Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Being Me

Hello? You guys still here?
I'm just back from Atlanta area on a work trip and planning to head out again to Boston tomorrow. Travel is still fun (I love getting out of the office for a few days!) but I can tell its taking it's toll on me. There is never enough time for laundry, house-cleaning, packing [again!], studying, all the office work that piles up for me while I'm gone, or quality time with E. (If I ever had a a job that required more traveling I would hire a cleaning lady and laundress without feeling guilty!)

When I was catching up on grocery shopping yesterday the guy at the checkout asked if I was getting excited about Halloween.

Me: "No, Halloween's not really thing".

"But it's the only day of the year you can be whoever you want to be!"

Then, this just came out.
"Well, I'm pretty happy with being me."

He didn't know how to respond so I just laughed and walked out.

But it got me thinking about why that was my knee-jerk response. It's not like I never wonder what it would be like to be someone else - I've dreamed of being a movie star, a tv journalist, even a witch (a la Harry Potter). And it's not just that I'm not interested in Halloween as a holiday (although I'm not - I don't like dressing up in costumes, or anything scary.)

But I knew the response that came out was based on the fact that I really am happy with me. I generally don't struggle with insecurities or poor self-esteem.

I attribute this to two things. First, I was home-schooled for most of my life. In junior high, when many of peers were sturggling through the agony of puberty in public and trying to grow up fast, I was building tree forts with my brother and playing the piano and writing stories. I might have been fairly sheltered, but after getting to know some friends later in life who had hellish junior high and high school experiences, I am SO grateful for my relatively painless and secure early teenage years. I wasn't measuring myself up to the prettiest, most popular girls my age, and I wasn't suffering from the teasing, bullying or rejection that so many school kids face every day.

But the other and more important reason for my security is that I have grown up knowing that I am exactly who I was supposed to be. I believe that I was created in the image of God, my ultimate creator. This prevents me from trying to be someone I'm not, or just being discouraged with who I am, because it would mean I don't think God did a good job. It means my self-worth isn't based on how I look, or how good I am.

That doesn't mean I never experience self-doubt I have small issues from time to time (could my left eye stop being so droopy? why am I not more articulate/smart/popular?)

The weird thing is, I have thought about blogging about this for a while, but I felt self-conscious about it (does that negate what I just wrote? ;-). So many people blog about their struggle with self-esteem, it feels like people who don't struggle with it are either considered to be arrogant or self-deceptive. (I truly hope I'm not either.) But I want to honestly share that self-esteem isn't something I wrestle with often, and why.

So here's to being a humble, but happy, me


Geek in Heels said...

This post brought up a lot of questions and considerations in my mind. I've always been very self-conscious of my looks (I've been teased all throughout my youth as well as my teenage years), but at the same time, never been into Halloween either. Like you, sure I have moments where I wish I could be prettier/taller/smarter/more talented/more likable but I don't think I REALLY wanted to transform myself into anything or anyone other than me, even if just in costume for one day. Perhaps this is due to my stubborn nature? Or my faith? I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this comment, but I just wanted to let you know that this post made me think!

BigAppleNosh said...

Great post! Good for you, and what a great outlook to have! :)

Heather & Justin said...

I am with you 110%. It is important to talk about our strengths, not just our weaknesses, and to be an example of actually liking ourselves. It has become somewhat of a pandemic in our culture for women to put themselves down, to the point that like you said at the end of your post, many women feel bad about speaking up when they feel good about themselves. So sad, and backwards in so many ways. This is great though, thank you so much for sharing!

-Heather from

melinda said...

Good on you for being able to put this so eloquently. I think this philosophy on looks is so important. I recently was reading a blog about a little boy who had a severe cleft palate and then had to have on of his eyes removed. In the midst of the surgical scars, swelling, etc. she called him her beautiful boy. And I believe that's how God sees us too. In this broken world, we see the imperfections that will one day be made whole (whether it's a cleft palate or a crooked nose or a few inches).

Amber said...

This is my first time visiting your blog - the name of your blog caught my eye as I'm a lover of coffee myself - and I LOVED this post about self esteem. I find that I don't struggle with self esteem issues much (although some would say I probably should struggle more, ha) and I've never given much thought as to WHY. Thank you for reminding me that it's because I find my security and worth in my Savior. ( :

Unknown said...

Great post. I had to laugh at your mention of a droopy left eye since I first looked at your portrait and thought, wow, she's really pretty! Then had to look back up and try to figure out which eye was the droopy one. We are so critical of ourselves, but most other people never notice the stuff we notice about ourselves!

Maria Diana said...

I second Amber's post! First time visiting your blog today and I have to say this post is quite inspiring. :)

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