Who are you?
The other day I was on a call with someone talking about a conference that I will be speaking at this fall and he asked me “So, what is your story?” If you know me at all or read more than one of my blogs you might know that I have struggled with sharing my story. I am working to be more open but the “What is your story” question is a loaded one. I mean I’ve never met this person before and I honestly didn’t know where he wanted me to start. From the beginning? “It was an early Thursday morning on a hot summer day and after a long 22 hours of labor, I was born…” Ok, probably not that far back in my story.
Do you ever feel awkward like I do, when you get asked these kinds of general questions? I hated answering questions that my teachers would say to the whole class in school because I didn’t want to be wrong and I over-thought every answer. Most of the time it was a straightforward answer, but I would convince myself that I heard the question wrong which in turn would make my answer wrong. The answer was revealed and I usually had the correct answer. We have covered this before in my blogs (if you want to dig deeper, you can go back and read those), but I am a perfectionist and I don’t like others to think anything is wrong or I have the wrong answer, even to the point where I just don’t answer. That didn’t just happen in the classroom growing up. It still happens today. For example when on the phone I got asked to share my story. I didn’t know what part of my story he wanted to hear except for this time I had no way out. I wasn’t in a classroom full of students where I could hopefully turn my head in such a way to not make eye contact with the teacher but still look like I’m paying attention and usually I would get by without having to answer their questions. Nope, it was a phone call with just the two of us. So I answered it closest to the topic we were talking about on that call.
I wanted to say what I thought the person on the other side of the phone wanted to hear but maybe it’s wasn’t exactly what I was wanting to say. This doesn’t just happen in conversations, it also happens with decisions we make and who we choose to be.
So who are you? Like for real. Not who others want you to be, but deep down who are you?
It can be hard to break out of an ideal image that others have placed on you. What is it that has been holding you back from being yourself? This can look different for everyone.
For some of you, you may have been deemed the fit girl, and anytime you do something “out of the norm” like eat a huge piece of cake at a birthday party, people might make comments about it like, “oh I see you are eating bad today. Are you going to be good tomorrow?” First of all, when did eating become a bad and good thing? Second, you eat that cake and enjoy it! I know how hard you work to stay healthy and my life motto is everything in moderation.
For others, you may have been deemed the smart girl. It could be pressure from your parents or maybe someone commented on how smart you were and you added pressure on yourself where it is the end of the world if you get a B on a test.
I could go on and on about many different examples of ideal images/pressures that we have or that have been placed on ourselves, but is that who you truly are? These pressures weigh us down in big ways, so much so that those pressures can direct our steps even if it’s not the direction that we want to go. We may miss who we were made to be when we focus on what we think we are supposed to be.
I pray that this blog today was an encouragement to you and can help in your daily life. Always know I am available to pray with you or just be someone to talk to when life gets hard. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need prayer!
Talk to you next Monday!