From the time we are born we begin a process of becoming…. I am 32 years old and some days I realize I am learning who I am and there are moments I feel at home in my own skin. It’s funny to me to write that, but if most of us were honest with ourselves we spend a lot of time being someone we’re not, or just not quite feeling like we know who we really are. We all have labels. For example, I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a follower of Jesus, a runner. I could go on and on of the labels that I am. These are concrete for the most part, I understand my role and who I am to be in each of these positions. But then there is the me that doesn’t quite fit into a nice neat label. Here are a few things I’ve been learning about myself.
-I am learning to love my body for the strength it possesses, not the number on a scale. This is hard, I’m not going to lie. But realizing that a number will never make me a different person is freeing. This is a daily struggle I have to let go of, but with most things…as time passes it gets easier.
-I can be insecure. If you met me, you’d think I was loud, always happy, and super confident. I give off this vibe to most people, but if you really knew me you’d know that I am pretty insecure about a lot of things. I’m getting better at this, but just keeping it real. I have a very real fear of rejection…and as I’ve learned this I understand some of my relational behaviors better. It helps me to grow as a person and the first part of changing is identifying the problem, right?!?
-I’m not nearly as extroverted as I once thought I was. I love to talk. A lot and LOUD if you know me. But over the past few years I have learned the value of begin a listener. Sometimes you don’t need to offer words back, sometimes just an ear at the other end of the phone line is better than any words you have to offer. I have learned to value quietness in my life. As a mother of two young kids, this can be rare….but that makes it all the more precious to me. We all need time to recollect and refresh ourselves.
-I’m an annoying optimist. I’ve always been a positive person, but I realize that I ALWAYS have to find the good in a circumstance. If you don’t want to hear the bright side of any situation, you probably should find someone else to tell it to, I will always find a silver lining. As I told someone the other day…my track record for surviving a bad day is 100% so far. I mean, can’t get much better than that. If its rough, it will eventually get better…just hang in there.
-I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m loyal to a fault. These two things can set you up for much heartache, but I’m learning that most heartaches are worth it for the chance to love and be loved. I also hide my feelings behind a smile, it’s not that I’m being fake, it’s that I ALWAYS smile. Like, ALWAYS! Even in the midst of a super hard, exhausting cycle class or boot camp, I’m smiling. Yeah, something is wrong with me 🙂
-I’m learning that I want to be known. Not the me I put out there, which is slowly lining up with the “me” I’m realizing I am, but the real me. I want some to know my heart, my joys, my fears, my dreams. To know and be known makes life so much sweeter.
As I learn more about me, and feel comfortable being who I am, its funny to watch the masks that drop away in my everyday life. There have been times I’ve felt like I’ve walked around with multiple personalities trying to be a different me to different people. It’s exhausting, confusing, and I felt like a fraud. I never felt comfortable just being “me.” I didn’t know if I’d be accepted, the fear of rejection is strong and I’d rather pretend to be someone I’m not than be rejected for who I truly am.
As these walls start crumbling, starting with just being truthful about who I am and who I’m not…more often than not these days I feel like I’m learning to be who I really am, learning to accept myself as I am, love myself as I am….and I have learned that those who truly love me and want me in their lives will still be there. If they are not, then in the long run I’m better for it because they couldn’t accept me for me. Becoming an adult is freeing in some ways when you realize that so much of the stress you live under is self-imposed.
Hi, I’m Jackie….I am definitely a work in progress and you can either love me as I am….or don’t. It’s your loss