becoming me, not you

I'm going to write as long as my computer will last without charge...if we're lucky that will be at least 10 minutes.

I've been thinking about a new blog post, because it seems that every time I think about writing it's geared toward posting, and not just creating.

That's a main reason I haven't written in forever. I've wanted to do purposeful-writing rather than throw-away-writing, although both you and I know there is no difference.

The last month was a hard one. I was an emotional wreck and discontent and questioning so many things.

Who am I? Who am I most myself around? Why don't I have an answer? UH-OH UH-OH UH-OH.

Through a few tearful conversations, though, my head began clearing from its fog and proceeding toward clarity.

I'm becoming more me and less you. 

And sometimes that's really hard, because you seem to have it all together, and you seem to know everything there is to know, and you never seem to have emotional breakdowns.

You have direction and have started your career, or at least know where you're headed.

You speak with poise and write with ease, you never doubt yourself and couldn't care less what a single soul thinks.

This "you" is no one in particular. It's a personified you, the you that embodies all the reasons my "me" has allowed itself to get squandered beneath unattainable expectations.

I'm learning that it's okay to be emotional, it's okay to have emotions. Never again should my first reaction to tears be an apology. Why am I apologizing for being human? For not having everything figured out? I couldn't tell you. 

I'm also learning, however, that being emotional can lend itself to something sobering and beautiful or something destructive and dependent. I don't want emotions to define me, yet I don't want to be ashamed of them.

I don't want to push them away but I don't want them to control me.

And this is difficult, but I think it's also extremely healthy. Exercising any extreme all the time probably isn't the healthiest course of action. This balance, though....this delicate, beautiful balance, is truly an artful discipline.

So as I'm learning more about myself,  as I'm learning who I want to be and consequently who I don't want to be, I'm primarily learning that to become more myself I must BE myself.
Yeah yeah, like none of us have ever heard that before. But I think a lot of us practice it a lot less than we admit. I think we are all apart of this beautifully broken thing called humanity but all we ever do is reject it. We both reject our vulnerabilities while emphasizing our weaknesses, saying that we are beyond grace or beyond importance. We are both extremely prideful and extremely insecure. All of us.

Becoming more me starts there. It starts with recognition that I don't have anything figured out for a majority of the things in my life, from the really important to the really mundane. But something seriously crazy happens once the recognition begins...change.

Good change. This change doesn't necessarily alter where I stand on having things figured out, but rather helps me accept and welcome exactly where I'm at. It's a perspective change, an internal change.

I don't want to be you, I wan't to be me. And for those of us that have a harder time accepting our "me's," that's a huge step. 

Some of my biggest me's are this:

I'm emotional. I feel things before I think them, and feeling things helps me understand the world around me. I cry during any weighty conversation simply for its weight----not because its necessarily sad or intense or frustrating, but merely because I feel its importance. I'm sensitive in both the wonderfully gracious way and terribly defensive way, and I'm learning to accept both but transform the latter.

I'm extroverted. Not just because I like people, but because the way I process is external. I process through writing. I process through talking. I process through, yes, crying. If I've had a long day, I feel better if I turn on some music and do the dishes, or cook dinner. If I sit alone at home for too long without a purpose, I feel very UN-me. I get restless. I enjoy being externally stimulated while maintaining independence (i.e. sitting in a busy coffee shop but being in my own corner, my own space, my own world).

I thrive on the little things. A perfectly written line in a book, a simple cup of black coffee, a beautiful day spent outside. I find extreme joy in these moments and they are often what fuel me. I also, however, can be just as easily swayed in the opposite direction. One word spoken in an ill-tone, one interaction that didn't go how I expected, one moment of frustration...they equally impact me and drain me instantly. I am the birdie flying over the badminton net, getting thrust back and forth by the smallest of force. This is my biggest struggle on a daily basis...to find consistency and joy even when my emotions, my external circumstances, are directing me elsewhere.

I need connection. If I'm unable to connect with someone I start shutting down, because I enjoy relating and feel lost when I cannot. This doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it really hits hard and I take it personally. Again, with every strength comes weakness, but I don't believe in disregarding the weaknesses. The weaknesses, if addressed with perspective and grace and humility, absolutely have the potential to become the strength, or at least become manageable beside the strength. In this case, it's accepting that I'm literally incapable of clicking with every human on this planet. During those times, I should not suddenly disregard who I am and think a lack of connection means a lack of value. 

I must maintain my "me."