and from my finding of everything to be marvellous and from the stories of my Wonderful New Life. It’s comforting I guess that I continue to overestimate myself.
I was starting my formation as a minister and was- rightly it turns out, but more about that later- a bit apprehensive. Mainly it was the unknown that so concerned me, but my propensity for laziness and the fact that I’ve never once had a Direction or thing that I was properly aimed for but have changed my mind and floated around etc etc were playing a part.
After I wrote the confession I went off and met the rest of the candidates and had a few days away with them. Which I hated. I had a very mediocre time. Not, thank God, because the others were horrible, but because (in part) they were new, it was all new, and all around me, and I need a bunch of alone time to not be a huge cow it turns out. I heard people laughing companionably or saying ‘no after you’ and like, getting along, and I felt my lack of the desire to be constantly polite as an inditement on my spirit. I felt, too, my lack of experience walk up beside me and place its arms elegantly around my neck, felt my fear that the whole year, three whole years, would be unfulfilled self examination, missed messages and the hiding of my cynicism.
Then I came home and saw my friends and breathed a bit.
The semester started in earnest and I found myself startled by an ocean of knowledge I had been granted access to, by the humour and goodness of my classmates and teachers, by how much I could be myself.
But you see, as much as the feeling of a gorgeous architecture of belief and passion filling up and out in my mind was and is wonderful, going through the motions of becoming a minister is, frankly, super weird, and the stubbornly present, slight but heavy self-doubt which had moved in the moment I met the others and asked myself if I was as clever as them, hung around for longer than I wish to admit.
Note: This is not a story about me disliking myself, or my time at college. Far from it. But it is a story about all of it, and all of it includes the times I fumble, doubt and have to talk sternly to myself. And the only way I can get to the cool, shiny parts are by starting small, with the parts that made me go to Sufjan Stevens for healing. Bear with me.
Carlynne Nunn, no one can say it like you can. You amaze me and I miss being your colleague and laughing my head off and then getting on with it.