I generally try to avoid conversations about strong personal beliefs on this here blog, because I have my head in the sand about how if I don't talk about it we'll all play nice and avoid big pink elephants in the room. This is basically how I approach everything slightly awkward or uncomfortable in my life - 100% avoidance.
I realize that this isn't healthy. But that isn't what this post is about.
I was raised Catholic. What this really meant in the context of the Bailey Household was that we went to Mass at Easter and Christmas and when there was food involved. You know, a St. Patrick's Day stew dinner, a pancake breakfast, a church social.
There was a period of time in my life, around the same time I went through puberty, when I was an intense follower of the Church, and prayed with fervror every night to the Lord, the saints, the angels and the Virgin Mary just in case I should die and spend the rest of eternity in purgatory (or limbo, whatever your pleasure). I believe this fear-based religious intensity was the result of a certain mean-spiritied Chatechism teacher telling me that I was probably going to burn in hell because I wasn't baptised until I was 8, and boy was I lucky that I didn't die an unfortunate and premature death before that baptism, because then for sure I'd be roasting.
Can you imagine telling a child that? In later years, that same lady forbid her daughter from being my friend because I was too wild. Yeah. Wild. I spent most of my time in the LIBRARY. That girl has gone on to bigger and trampier and short-short-skirt wearing things. Oh, the irony.
But I digress.
Lent started yesterday. For years and years after I started questioning the strict rules of the Catholic church and gave up wanting to be a saint for wanting to be a Dolphin-Saving, Women's Rights Advocating Journalist - slash - Foreign Ambassador and Best-Selling Novelist who was permitted to take preventative measures to avoid getting inadvertently knocked up, I still observed Lent.
I gave up something every year, and it was always something that I had to really hurt for. Chocolate, junk food, diet soda, buying shoes, alcohol. Those are the five things I love the most, it's true.
I'm not sure I ever actually made the connection between my suffering with that of Jesus, but I still did it. And as a result, I made those years that I worked in a chocolate shop really more difficult on myself than they needed to be.
But here it is. One day in. And I'm about to eat a Cadbury Creme Egg.
Do you know how long it's been since I ate a Creme Egg? I've missed out on Creme Egg season for more than half of my life! I can't even remember how they taste. Or how to eat one without getting sticky.
I think the guilt actually might make it taste *better*.