The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect
and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
~ Anna Quindlen
I don’t remember wanting to be a princess. It was fun to play with my friend’s dollhouse or Barbie dolls, but I was actually more at home shooting hoops, riding bikes or solving mysteries with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.
See, I really wanted to be a tomboy. In my young mind, I was more Jo than Blair, and I was just a short lesson away from fixing cars, hitting home runs and building a clubhouse. (That clubhouse would have had teal walls, though, because even I wasn’t delusional enough to forget my true self loved the very girly color of teal.)
But in reality I was neither the tough girl nor the princess. I was the people pleaser with manners, the nerd with her nose in a book, the try-hard, sometimes-awkward, please-like-me girl who talked too much. As it turns out, I guess I was closer to a cross between Natalie and Tootie when it comes to Which Facts of Life Girl Are You?
I still talk too much – and that’s okay. My house will never sparkle, and I’m cool with that. I really love fluffy YA books and detective shows on TV, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m a list-maker who still tries a bit too hard to make people happy, but I’m also sarcastic and a little selfish. I like cats but not dogs, I will choose Mexican food every day if given the choice, and losing weight is a never-ending battle I can’t seem to win.
I know who I am.
Yet, sometimes . . .
I wish I were the kind of girl who looks cute in prairie skirts and cowboy boots.
Or the kind of girl who can shoot free throws just as well as the guys.
I wish I were cool enough to play poker or drink something non-fruity.
I wish I were a big blogger with tons of traffic and a no-work-required book deal.
I wish I were the kind of mom who plans frequent trips to the park and craft projects for my daughter – and enjoys them.
I wish I cared enough about my house to have seasonal decorations. Or a garden. Or corners without cobwebs. (Although maybe those cobwebs could be considered seasonal just this month?)
If I let myself I could wish I were any kind of girl but the kind I am. And that would be a shame. Because, even though I always thought I’d be the life of the party (the fabulous party I planned, of course), the mom with the best snacks, the friend who always answers her phone and sends cards for no reason – or every reason, the executive making a name for herself in the corner office – I’m not.
Somebody else is being that woman, and I’m busy being me. And figuring out, over and over, who that “me” really is – and learning to like her, despite the ways she’s different than all those other, imaginary women I thought I’d be someday.
Earlier this week I noticed my cat was running around the living room, chasing something. I assumed she had a toy or a sock or who knows what, but I never expected to see A MOUSE dangling from her mouth. A mouse. In my house. IN MY HOUSE!
If you’d asked me last week what kind of person I am when faced with adversity, I’m sure I would have assured you that I’m tough. I might never have achieved anything close to the definition of tomboy, but I’m no wimp. I can handle things. I’m NOT a baby – and I most certainly am NOT the kind of woman who would scream at the sight of a tiny mouse and consider climbing onto a chair with broom in hand until her husband got home.
Nope, not me.
Except . . . you guessed it . . . that’s exactly who I was when I spotted that dark brown rodent wriggling in my cat’s mouth. WRIGGLING!
And you know what? I just had to own it. I am woman, hear me roar – but when it comes to a mouse in my house? I am woman, COME GET RID OF THAT MOUSE RIGHT NOW!
Do I still wish I could be that kind of girl, whatever “that kind of girl” means today? Sure. Sometimes. But little by little I’m beginning to believe that the kind of person I truly want to be is the kind of person God made me. And that girl? Does not garden or crochet or wear heels to the grocery store (and she’s afraid of mice and spiders and slugs) – and that’s okay.
Do you ever wish you were a different kind of person?
What kind of person ARE you?
Believing I would someday turn into “that kind of girl” is one more fairy tale I’m giving up. I hope you’ll join me this month for Giving Up on Fairy Tales, a 31 Days series. And make sure you don’t miss a post by subscribing to this blog. When you do, you’ll receive an ebook called Finding a Happier Ever After for FREE!
Awesome. Awesome post, and YOU are awesome too! Just the way you are. :)
My corner cobwebs match yours–and I’ll throw in lots of dust bunnies and a dead moth behind the couch for good measure. :)
You are sweet. And awesome as well. :) Ooooh, a dead moth. Yes, that’s a great addition to our fancy decorations! Haha!
I get this a lot- I often wish I was more like the mommy bloggers I read about. I want to be the person with the shining house, with the energy to work work work but that’s not me. (That is my future-mil though. <_<)
I'm a thoughtful person who tries as hard as she can but can't seem to make it to the finish line on her projects. I'm great for starting things though! ^_^ I LOVE reading. I like imagine myself as someone else with another life, it doesn't upset me. I'm a person who thrives most with daily hours of solitude. I love to be around friends but I'm not a "people person." I can be slightly awkward with new people sometimes but I'm a great listener.
Crystal, I am a much better starter than finisher, too. And I love that you know exactly who you are. Who need a shining house, anyway? ;)
I’m going to break one of the cardinal rules on commenting and give you a link to a blog post I wrote about this. This link is only for you. http://makeyourlifecountforever.blogspot.com/2013/07/no-one-alive-who-is-youer-than-you.html
I hope you know, really know, that you aren’t alone in feeling a little inadequate or lacking when you try to “stack yourself up against others”. We all feel that way.
That’s the very origin of the phrase, Comparison is a Thief.
Your closing shows that you’re on the right track, the ‘God made me to His specifications ~ And I’m deferring to His wisdom in the matter’ track.
I often wish I was a different kind of person, but here’s the thing: the ideal woman I have in mind is an amalgamation of about 300 women I’ve known throughout my life. I scooped up all their desirable qualities and made a SUPER WOMAN in my mind.
Somedays she’s a pain in my . . .psyche, that’s the word I was looking for.
Oh yes — I definitely fall into this trap! I compare myself to other people’s best and come up short every time. I love Gretchen Rubin’s way of phrasing one of her golden rules of happiness: Be Gretchen. What I’m good at, or what I enjoy, or don’t enjoy, is not the same as other people, and THAT’S OKAY.
Yes! I love that from Gretchen Rubin, too. You be Sarah, and I’ll be Mary – and I’m confident that we’ll both (all!) be happier!
I always wanted to be cute. I still want to be cute. I want to be funnier and be funny not just when I’m making fun of myself. I want to talk about spiritual things without sounding uppity. I want to feel like a writer.
Jessie, it’s so interesting how you see yourself! Because without a doubt, I would say that you’re an excellent writer and very good at talking about spiritual things! (And cute and funny, too – don’t be taking me wrong here!) Still, I understand…how we feel and what we want to be and what we really are…those things don’t always match up, do they?
Still, after so many years, I think, ‘we are the same you and I’ ;)
Well, of course we are! :) xoxo
Oh I sooo hear ya, and I’m with ya on a lot of the wishes. And the decorating – cobwebs in the corner and all ;)
Each day I learn a little more about who I am – imperfect, short tempered, impatient – but grace covered and redeemed. Each day I learn a little more, pray a little more, and work a little more toward accepting (and correcting where needed) who I am and why I am made this way. He has a plan for the girls WE ARE…and I believe that maybe He throws in one of our wishes now and then because He loves to see our designed uniqueness helping to claim who we are in Him.
I absolutely believe that God makes dreams come true! But He loves us too much to allow us to settle for our human dreams and instead wants to replace them with HIS dreams for us. I love it when I realize that, for real in my real life, and accept His dreams and His plans and His blessings for my life! And YES to being grace-covered and redeemed. Those really are the most important adjectives we could identify with, aren’t they?
How very insightful. You keep writing posts that I wind up thinking about for the rest of the day.
Thank you for your kind words, Jerimi!
I wish I were the girl who looked good in boots and big, dangly earrings. I wish I had a bunch of friends (working on that one!) and people that stopped by my house just to hang for a bit. I wish I had a super awesome camera, and fantastic software that made calendar worthy pictures. I wish I could paint watercolors. (Working on that one, too!)
You know who I am? I am a volunteer- around five different places, different things. I am a cook. I love to bake something and bring a little to a friend. I am a mom and a teacher. I have straight hair that curly girls spend hours trying to mimic, and it doesn’t curl in the rain. I have nice legs, and I didn’t know until recently, I apparently have nice lips, too. I sing in a choir, and I can sing a solo now and then, too. And I do send a card now and then, but not as much as I want.
You sound like an amazing person anyone would be happy to know, dangly earrings or not. :) (And as someone with in-between, not-curly, not-straight hair, I’m a tad bit jealous of yours!!!) :)
Just poking through some of the 31 Days posts tonight and I loved this. The ending cracked me up.
As a fellow YA reader and a tomboy who isn’t really that good at sports, I totally feel ya!!
Thanks for stopping by! :)
“If I let myself I could wish I were any kind of girl but the kind I am.” — This is me. (Only, I do let myself.)