There were a lot of things in my QF days I professed to love.. no I actually loved. Things that were very important to me. Things I built friendships on. Things I was suddenly so completely over that it’s like another person had those interests. I got a bit of a shock when I realized what some of those interests were really about. Two of them stand out because it’s impossible to be in the home or in the church without being reminded of these past loves.
1. Conferences. OH how I LOVED conferences. Homeschooling conferences, Creation Science conferences, regular old Evangelical bible study conferences. I went to all of them and if something stopped me from attending (with six children the specter of vomiting was always with me) I was quite devastated. Nowadays you could not pay me to attend such an event and it’s not just a changed theology that keeps me home. I’ve had people offer to pay for me to attend conferences they thought would be good for me (“you will be so blessed..”) and I’m proud to say I managed to respond with complete politeness in my gracious refusal.
Why I really loved conferences: Because you got to listen to ideas, talk about ideas and have ideas. That was not my place in my marriage. Any time we had people over my husband would be quite irked if I started talking about ideas, to the point of screaming at me on a few occasions in front of the visitors. The majority of my social life consisted of discussing cooking, toilet training and why it was okay to not to make your child do all 200 problems in every Rod and Staff math lesson. Now there is nothing wrong with these topics but they were not my natural bent at all. Conferences were all about setting my mind free to ideas and being allowed to get excited over them.. I could even go up to one of the conference speakers and ask questions and have an interesting discussion completely removed from the domestic arts.
Once I was free to pursue my own interests and ideas and friendships I no longer had to pay an attendance fee to have an intellectual conversation.
2. Cooking. It pains me to say that I have never rekindled what was a fantastic pursuit of cooking. I honestly thought I was just burned out and the cooking love would come back but after 10 years I have to face the fact that it is gone. I did every kind of possible cooking when my love was burning bright.. Once a Month cooking which I enjoyed the challenge of, Amish cooking (add lard to everything), Health Food cooking (during the Age of Tofu).. and of course I baked all the family bread. I spent years thinking, planning, reading, researching.. all about cooking. And then suddenly this love was completely over. I waited for it to come back, made little forays that would have excited me in the past.. but it never returned.
Why I really loved cooking: It was my only creative outlet. It was always accepted, lauded even in my QF homemaker world. I had sacrificed every other creative outlet I’d had when I became a fundamentalist because they were all WRONG. The literature, the poetry, the love of art.. I was left with a few accepted classics and all my true loves were in the garbage bin. Goodbye erotic poetry collection, goodbye many novels of a very dubious nature, goodbye art painted by deviants. Really that list only scratches the surface. In my remaking of my world into a Christ-centric, Christ approved place I was left with very little of my old life. Nor were there ready-to-go Christian substitutes unless I wanted to elevate Janette Oak to the same level as Margaret Atwood.
Once I was free to pursue my own interests cooking slipped from my heart. My bookcases bulged again and I bought a microwave.
I get a bit nostalgic for these past loves but.. life is good.
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More from Arietty:
- Looking Back: My Family 10 Years on From Fundamentalism
- From the Library of Martyrdom ~ Part 1: How I was called to give up that which I did not have..
- From the Library of Martyrdom ~ Part 2: How I was called to give up that which I did not have..
- Where are the Instructions?
- My Secret Desires: Lust Behind the Modest Denim Curtain
- No-Win Scenario #2 ~ If you stay you lose, if you leave you lose ~ No Winning Allowed!