Vicariously Me

August 12, 2014

Someone asked me a few years ago, what goal I've reached or am currently working on that has taken the most focus and energy I've ever given. My response was immediate: being myself. Goodness! Up until that point I hadn't quite realized it to that magnitude, but yes, that was and is it. The effort of trying ... working at ... deliberately focusing on being myself, as the quote says  "in a world that is constantly trying to make you (me) something else" helps me to sleep better at night now than I did in years when I didn't realize that it simply doesn't come natural to all of us. I don't know how many hours of my life waned away with me trying to plot and plan how to be more like someone else  part of it out of being a people-pleaser and part of it out of a feeling of inadequacy

My mom and other adults who were close to me told me to be myself when I was a girl. But, isn't that what most adults tell children? They said it, but they also side-eyed some of my less than sweet "self" tendencies. And sometimes, when I was my most authentic self, the response was not what I expected. So, I would adjust. I adjusted my favorite color. I adjusted my walk. I adjusted my tone of voice  (until my older brother asked me about it one day and embarrassed me into going back to normal) ... my college major. I adjusted and readjusted my self as necessary based on the world's response until I was a semblance of me.  It worked well enough for a while. There were brief outbursts, times that I now understand as my real feelings ... my real self slipping out. In those times, I became more tightly raveled. And then one day, a Sunday to be exact, something broke. Rejection is very frequently the impetus for greater. Perspective.

I believe every emotion I had ever beat down, every self doubt, every regret came to the surface that day. I cried that day and for days after because ... well, I guess, it was just necessary. And I talked to just one friend who told me all of it had been long overdue. Then she said: go forward. Hm. I thought her extremely insensitive. I mean, I was literally exhausted from what I perceived sorrow and hopelessness. It was not. I had emptied out and was at once free of things I didn't even know had me held up in my life. 

And I started becoming me.

That statement sounds so flowery but it was work. It, is work. Some things (and people) fell away, and I had to practice searching myself for an authentic response to people, places and things before knee-jerk reactions/responses. I second guessed myself and my voice, and sometimes I looked back. In those times, I realized that God will allow you a moment with a person, place or thing to help you reconcile why you left. And every time, I say thank God for "forward."

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  1. Precious blueprints! I'm so grateful.

  2. To read that YOU had/have to work on being you, I am even more like wow you are even more amazing than I think. I have experienced giving a knee-jerk answer as if I were in a job interview to people I looked up to or admired out of fear that if I said something like "I don't know" I would look like an idiot. LOL I thoroughly enjoy reading all your positive post and your honesty is refreshing. Great Post Lady!

    1. Yessss girl. I told someone recently, if you want to be good at something -- if you expect to be good at it, you have to practice. That includes being myself.


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