I really lack faith. I’m full of faith for other people, but when it comes to myself I’m the biggest pessimistic risk assessing all the things that could go wrong.
If faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase, what I fear is that in the darkness there is someone at the top ready to push me right back down. Or there’s one of those child safety gates that are actually Laurie-proof. (Does anyone else find that child-proofing is a barrier to them? Seriously, there should be prizes for successfully putting a toddler in a car seat these days with all the complicated straps and buckles…but I digress).
This last week has been weirdly tough, and I blame the Timehop app. Usually I love it reminding me of fun memories and even sucky moments that I can now laugh at. Last week though, the application has been bringing up the facebook posts from when I had the interview and received the news that I had been successful in my application to work at a pregnancy crisis centre. Before I left Aberdeen I had spent a year training to be a volunteer counselling support worker at a similar centre that was getting ready to open there. I’d also spent my last two years at university focussing my studies on women’s health and maternity care. It had been tough to leave Aberdeen knowing that I was leaving that dream behind. And yet, as it happened, taking that first step was actually leading me to working in the field I had unexpectedly become so passionate about.
In the last year, I watched both the charities that I worked with in that field close down. And then two charities that I had got to know through that work close down as well (one was a sexual health centre for young people, the other was a national organisation that provided support in the field of fostering and adoption). I have faced rejection after rejection, and have gone from eight years of being a boss, to being back in jobs where I’m the bottom of the chain and earning minimum wage. Not to mention a month where I had to ‘sign on’ and live off piddly government benefits and endure weekly humiliation and interrogation. It’s been a humbling experience to say the least. I am super lucky now to be in a job where the staff are friendly and I never dread going into work. Don’t think for a second that I’m not grateful to be in work because I am. But I miss doing what I loved and was (I hope) good at.
And so I need to have faith to take those first steps. It gets harder and harder to fill in and submit job applications, turn up for interviews and put yourself out there. Every time I do I face that fear of someone waiting to stand in my way and send me straight back down again.
But when I don’t take the first step, I may miss a beautiful view from the top that I can’t see yet.