The other night my two best friends and I went out for a girl’s night out in downtown Columbus. Nothing too crazy but it’s the first time in awhile that I’ve “gotten ready to go out” since we’re more of wine and movie night gals. As I was getting ready I was just taking fun selfies and documenting the “beautification” process. I had just been to the gym and then for some Moe’s…yum! Flipping through my pictures I had a thought that made me smile. I am so glad to be living in a time when stereotypes of people are slowing dissipating.
I went to a high school football game several months ago and as I sat next to the student section I was taking in my environment. I saw kids who were jocks and band nerds at the same time. Kids who were on the speech and debate team and also in art club. The cliche stereotype cliques that once were are slowly blending and fading. You don’t have to be just one thing.
It’s a common theme in our society today to be critical and negative of ourselves. People who are confident are sometimes seen as arrogant or cocky when instead they are just embracing who they are and are okay…dare I say thankful for who they are. [Don’t misunderstand…there are PLENTY of arrogant people out there who claim to be “confident” but are truly just cocky jerks].
But confidence, true confidence is a beautiful blend of humility, assertion, thankfulness, assurance, hopefulness, and acceptance of yourself.
Confidence is understanding your identity and embracing who you are as a person, the good and the bad-the “normal” and the quirks. It’s a concept that I think we continually grapple with since our environments and stages of life are constantly changing. I used to walk in true confidence of who I was becuase I had become comfortable with myself in my stage of life. I’m now in a different stage of life and wanting people to see me in a particular light…wanting to see myself in a particular light.I struggle with feeling that I am so far from “normal” and often times I feel like…well…a total weirdo! I don’t feel beautiful or feminine or dainty. I don’t feel like I fit the mold I’m supposed to. But…
But the truth is…I can be confident in who I am ALWAYS because the core of who I am never changes. I am a child of God and no matter what the world looks like, no matter my circumstances, no matter my stage of life…HE remains constant and therefore who I belong to, whose daughter I am…is constant. The love He has for me, NEVER changes. The fact that Jesus died for me-NEVER changes and therefore my identity resting in Him never changes. So even though my character, my emotions, my actions, my beliefs may change or falter…my confidence in God being God can remain constant because HE is constant.
That said…I can embrace who he created me to be! I can embrace that I don’t fit any mold! I can embrace that I don’t have to impress anyone! I can embrace that I’m quirky and weird! I can embrace that I am, in many ways, a walking contradiction and that makes me all the more unique. I don’t have to be ashamed. I don’t have to feel that being weird is a bad thing. People may judge me but I can’t do anything about that and there are plenty of people in my life who actually know me and love me who don’t judge me but embrace me; who delight in me.
Several years ago, I sat down and made a [very long] list about me. Things I liked, things I didn’t like, hobbies, personality corks, beliefs, etc. It was so therapeutic for me because it I was confirming the things I knew about myself and as a natural people-pleaser…I wasn’t making excuses for any of it. It’s who I was and I was going to embrace it rather than be critical and embarrassed. I find myself somewhat back in a place where it’s necessary to do again. This time as a way to grab ahold of the confidence God once gave me in knowing that I am EXACTLY who he created me to be! I don’t fit ANY stereotypes and that’s brilliant!
I encourage anyone reading this to do the same! Make a list-be honest because it’s for just you- but make a list, a positive list and just own who you are! It’s not cocky to be thankful for the person you are and/or the life you’ve been given. We’re conditioned to be critical of ourselves and/or our lives but that is not how I believe God wants us to live! Be self aware of the flaws, bad habits, struggles, etc. that need to be repented of, fixed, worked on, whatever-yes! But WHO YOU ARE IS TO BE CELEBRATED AND EMBRACED!
Here’s part of my list [and random things about me you probably didn’t know before]:
I’m a blonde who enjoys talking about politics. Working out for me means lifting weights…heavy weights. I LOVE flipping tires at the gym. I like playing sports. When I play basketball with the guys I just want to be treated like an athlete, I don’t want to be “picked up” or asked out. I grunt when I lift weights and when I serve during volleyball. I LIKE being strong, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. I like that I can do a lot of things without needing a man. But I also long for the day when I can rely on “my man” to do those things for me; just because I can do it doesn’t mean I want to. I may be independent single woman but my heart wants to be dependent on my (future) husband & to be his support!
I love the Fast and Furious franchise. My favorite movie is Gladiator. My favorite musical is My Fair Lady. I LOVE going to the ballet! During the winter time I love to crochet. Everyone that really knows me knows I’m OBSESSED with the Golden Girls. I learned how to change the oil on a car when I was 13 and I love doing it [for my 16th birthday my dad gave me a tool set and a case of oil to do the oil changes on their cars]. I love getting my hands dirty. I’ve refinished/built/assembled every piece of furniture in my living room except the couch and swivel chair. I’m generally compassionate & easy-going but can be very stubborn under the right circumstances. I love doing my make-up & nails and curling my hair. My favorite thing to wear at home is my oversized HS basketball sweatshirt. I LOVE jazz music-Lou Rawls, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Al Hurt, Count Basie. I starting collecting jazz records at age 12 because I was in jazz band in middle school. I play guitar [self-taught and very basic lol].
I learned to shoot a gun when I was 9. I own one 9mm with another on its way. I like to wear jewelry. I’m very emotional and I’m the queen of over-analyzing things! I LOVE kids! I started babysitting a family of 4 kids when I was 11 years old. I had a fantasy NASCAR team when I was a senior in high school. I love to paint and when I was in high school I really enjoyed my ceramics class-I’d like to take classes again one day soon. Though I am bubbly and outgoing, I’m an introvert whose favorite thing is watching movies solo. I like school and learning. I love studying the Bible. I love Jesus…I don’t apologize for it. I’m passionate about Psychology. I have a minor in it and I would like to go back to school to get my masters in something related to Counseling. I LOVE flowers, my favorite… classic roses. This past Christmas I was just as excited to get a sewing machine as I was to get new basketball shoes and a new gun! I think I have pretty feet and I love my thick, natural blonde hair- thanks Daddy! I love the lights of the city just as much as I love a country sunset.
There’s so more…haha. Who I am is more than what I like to do, it’s more than what I look like, and it’s DEFINITELY more than what other people think or say about me. But it’s hard to remember that sometimes. God has made me very uniquely and that is a great thing. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone…including myself. I just have to embrace who I am and walk in the confidence that God took care & design when he made me and I was created with a specific design, for a specific purpose and I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else. I love that we are all so different. My closest girlfriends, while we all have things in common…we are VASTLY different and I love that. There’s something to be said for the fact that we’re such good friends with such great differences.
Anyways…I just wrote this mostly for me…but if it encourages anyone else…yay! Embrace who you are! Walk in confidence! God has a specific, special design for us all-whether you believe it or not! 😉