For about 18 or so months now, I’ve held firm to the belief I know who I am and how I became who I am. I reflect on major shifts, gravity drops, mountains climbed from 2010 or so to today and I think, yes those made me who I am. Those tests made me stronger, those weaknesses made me pray more.
- Finding strength to do a strict 30 day Paleo challenge made me aware of food’s effect on my body, my emotions.
- The bottom dropping out of my family but coming back together in a new, stitched-together, almost imperfectly perfect way made me believe in hope, how if you keep hoping – really hoping, not surface level – you find peace.
- Settling into a routine, a life, in Dallas on my own made me realize you are never really alone if you are busy living life the way you desire.
All of this to say, I really thought I had it all figured out. I really thought “hey I’ve made it. I’m almost a quarter through this life and I know who I am and what I want and maybe I don’t get it today but I’ll get it someday. Look how adult I am.”
Two things happened:
1. I was home for a weekend in early August and stood in my old closet studying my old bulletin board. Riddled with football tickets, New Year’s Eve crowns, song lyrics I printed out on our home computer and old photos, I saw a poem written by my sister when she was in elementary school. The point of this poem, as far as I can tell, was for her to use metaphors and she wrote it about me.
She had long brown hair
When she smiled it was so bright, you could hardly bare
Her eyes are diamonds shining bright
If you ever needed her she was strong and could put up a fight
They said she was stubborn; sure, sometimes things had to go her way
I mean, to her she was right any time of day
Her voice is a horn if things don’t fall into place!
But even if you don’t need her, she’ll come just in case
To me, she was the light that led my pathway
She wanted things done right without anyone to complain
I’ve always wanted to be like her someday
Believe that I can do anything and nothing will stand in my way
So first, I’m not sure how my voice was a horn when I was 14 (or what I could be that stubborn about) but she was right. And I was floored. Here I am thinking I’ve discovered *the* secret, I’ve faced challenges and I’ve become this strong-willed person who wants things done correctly when in fact, this is who I’ve been since forever.
2. The sermon in church one Sunday was on wrestling with God and how we won’t admit when we need help, when we’re vulnerable. We’re trained as a society – as women, especially – to be strong, to be capable. To overcome, persevere. But there was a line the sermon where I caught my breath:
The opposite of perseverance is stubbornness. Eventually, vulnerability results in glory.
I feel I’ve been fighting a war in my head against my head for about two months. This sentence may not make sense to any of you who don’t over-analyze anything, but for those who do, you know what I mean. There is no tangible ‘problem’, there is no one event or person or thing to which I can point and say here is why I feel anxious. I can say with confidence I feel I have painted myself in a corner, have these strict rules of who I need to be, what I need to do and I give myself credit for getting to this point of “routine.”
Here’s the issue, the person I believe I became (notice a lot of “I” statements here, credit does not always belong to me but I do love to give it to me) in the past few years is the person I was a decade ago when my sister wrote a poem about me. So I have not done anything new. I’ve just accepted a few things that were already true about me. Which means I don’t have to continue to strive for anything, because I ALREADY AM THE THINGS I WANT TO BE.
More than this, I don’t have to do it all alone, it is not ON ME to construct this life.
Sorry for yelling. Revelations don’t come quietly, it seems.
This is the twenty-third post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.