When I started my job, I expected and anticipated criticism about all sorts of things, such as songs I pick and introducing new things. However, I believe that I have avoided most of that, I'm not really sure why; perhaps I have just been shielded by it. I like to think that any changes I have made have been less than disruptive.
But I didn't really expect criticism about my own personal character. I think I wrote about that once before, about how I anonymously received some strange but VERY brutal anonymous criticism, but since it was so false and anonymous, it was relatively easy to brush off.
I mean, when you get a job as a music director, you don't really think about how you actually are visible to the parish, whether you try to be or not, and that people create an image of you based on a very small amount of relating. And after you have been at a church for two years, people have gathered enough interaction with you, to have a perception of you.
And so of course people talk about you. You're a figure-head!
So when you really hear your first bit of true criticism of your character, it's hard. Especially if it's something that you know on some level to be true, that people have observed character flaws that you have been struggling with for your whole adult life.
I mean, no one else (except the priest) is under the microscope constantly, and ones every action and word being analyzed.
But of course, it's true, and a necessary reminder that you DO represent the whole parish, and you DO need to watch your every word and action.
Overall, you have to love people, every day