Like most of you in the UK I have recently been enjoying the blissful extended holiday thanks to our lovely future King and Queen. And my goodness, wasn't it just what I needed! Before I left I was seriously considering the life of a hermit as a viable option to escape the mayhem I have created around myself with all these bloomin' jobs!!
The thing is, I love all of the things I have taken on – in THEORY. But it has brought a lot of challenges. People, I have decided, are little walking challenges! I also have much bigger responsibilities and the weight on my shoulders of the future and quite where all this is going to end up. That combined with a lot of pressures and the resurgence of some past angsts to do with working in church had left me a jibbering wreck.
While I was at home I had the immense pleasure of meeting up with my new mentor. She is the vicar who married me and my hubby three years ago and she is a bit of a legend. The fact that she rolls up in a sports car wearing floral heels makes me absolutely certain we are on the same page. So she is helping me navigate the minefield of the working for the Church of England, which she described as walking through a dark room full of rakes on the floor, you think you're doing fine and then BANG. Smacked right in the face by a rake!
I arrived in a state of simmering anxiety and left feeling ready to at least come back to work. Good work mentor! She told me to go away and think about why I am in the role I'm in. Not me as I think I should be, or what someone else wants me to be, but why me, twenty something Nicola, is where I am working for this big ol' dusty church and what I have to bring to the table. Because lets be honest, I don't think my face always fits. There aren't many people at my local parish congregation who can be spotted giving it some dancing along to Glee in their living room. It's not what people expect to find when they pop into the church office.
What she made me realise is that what makes it hard to fit in is perhaps the exact reason I'm here. That I'm here because of these things rather that in spite of them. That, dare I say it, I might be what this place needs. Meanwhile I'm learning to be true to who I am and to do it like I do. That means sparkly cupcakes are quite at home at the vicarage, pub outings for community building are on the up and I will be singing along to Glee in work hours. Can't be helped, I'm afraid!