My mind wanders when I drive. Today it landed on the realization that it’s already May, which lead to thinking about what we’d be doing at this time had we homeschooled this year, which lead to thinking about the fact that come fall, all of my babies will be in school. Which lead to…now what? Which lead to remembering how much I loved teaching pre-k; lining those papers up every morning, replacing the broken crayons, all in anticipation of those sweet babies busting through the door. Another thought broke in: hmm, that sounds an awful lot like a routine. But you don’t like routines. Or order. Oh right, I don’t. But I did, so….don’t I? Again, my mind was lead another way: the things we accept about ourselves, according to others. Sure, sometimes I despise routine, but not ALL the time. What else had I accepted? Turns out, a lot.
You’re too much.
I knew I could be a lot as a child- I talked non stop. I wanted to know about everything…except math. I sang and flipped and I wanted someone to be looking at me all the time. I got met with a lot of “mmhmm,” something I’ve tried very hard (and sometimes failed) not to do with my own kids. But apparently, even as an adult I can be a lot. I will never forget being shushed by a peer in front of a youth group of girls at a sleepover we hosted for them. I was mortified.
A lot isn’t too much. A lot is just right for some people. Those who love you will love you precisely for that, or at least in spite of it. They’ll love that you make them do a spit-take laughing or that you talk them into doing something absurd. They’ll love that “a lot” means you love a lot, too. Don’t waste time getting mmhmm-ed; it’s not you, it’s not even them. Those just aren’t your people.
You’re the good one.
My brother was wild. Like, storybook character little brother wild. If I was curious how my parents would react to something I wouldn’t dare attempt, I could wait five minutes and watch how it played out with Chase. He was unruly; I was obedient. I got to wear the good kid badge. Except I wasn’t “better” than Chase; I would sneak. I had moments of pure spite. I had moments of normal kid defiance and boundary testing. He had (and has) a huge heart, and it did us both a disservice to be labeled; me in my clinging to “good” as my identity, obedience as the primary virtue, and him wearing his own badge of “bad” like a bright red letter on his chest. My premium on obedience caused a lot of self-conflict for me as I grew into an adult, and more recently, I learned that some of that obedience was ingrained in truly unacceptable ways. We were both good and we were both bad. We were kids. We were human. We still are.
You’re too big to ______.
I was a chubby kid, then a pretty thin teenager…then a pregnant teenager, and since giving birth that first time, I’ve been firmly in the plus sized category. I once had a dear friend try to hint that she’d like me to lose weight before her wedding. To say that sucked was an understatement, but over all my experience being bigger hasn’t been hurtful in a personal way. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin than I ever was at a size 2. It’s just this broader assumption that you shouldn’t wear this or that, or you don’t move, can’t move, won’t move, won’t try, won’t swim, jump, dance, play with your kids. Except I can and I do, and I will continue to.
This one isn’t so much a lie as it has a false tone to it. Failing isn’t a problem, it’s just part of the process of creating absolutely anything. It’s very true- I might fail. That can be embarrassing, and that can suck. I’ve had many really exciting ideas die at the doorstep; that’s going to happen when you put yourself out there and try. Trying always, always comes with the risk of failure, but I’d rather crash and burn than get to the end of my life and say I’ve never tried.
You can’t love Jesus and believe ______.
Ooooh, watch me, though.
You can’t just cut people out of your life.
When the mental and emotional well-being of yourself and/or those you are responsible for is at stake, you sure can. Is it fun? No. Will you be misunderstood? Massively. So be sure you mean it. And if you mean it, stand by it. I’m learning just how vital boundaries are, and my approach is open door: if you can step through and leave your junk outside, there’s plenty of room for you in here. But if you insist on holding on to the things the sign says won’t be allowed in…which one of us is really keeping you out?
You aren’t coordinated.
Okay, that one is just all the way true. See above try/fail section. *uncoordinated shrug*
You can’t end a blog post abruptly.
Do what I wawnt.