Carol H.

I’ve given a good deal of thought to my committee.   After I first read the essay for this week, I decided that I didn’t really have a committee - I don’t hear voices or see faces.   

I’ve been thinking about all the issues in the essay and about what I experienced over the years when I was growing up regarding disapproval or damage to my self-confidence etc…

I was really lucky because I had a very happy and secure childhood and a wonderful family.   My mum and dad were loving, attentive and encouraging.   They always looked for the best in everyone and I think that this actually brought out the best in everyone.   I was the youngest of four children and the whole family always seemed to be engaged in some creative activity.   On the whole (apart from normal sibling rivalries) we were very helpful and encouraging to each other.   All was well until I was 21 when I had a disastrous marriage - very bad for my self esteem and self confidence.

A few weeks ago I was sorting through some boxes that had been stored in the attic and found lots of letters from a writer that I worked for - researching and helping her with a biography she was working on.   In fact this was the biographyof another writer for whom I had previously worked on a lecture tour in the U.S.   I must have been about 20 at the time.   These letters took me back with startling clarity to what I was like all those years ago before my marriage.   I realised then that I needed to get back in touch with who I was then.   Of course disastrous and painful experiences make you grow stronger in certain ways as well but I think the ‘getting back in touch with my original self’ is very important for me.   Hence my strong engagement and excitement with week one.

Having said all that, I think perhaps I do have a committee after all.   A committee of two and I’ve put them there.   Both members are well known in the weaving world and I know them both personally.   They are both people I ‘really really want to please and impress’ and I realise ‘it’s my desire to please them that has put them there’.   I plan to write to them both to tell them that I’m in the process of dismantling the committee and they they will have to be fired with immediate effect.   After that I like the idea of burning the letters!