Well, this one has been sitting in my drafts folder, just titled and all alone, for a week. I’ve tried to stay away from it but alas, here we are.
A week ago I got the keyboard out to start writing this one based on a cycle I was stuck in with a friend. You see, I have this really fun tendency to over-explain myself in every sense of the word. It’s almost like I feel like I’m going to get caught even though I know I’ve done nothing wrong. So, when I’m not in a healthy place emotionally, I jump on my wordy hamster wheel and just talk and talk and talk myself around whatever I’m doing.
Luckily, I have really great people in my life and the one I was spiraling with stopped me and said, “Stop trying to prove yourself to me. You’re fine. I trust you.”
And man, what a relief that was. To have people who know the path you’re headed down and can keep you from it is such a gift.
The bummer is that this isn’t the first time my friend(s) have had to say something like that. But again, the gift is that they do. And so it seemed the cycle had halted.
I visited my family to celebrate my Grandma’s 92nd birthday and while I was there my sister, nephew, boyfriend, and I went for a lil’ afternoon hangout sesh at the local watering hole. One of the beautifully awful things about growing up in a small town is that everyone knows everyone and you can’t go anywhere without running into someone you grew up with. I say it’s beautifully awful because 1) what a gift to be in such a tight knit community, but 2) what a terror to know that everyone knows everything about who you were from ages 0-18/19/20.
So naturally, in walks someone I went to high school and played sports with. I introduced her to my boyfriend and immediately said, “We played basketball together and she was better than me.”
Cue my insides exploding.
Here I was again, trying to – in a backwards way – prove myself. I had to get it out there that I knew my place and I knew that she was better than me but it didn’t bother me (except oh yes it did). I could feel the 17 year old in me writhing with insecurity as this person got the recognition I longed for. All those years of trying to prove myself on the court, in the classroom, with the friend groups came flying back into the present and they were not.fun.
I laughed it off with my sister, rolled my eyes at myself, and went back to staring at my nephew because little boys are the cure for everything.
When I returned home and back to my normal life, recounting the weekend with a friend, she mentioned a similar instance from her weekend. She said, “It was like I was on the outside and I couldn’t figure out how to get in.”
And with that I exclaimed a loud, “YES! SAME!”
But here’s the kicker with it all: I am absolutely in love with where I am “in” in my life. God has been so kind to place me on the inside of so many beautiful relationships, and honestly, He has also been so kind in keeping me on the outside of others. Yet, the insecurity of knowing I’m on the outside of some places can be so deafening at times. Having physical voices loud enough to drown out the lies of the enemy has truly proven to be God’s grace poured out on my life.
I have no idea how to end this blog. No real bow to tie around it. It’s just a lot of strewn together thoughts about how destructive the urge to prove myself can be.
And for now, that’s totally fine.