Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stephanie's New Story

This year I decided that since it is my last year in my 20s (Don't I look fab for being as old as I am? Not frumpy at all huh, Jay? And I would say I look more around 25, don't ya think?) I needed to make some definite changes, not for anyone other than me. It's been quite the trip. If you know me, or have read any of this you can probably see that a lot has changed. I resigned from my church- which was huge. I am going to school getting my MASTER'S degree, (that's another story in itself) and now I'm working in Charlotte for a few months. Those things just skim the surface though. The real story lies deeper- under the skin.

Everyone has a story right? A look at me, here I am story. Some stories are loud and in your face. Some are "girl/guy next door." There's the sweet, and the sour stories. The ones you wish you had never read, and the ones you wish you never could put down. And some, are quiet, every day, make the bed, fold the clothes, rise and shine, snow is falling, grab your umbrella every day stories. And that, is me.

That is so hard for me. To not fall into the dynamic, "Look at me! I'm amazingly amazing! I bring the hilarity to the hilarious!" type of crowd. Instead I fall into every day. Like a whisper. A leaf falling. Marshmallows and scented candles. I have always thought that it was other people's fault for missing me. For not seeing me. For forgetting my name, forgetting my face. But, it is really my fault for not living in my own skin. Really living.

Someone told me today that I try to please people to the point of sacrificing myself. With "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do) ringing in my head, I decided a long time ago that I was going to sacrifice myself for other people. I decided that if nothing else, I am good at (well, memorizing large chunks of the Bible- woo- that's fun at a party) helping others. I can take care of other people better than I take care of myself. But then somehow over the years I got lost. Helping was no longer good enough; in addition to helping I had to make sure everyone else was happy. Then I changed from serving others to BECOMING for others, what those others wanted me to be. So I forgot. I forgot along the way who I was, and I never gave myself a chance.

Now, with the big 3-0 on the way, I have a lot of thinking to do. Tonight I went for a long walk, with the wind blowing by my face, chilling my nose, and I thought about how if I could be anyone person in the world who would I be. And, I've decided to be myself. I will admit, though, I'm a little afraid.

There are these things that are so very Stephanie- a little quirky and odd. I can't make right hand turns in any vehicle, and I always check the ceilings in new places for an escape in case of some type of invasion. (Because, the bathroom in JC Penny's is JUST where bank robbers would run??? -Nancy Drew did that to me.) And then any new book I open I always have to hold it close to my face and breath it in- I love the smell of new books. But these things are just small things. Things that I have been afraid of because they make me- me. And what if me being me isn't good enough?

At the same time that I am afraid, I also have this hope. There are these verses in the Bible that talks about how God made us, knows us and has a purpose for us. I had been thinking that perhaps He had forgotten about me in the middle of all the noise and all the hustle of the day, and that He might not seem me in between all the other people that shine a little brighter than me. But, I don't think He did after all. I think He made me me on purpose. I think He made me just "every day" so that I can have the chance to do all the things that other people might not get to do and really find it enjoyable. I get to be messy and silly so kids love me and want to hang. I get to over curbs (carefully- or you'll blow a tire), and I can laugh and think it's funny and have a good story to tell the next day. I get to find some kind of weird delight in taking a ride through the car wash while drinking my favorite beverage.

If you look for me, you will find me. I might be sitting in the back listening, (or talking if someone gives me an open ear-ha!) taking in the crowd. I very well could be trying to help make someone else's day better with some sort of a story involving me in some near death experience on some stairs. Maybe I'll be practicing one of my accents (okay, I really only have one), and there's the possibility that I will have some sort of chocolate in my mouth and a puzzle book in hand, but I most definitely will be learning who I am. I would ask for you to give me a chance, but everyone already has- it's time for me to give myself a chance.

I think this is probably the biggest adventure I'm about to go on- and I think it should be a pretty good ride.

One request though from all of you though: if you happen to ever see me wandering in the parking lot, come walk with me. It probably means that I forgot where I parked and could use some company while I scour the rows for my missing vehicle.

No comments: