When you're self taught you always worry that you will be found out – Cath Kidston
The start of a new term, and my second year of training at Vicar school, is fast approaching. In terms of workload not much will change from now but there is something about it becoming 'official' that puts butterflies in my belly all over again, just like I had them last year. Perhaps it is that the start of something new always makes you stop and take stock a little. To look back and gaze a little further forward. That is where the butterflies come in.
One of the best books I read before starting training was by the Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard. He described an incident where he invited the local primary school to the church for a special service. He went in to the school to do assemblies often but not in full Vicar garb so when one of the children saw him dressed up in robes and dog collar he said 'Mr Pritchard, why are you pretending to be a Vicar?' To which Bishop John thought, 'Crikey I've finally been found out! Why am I pretending to be a Vicar?!'
I've never met anyone who lives with complete self assurance or on some level doesn't feel like a bit of a fraud in their own world. I regularly chuckle to myself at what an excellent job I am doing pretending to be a grown up. Maintaining a house, having an ISA, going to garden centres. No one except those who have seen my CD collection truly understand that underneath I still have the mentality of a fifteen year old. I don't know whether there comes a moment when you suddenly think, 'This is it, I have arrived. I am terribly grown up.' Perhaps when you have kids, though I can quite imagine that moment arriving and thinking 'Why am I pretending to be a parent? This can't be safe!'
I suppose it is the same thing with work and it is deeply encouraging to here people I admire express the same feelings. The quote above comes from Cath Kidston's autobiography 'Coming Up Roses'. I love reading stories of business people who have made a hugely successful enterprise against all the odds. They always have such tenacity and self belief. And yet...that nagging thing still hangs about and Cath writes about consistently 'faking it till you make it' and the frequent moments wondering what on earth she had really gotten herself in to and if she could really handle it after all.
So as I start another term as a REAL TRAINEE VICAR. I'm going to take comfort that we all feel a small sometimes and it doesn't mean we can't think big. And hey, they may never figure me out...here's hoping! ;)