It’s taken me 30 years to get this good at being me

Posted on June 6, 2012

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I wish someone would have explained to me that it takes a long, long time to figure out who you are. There is so much pressure on high school students to make good choices, decide what they want to do with their lives, where to go to college, what their major will be; basically figure out who there are going to be.

But your teenage years are the worst possible time to figure out who you are. You’re surrounded by social pressure, you’re full of hormones, you’re trying out multiple personas in an attempt to make new friends and not alienate the friends you already have.  So here is my message to my 16 year-old self and to all those people who read this blog who might be in the age range of 16-26:

Relax. You don’t need to figure it all out. The pressure you’re feeling from your parents, teachers, pastors, youth leaders, friends, and family is coming at you because they want to know who you are going to be. I’ll be honest, you’re not going to figure all those things out in a guidance counselors office, or during a church service, or in a classroom. You are going to figure out who you are when you endure some of the bumps and bruises of life; events you cannot predict or control. So take a deep breath and enjoy the day.

I will be 33 on my next birthday and it is only the last few years that I have really felt solidly myself. I rarely try to be anyone I’m not. I don’t try to please everyone. Sometimes I don’t even try to please anyone. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but I hope this means that I am not as easily swayed by other people’s opinions as I would be had not gone through the struggles that I had. I hope that regardless of the external circumstances of my life I will always return to who God made me to be, because when I do that, even when it doesn’t make money, bring me recognition, or make much sense, I feel the most joy.

 

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