One of my good friends called me a couple nights ago. We met a few years ago and we used to text and email all the time though we’ve fallen out of the habit now. When she called me she asked about “that going into ministry thing” and she seemed confused. The last time we’d talked about it, a few months ago, it was just something I was kind of tossing around vaguely in my head. And now it seems like I’ve decided, she said.
I haven’t decided. I haven’t said “I am going to do this.” I have said that I am going to explore it, to think hard about it, and to not make any decisions for awhile yet. I’m blogging about it here to get feedback because I don’t have anybody in my day to day life to talk to about it with. This blog makes UUism seem like a giant part of my life and while, yes, it has become something big there’s a lot of other things going on for me, some of which I choose to talk about online and some of which I choose, or others have asked me, not to.
Back to that conversation, though. When she said said, basically, “so what’s up with that?” I just said “I don’t really want to talk about it.” That’s about half true. Part of me really does want to talk about it. And part of me feels silly and stupid for thinking about it and doesn’t want to mention it outside the four pixel-y walls of this data entry field.
A different friend of mine talks a lot about Anne Lamott’s concept of “shitty first drafts.” You have to write SOMETHING. Write a shitty first draft. It’s not the end, it’s not like you can’t edit, it’s not final. Just get SOMETHING down on paper. Get that shitty first draft down. Then you can refine and edit and write it all over if you need to. But first just WRITE.
This is kind of like the shitty first draft of my discernment. I don’t really want to show it to anybody else because I kind of know it’s half formed and awkward. I’d never turn in a paper you knew had a really bad thesis, even if it was a first draft, to a professor. I’m almost in the pre-writing stage of trying to figure this all out. I’m in the “take a million notes on half a million index cards and spread them all over my dorm room floor and then say “fuck it” and eat half a bag of potato chips.” part of discernment.
So I’m talking about it a lot here because I’m not quite ready to talk about it with people outside here. People who I know in my day to day life read my blog, they know what’s going on in my life, but I get awkward and squirmy when they ask about it in person. I said above I feel silly for considering it.
I do. It doesn’t make sense and it seems all half formed and lumpy and I feel like people are making fun of me when they bring it up. It doesn’t help that the first person who actually questioned me about it actually WAS kind of making fun of me in a sense. But that’s mostly beside the point.
I want to turn in something polished. I want to be able to tell people X and Y and Z and say those things with confidence and have them make sense. I want to explain my reasoning and intent here before I try to tell people about it in person.
So if you know me in real life? Maybe don’t bring up this “maybe going into ministry” thing next time we talk. Ask about any of the other stuff happening in my world. If I want to talk about this with you then I’ll let you know. When I’m ready to talk about this with everyone believe me, I don’t shut up easily.
(and because I know the person who I talk about at the beginning is reading this; I am not mad! Please don’t think that. You took my cue right away and we talked about other things. Seriously. Thank you!)