It's not often I pick up a magazine but last week I did and there was a whole double page spread about "reinventing yourself". It gave me something to think about.
When I was younger a knew a girl called Fiona. She was kind of limp and annoying. A bit whiney. Wherever I went she was there and she was always on the outskirts of any group. Always saying the wrong thing, clumsy, socially awkward, just generally a beige person with not much personality. Of course I'm talking about myself there. I changed my name as a teenager, and tried to leave her behind. I really didn't like her. Whenever I hear the name "Fiona Roberts" I feel as though I'm standing in the Headmasters office being told off for not applying myself. I can so clearly picture the ugly school shoes I was staring at as he went on and on and on. The only time I have to use "Fiona" is when I cross the border to the US. For some reason the Nexus people refused to recognise Flower. Border Guards being what they are, I generally break out in a cold sweat every time we meet and so the feeling of Fiona being under-confident and feeble is reinforced again and again.
You see? You can't leave this stuff behind. My attempt at reinventing myself may have covered it over like a Russian doll, but it's all still there. And it's important. Psalm 139 says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be..." so all the painful experiences Fiona had were strands woven together to make a something strong and durable and were there to be built upon.
Reinventing myself? I'm glad to have utterly and completely failed to do so.