I used to be angry.
For a long time, every step I took, every thing I did, I could feel the anger… simmering. Waiting to boil up and over the edge.
I couldn’t have told you then why, exactly. Sure, I would’ve pointed to some moments, here and there. Cancer. Divorce. Alcoholism.
But I’ve since learned my anger ran much deeper. Those injustices weren’t the root of my anger, only convenient circumstances to blame it on.
You are allowed to be angry that your sister is sick. Frail. Fragile.
You are allowed to be angry that your dad lives 700 miles away, that you only see him twice a year.
But, for some reason, I didn’t think I was allowed to be angry about rejection.
And, yet, I felt it everywhere.
I was always behaving in a way that annoyed somebody else.
Too loud. Too sassy. Too active.
And without knowing it, I began living my life in a way that would ensure I was never… rejected.
Except, (surprise!), it didn’t work. And that was the angering part.
No matter how I tried, what I did, how I behaved, I always seemed to bother somebody else. I said the wrong things, I did the wrong things. Always… wrong. To someone.
I boxed myself in, made up rules for how to play this game, to make my presence convenient for those around me.
But there was a problem, as you can probably guess, I lost me. I didn’t value me. I thought me was the problem, and in order to solve the problem, I had to change me.
You see, I’ve always had this vision of how I want others to view me, this arbitrary idea of grace, quiet strength, wisdom.
But when I picture the life of that person… I find that I don’t fit with her.
See, she’s quiet at the dinner table. She eats daintily, with a knife and fork, a napkin upon her lap. She dabs the corner of her mouth carefully, removing invisible crumbs. She displays amusement with nothing but a mere smile. She never leaves a mess. She puts everything back in its place. She enters a room inconspicuously, with poise. She listens, intently. Everyone finds calm with her. She is a low, flickering light of peace.
And then there’s me.
Who reads that description and snorts! I can’t be that lady. Her and I are the matching ends of a magnet. Both good, both useful, both created for purpose, but not compatible.
I am loud. I have always been loud. Inside voice? What’s that? I am the definition of LOL: at the dinner table, in church, in a library. I laugh. I am messy. Where I sat during a meal is easy to spot, and what I had will probably be evident on my clothing somewhere. I am the person who will shout across the grocery store instead of calling my husband on his cell phone. (sorry, honey. *shrug*)
I’m not neat.
I’m not graceful (I have fallen up many a stair.)
And… I’m not the person people come to for peace and calm.
But I offer something else, I think. Cheer, laughter, humor. I offer ridiculousness. I hope I offer others the ease of being with me, of feeling welcome. The feeling of being just one of the monkeys in this circus I’m running.
And I’m finally cool with that.
I’m comfortable with my bursting into song when something you said brings a lyric in my mind.
Comfortable with my rambling, my volume, my attention span.
With the smile that makes my top lip all but disappear.
I am comfortable with who I am, and not who I wish I was.
I’m still always working on myself, on showing Christ through my personality. On exuding the character He demonstrated, not the mannerisms.
Showing the fruit of His spirit. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
But not in a way that is legalistic. In a way that is from my heart. In a way that is happy to be me, and So. Incredibly. Happy. when others are themselves, too.
I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.
I prefer coffee, anyway.