Being OK with Being Me (part 1?)

I’ve debated with myself for a while about sharing some of this. I don’t even know for sure what I actually want to say. I just know there are things itching to get out – ponderings, misunderstandings, and conflict swirling in my brain and begging to be released.

I’ve been wondering a lot lately how we so-called grown ups make friends. You know what? It’s harder than it was as a kid.

For the most part, I’m ok with that. As far as girlfriends go, I have a small (really, quite small) group of friends who are the ones I know I can go to, the ones who hear my worries and my most embarrassing moments. I have one (really, just one) who actually knows my deep, closely held fears, the friend who took me by surprise. But none of those friends live near me. Some days I wonder if there’s something wrong with me that prevents me from ever getting a, “Hey  loser, meet me for lunch today,” but I can usually remember that we’re all busy, we all have our minds going in a zillion directions at any given time, and that it probably has nothing to do with me.

Still, being a grown up, I’m learning, is lonely sometimes. I see those moms who DO have those friendships, and I wonder how it happened.
15032755_10154668904521704_5670873838429391269_nThen I realize that either they’ve known each other since before adulthood, or their kids have activities in common. That’s when some of it begins to make more sense. My kid is like me – the things she enjoys aren’t the things most of her peers enjoy.  She spends her time reading, playing video games, learning how computers work, and the one sport she participates in is tennis, which it seems no one around here has discovered. (Seriously, WHAT is that about? Why aren’t more kids into tennis?!)

As for me, I don’t know a lot of gals in real life who play video games, geek out over Marvel movies and British television, and who are crazy about fantasy stories like those given to us by Rowling, Tolkien, and Lewis. I don’t know many who have the compulsion to obsessively seek out every little bit of information about things they find interesting and/or entertaining. (Trivial Pursuit anyone?)

As I said, I debated about sharing. Don’t misunderstand – it isn’t a, “Please be my friend,” sort of share. But it IS a, “Please don’t feel like you’re the only one,” sort of share. I know that if I’ve discovered this not-quite-pleasant-but-it’s-all-ok aspect of adult life, there are likely to be other moms out there who have too. I just thought maybe you’d like to hear that it isn’t you. There are a lot of us out there who feel a bit like a social pariah, who just don’t seem to fit anywhere.

You be you. Embrace your inner weirdness and appreciate the square peg that you are.

After all, there’s no one else in the world exactly like you, and obviously God thought this world needed you.

 

 

From the Archives – July 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about how I perceive myself, especially as compared to how others perceive me.

And how little I care anymore.

I’ve decided that if I am real, if I avoid the trappings of the phoniness I see everywhere, then I’m ok with being an outcast. I’ll be a pariah, by choice.

If I could do one thing for young girls growing up through the hellish years of puberty, crushes, popularity and competition, it would be to convince them that the things that seem so huge right now, will someday seem so silly. But I would never be able to convince them of that. I think I’ve figured out why, besides some of the more obvious reasons.

The growing up years are all about figuring out who you are, who you’re going to be, who you want to be, and how you’re going to get there. Because the whole of who you are is so confused in your hormone-addled brain, you’re constantly looking around you, seeing who others are and basing far too many assumptions about yourself on what you see in others.

Unfortunately there are a lot of adults who never get over that. Don’t believe me? Look around your work place, your kid’s school, your church. Does anyone stand out as being “different”?

Do you?

I hope that I do. I’m just not content to be one of the herd, not even if the herd is what’s accepted, conventional…safe.

If I’m a follower of Christ, safe is not my number one priority. Nor is conventional, or acceptable. Jesus is radical – He demonstrated that in every act of his human existence on earth, He spoke it with His words, and the words He left for us in His word, spoken through others.

I read a quote recently that has been attributed to Coco Chanel, “I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t think of you at all.”  I love that! It’s not my job to monitor and to manipulate what others think of me. My job is to be His hands and feet and to love Him and to love my neighbor.

My daughter is 6 years old. Soon she’ll start seeking to find the truth of herself. I hope she looks to Jesus and looks inside herself, and nowhere else. If she is one that others look to in trying to figure out who they are, I hope it’s because of her kindness, her intelligence and her courage to be the person she was created to be. God give ME the courage to be an example to her of that kind of life.

Why pretend? The ones who are worth caring what they think, will love you for the real you. And ultimately, every one of us only answers to One.

Be real.