It’s been long enough for me to forget exactly who I was back in my early adulthood. It’s only about fifteen years ago that I graduated high school and started my first semester at the university. In my catechumen class last night, the Father explained to me what it meant to be a catechumen in the Orthodox church. A part of this transformation is an adoption of a new self, giving up your old one. I am struggling with this statement because I feel like my old self was changed to new twelve years ago, when I had a revelation after my grandmother’s passing. So it begs the question, what am I giving up now? I know I won’t have the best obedience record and I still have a stubborn attitude problem. I don’t plan on changing that. Is my old self the one who is wandering aimlessly and leaning on money for success? Or how about the prideful defender who can make up any excuse to be right? All of these things seem simple behavioral traits and nothing that really needs to be changed. Oftentimes, I worry what I am writing about in my novels will be considered risky or unacceptable for a catechumen. Like any human person, I find the idea of change difficult. I have written hundreds of pages of all different stories, do I really just delete them? I find that hard to swallow. It’s not that I have asked, but it’s something I’d assume would be considered. Heck, even some of the books I read might not be appropriate. All of these thoughts add up to a basket full of I don’t wanna. How do we reconcile giving up the old and paving the way for the new? There has to be a compromise of sorts, because the effects would be jarring, especially for a creative person. It could be that I am just not ready yet and I am in a good spot to learn and to figure out what matters most to me. Unfortunately, I don’t like deep diving into my feelings. I tend to enjoy the surface.
What are your thoughts about old self and new self? Do you remember changing from your old self to your new self? How did that feel? What were some things you thought you could never give up?