The other day I had a lollipop for the first time in a few years. It was my childhood favorite: A Cherry Blow Pop. Perfect combo of “cherry” flavor and chewing gum that makes your jaw ache in the 3 minutes it takes to lose it’s flavor. It was especially satisfying to reach the tipping point from sucker to gum that would leave me picking candy from my sore molars.
This time around, as I tasted that “cherry” sugar stuck on a stick, disappointment quickly settled in. A few more half-hearted licks and it went into the trash as I thought about how many I’d eaten in my life, never expecting that one day they would lose their appeal.
There are other items on this list of “things that have unexpectedly lost their appeal”.
- Keeping my house really clean
- Idolizing other people
- Getting stuck in my head
- Green Peppers
Some things have lost their appeal due to changes in my body (spinach = tummy ache), others because they reached a point where the negatives began to outweigh the positives. For instance, I discovered that a house cleaned to my preferred standards requires time that I want to give to other things…so now the dishes and dust are plentiful, but so are my hobbies. What’s interesting is that there are times that I look around my house and think “Who lives here? Surely not the me?!” I still can’t quite believe that I, a life-long cleaner of all the things, am now able to (almost) peacefully co-exist with piles of all the things while I make things or play with my dog. I still want a really clean house- but I want other things more.
It can be unsettling to gaze around my external or internal landscape and wonder: What has become of the self I once knew? Some changes have brought a lot of pain even as they ushered in freedom. Many relationships didn’t make the journey into this new place I call Me. And the transition time from there to here…sucks. There’s just no easy way. But change we often must if we are to remain true to ourselves. Or perhaps more accurately, if we are to become ourselves.
When I look back on all of the years that I was deeply committed to the Christian faith, I see myself. My authentic self. Arguably it was a self less able to think for herself, so perhaps authenticity was a times lacking. But truly: My commitment to this belief system was life-long and genuine. I could never imagine a life outside of those beliefs, rhythms, rules and comforts. It was the common thread between myself and nearly everyone I knew. It shaped many daily thoughts and actions. And I was always striving to learn, grow, and live a good life – just like I am now. I was thoughtful and caring and serious and hard working – just like I am now.
This is the first public space in which I’ve acknowledged that I am no longer a Christian. But even as I type these words, I am reminded that the process was very much an acknowledgement. It was not an intentional move from there to here. I didn’t one day decide I wanted to move away from the belief system I had always called home. It was more that, slowly but surely, I had to admit to myself that this was happening. I was changing. What used to fit, didn’t. Ideas that had never quite fit were now safe to discard. The worldview I had always considered “it” was not, in fact, it. And much of it is no longer appealing.
568 words ago, it was not my intention to discuss this change. I hadn’t realized it was time. But it is.
So there it is. Here I am.
And there you are. Be you. Even if it means changing in ways you never imagined.
Daily Prompt: Lollipop