Friday, January 6, 2017

Who I Am Not

It's the beginning of a new year. Time for resolutions and goal setting. It's a time for possible shifts in perspective along with reflection. A new year is a fresh start, a blank canvas filled with infinite possibilities.

This year I feel overwhelmed with choices. There are so many ways the path could go. I'm at a crossroads. All three kids are in school. We are in a new location. A big new church and a shorter winter are all staring at me with these endless options. Do I train for another marathon? Do I finally get down to getting a book proposal together? Maybe I will really commit to a Whole30 eating plan since I have all this time to meal prep now.  I don't have the excuses of a full time job or young kids anymore. I don't have a lot of things vying for my time and attention because no one really knows me here to ask me to be involved. I only participate in the options I seek out. So what do I do?

Sometimes when I have all this unstructured space around me I panic. I shut down. I binge watch Netflix and blow thru shelves of books at the library. I take a lot of naps. I use soft addictions to hide from the work that I need to be doing. I even clean the house and stay on top of the laundry if I'm really feeling desperate for a distraction. As a mom and wife there are a lot of things I could be doing to drown out the voice calling me to pursue my dreams. Eventually, even those run out sometimes.

Being a self-starter is not my strong suit. I do well with a plan and someone telling me how to execute that. I like accountability and structure. I like there to be an end date. A finish line if you will. Being a writer is a lot about me. About self-discipline and creating my own work schedule. But if it's all me, who will know if I don't do it? Yes, there's my husband and kids. However, they still love me if I don't do my writing. They can't fire me. There are the people who have believed in me and encouraged me when I was writing. They lifted me up on their shoulders and told me good job. They have offered to read what I have written. I do have them to be accountable to.

Then there is the Creator. The one who has put the calling in my heart. I have Him to answer to. He's the one who has blessed me with the space and time to be a writer. I will have him to answer to when my life is done. Did I use my gifts and talents wisely? Investing them and cultivating the growth of them? Or did I just hide my talents in a field? Afraid that they would be found unworthy? Afraid that they would be mocked or taken away somehow? I don't want to be that person. The one who buries herself and hides who I have been created to be.

In Brene' Browns Book "The gift of Imperfection" she talks about not being creative. How refusing to have creative outlets harms a person physically, mentally and emotionally. I've written about it and feel it's important to mention again. When I don't practice writing, or building relationships I get depressed. When I isolate myself from others for fear of being rejected? I get lonely and start pushing away the very ones closest to me.

So, who I am not is someone who is going to hide themselves. I fully believe that each of us was put on this earth for a purpose. Mine is to be a truth teller. An encourager. My life may have other purposes as well, but for now those two things are enough. I refuse to be someone I am not. I choose, instead, to be who I am. 

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