Role model?

By Mir
January 18, 2005

I’ve had quite a week. And it’s only Tuesday!

Now, usually when I say that, I’m slamming my forehead down repeatedly on the desk. This time, it’s more like I’m pinching myself and waiting to wake up.

Or just, you know, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Anyway. I got an interesting phone call this evening. Just one more piece of the unfolding mystery of my 2005.

As I may have mentioned before, I’m pretty active in my church. However, I was not raised as a Christian, so sometimes I still feel like I’m not a proper member of the club. I know the password, but I haven’t quite mastered the secret handshake, if you know what I mean.

So I was quite floored tonight when my pastor called to ask if I would consider mentoring one of our upcoming confirmands. I was actually requested by the young lady in question, and her parents approved of her choice. We talked about it for a while, and I agreed to think it over and get back to him. Then, being the dedicated navel-gazer that I am, I hung up the phone and set about trying to figure out why I was so surprised.

So I figured out a lot of things, and mostly distilled it down to:
1) Don’t these people know I’m just playing a Christian on television?
2) Don’t these people know that I was never confirmed, so I can’t possibly guide someone else through it? (see 1)
3) Don’t these people know that I’m divorced, and therefore a lousy role model?
4) Don’t these… wait, back up.
5) Number 3…? Did I say that?
6) Shit. Apparently.

Leave it to me to eclipse a very flattering and kind endorsement with an unexpected attack of self-flagellation. Have I mentioned how much fun I am at parties? Woo!

I’m working so hard. Things are starting to come together. They truly are. So when do I get to feel like it’s real, and I deserve it? When does it stop being such a surprise? When do I own the good in my life and stop agonizing over the rest?

It’s starting to look like they taught me the secret handshake but I just keep forgetting it. How embarrassing.


  1. Leanne

    I hate to hear that you’re beating yourself up about your beliefs! Christianity is not Catholicism; there are no secret handshakes, no strange codes, you just be you and accept the task, I think you’d be an amazing mentor! :)

  2. joshilyn

    YOU SAY: So when do I get to feel like it’s real, and I deserve it?

    Um, when that HAPPENS? tell ME how you got there. In the meantime, be shocked and doubtful, but do not forget to be pleased and accept the challenge. You are very lovely in your heart!

  3. udge

    Gee, I dunno, Mir: I think you’d be lots of fun at parties.

  4. lisa

    They taught me the secret handshake, but I’m not sure I’m doing it right!

  5. Suzanne

    Very soon! no really…I give you another year, and by then you will look back at your old marriage, that whole life,…slap yourself in the forehead and say “what the fu…was I thinking?” You will love who you have become, and the problem will then shift to a different nature.Like… “Where are the men ‘worthy’ of such a wonderful catch like myself!”
    I promise.
    Just remember to write me and tell me when it happens so I can do the told-ya-so-dance. K?

  6. Sheryl

    If your inner neurotic is anything like mine, she tells you that if you enjoy, and believe you deserve the good in your life it will be quickly stripped away. Hey, I never said logic was her strong suit.

  7. Laura

    What the heck are you blaming yourself for? Your marriage hitting the rocks? I’ve read your stories and can say quite confidently that that was NOT your fault. You deserve all the good things that come to you because you initiate them from the goodness inside your heart. Good things don’t land in your lap, Mir, they come to you because you work very hard at making, or at least allowing them, to happen. Bad stuff happens to everyone. It doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the good stuff that you cause to happen, that you work for. So being a mentor to a new confirmand in your church makes perfect sense to me – you wanted and worked for where you have gotten in your faith. What better role model?

  8. OneSingleMom

    Not to mention the fact that you are in the church by choice and not because you were expected to be there and you have obeyed blindly all your life and sometimes wonder exactly what it is you believe and why. Forget the secret handshake (or make one up of your own) and mentor this young person if you feel you are up to it!! …osm

  9. Bob

    I sympathize with you – It can be difficult sometimes to just be happy about the good things that are happening to you. I do the same thing.

    Look at it this way. Your pastor and fellow parishoner both feel that you are a positive role model – or you wouldn’t have been asked. If you don’t trust your opinion of yourself, trust and accept theirs.

    We, your loyal readers, already know of your exceptionalness. It’s a no-brainer – you can do it! Now go out there and win one for the gipper.

  10. panajane

    Confirmation is not that complicated. From what I remember, I read stuff, went to the meetings every wednesday, and then the day came and I recited some stuff (more stuff?) and then I think the priest put oil on my head? And that was it. Why are my memories of my confirmation so hazy? Could it be because I was there to hangout with friends and gossip all the time? Oh yes, I think that’s right.

    P.s. You’ll do marvelous.

  11. Amanda B.

    Remind me to tell you a very long story about my parents and their adventures in Methodism.

    You may have said and I missed it, but I wasn’t raised Christian either and was curious as to your previous faith.

    Hang in there chicka. Social situations can be harrowing…for me at least. Especially when God is thrown into the mix. I love spirituality but am terrified of religiosity. You dig?

  12. Ben

    Repeat after me:

    “I’m good enough,
    I’m smart enough,
    and gosh-darnit,
    people like me!”

    (won’t help, but I just like having people say it)

  13. cursingmama

    If you’re in the Catholic church – you’ve got the secret handshake down cold and didn’t even know it….good ole catholic guilt, I would know – I marinade in it!

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