Growing up as a PK (Pastor’s kid), I have always lived a double life. It’s just one of those things that comes with the territory. I have the ability to clean myself up entirely and appear to be the most perfect human being in seconds.
Being raised in such an environment doesn’t necessarily allow you to mess up because people create unattainable expectations for you. The Esther during the week versus the Esther during Sabbath were two complete opposites. On Sabbath I could recite to you the same Ten Commandments that I had broken just the day before. Me and my siblings were all placed on the same pulpit that my father preached from. That basically meant allowing certain people to only see the clean cut side of me. If I managed to even chew pasaka (holy communion) without bending my head down at a 90 degree angle, people would complain.
I never really minded it at a young age, but then as I grew older into adolescence my parents really started getting headaches. I got so tired of church member’s idea of me to the point where I would even do things on purpose to make sure someone said something about it to my parents. Performing stunts like that forced people to come to terms with the fact that I was actually somewhat human and not a saint cleansed with holy water and anointed with frankincense and myrrh. I really yearned for freedom from the expectations that people had of me.
I can distinctively remember being really mischievous during Pathfinder Camporee’s and trips. For me, those were an escape (really they weren’t though because it was the same super judgmental people from church). Somehow though, it made sense in my head and I would go almost too far. Always came back to the tent at night ready for spankings (like I just knew they were coming). Not only was I greeted with side eyes, but goodness people really knew how to formulate stories from their imagination. Somehow me leaving the campsite to go use the bathroom would turn into a whole commotion of people assuming somehow I was in a tent sleeping with a boy and now I’m pregnant with triplets. *eye roll* And no I did not receive a lecture from just my mom, but every single parent there (you know how Kenyans are).
I really just wanted to be left alone for just a couple seconds of my life. I craved to rid myself of that “oh no I can’t do that I’m pastors kid” mentality. How I longed to just be a regular kid, just me. Then I could do whatever I wanted and no one would really care that hard. My parent’s reputation would still stay intact and everyone would be happy.
It’s still seriously incredible how long I have continued to carry on that double lifestyle. I’m seriously one of the least perfect people alive, but no one would ever know because of my ability to put up such a front. I’ve become so accustomed to it that I no longer do it consciously. Switches just light up in my head when it’s time to pretend like I’m someone I’m really not. There are perhaps too many variations to me floating around. It’s hard to say that two people could ever really know the same version of me. It sounds utterly insane; however, it’s completely true. I pick and choose pieces to share to certain individuals and what to share with others. Now that I think about it, I’m unsure as to whether there’s a single person that I have completely revealed myself to. (Woah.)
College sort of tried to change that. I did things that I would very much be uncomfortable telling my parents about. (Probably shouldn’t have, but life is kind of short right?) Being in an open environment exposed me to…oh whats the word… FRESH AIR. Finally felt as though I could almost breath. Of course I still continued being sheltered in some areas,but majority of the time I was “bout that life.” It really created the perfect place for me to be free. Nobody cared what I did or who I was with. (Can we say heaven on Earth somebody?)
That experience began a blooming process within me.
Definitely still learning how to unravel myself to the point where I’m exposed and naked to others. Just want to finally be me.
How wild it is now to just let it be — to just be FREE.
PS: Just so y’all know, it really is true what they say about pastors kids. There’s two complete ends of the spectrum. (And then there’s me somewhere in the middle hehe)