Being a new person in a new place means I get to decide how to approach new relationships.
When I’m trying to “be myself” in this new context the temptation is to showcase all of the nice parts and hide all of the ugly parts. I want to display my easygoing, witty side without letting the walking, talking crisis of confidence side slip out. I want to rattle off a list of impressive names when someone asks the English major who her favorite authors are, not stare blankly for 5 seconds and reply, “You know, I just like them all.”
Good news: that actually happened. I think that’s what they call “winning.”
And do you know why it happened? Because I tend to feel like I’m wearing a blue blazer in a room full of white coats.
I approach most situations feeling like I should probably sit at the blue blazer table and everyone else should probably sit at the white coat table. I assume that other people score around a 95 on the Test of Life and I hover somewhere around a 70. I’m not failing, but I’m definitely not as good as everyone else seems to be. This is why I get intimidated and can’t remember the name of anyone who lives on my bookshelves.
Here’s the thing: I would prefer not to live like that. Because a) it’s difficult, b) it’s not helping me be the person God created when He created me, and c) it’s bogus. It’s just a flat out lie.
Because I’m in a new place, I’ve been given an opportunity to approach “the cafeteria” in a new way. And while clearly I’m not all the way there yet, I’m trying to follow Ross and Joey’s lead. I’m making a concerted effort to take the blazer off and just be who I am.
I’m Beka. My love of football borders on obsession, as does my love of ice cream. I have a quick wit and find humor in almost everything. But if we haven’t been friends for a decade you may not know that yet because I’m also a walking, talking crisis of confidence. I sincerely doubt myself and my God-given abilities about 5 times a second.
I mentioned on Monday that I’ve been enjoying Sammy Rhodes’ blog Embracing Awkward. It feels like it’s speaking directly to where I’m at in this process. I love what he has to say about resigning yourself to the awkwardness of life:
From beginning to end, life is awkward. And from head to toe, people are awkward. Life isn’t as it should be and neither are we. Let’s not pretend like life isn’t hard, or that any of us has it all together. Let’s admit to ourselves (and one another) that we’re broken and can’t fix ourselves. Resigning yourself to the awkwardness of life means being vulnerable about all your weakness and weirdness. Awkwardness is an invitation to vulnerability. And vulnerability is where friendship is born. It’s also where God becomes big. And not until He becomes big will people become just the right size: big enough to matter, small enough to not be enslaved to what they think.
Here’s to getting off the crazy train of unattainable perfection and willingly trusting the One who will empower us to be everything we need to be, through Him.
Imperfections and all.