When The Man and I got married almost 10 years ago, I set out to make a life, to be a wife, and a real grown-up. I feel young now, but I was even younger then, and somewhere deep inside, I think I believed that being a grown-up meant being other than what I was – I thought perhaps expression and creativity and art weren’t necessary for me anymore. Those things were for the teenage me, the angsty me, the girl.
But I feared the low rumble that I lived with, that tight moving ball that rolled around deep inside, begging to be let out. I tried to ignore it, because that felt better at the time than facing it and having to actually do something about it. I couldn’t make peace with it, the part of me that had to write, the part of me that loved song lyrics and interesting melodies, the part of me that needed to stare off into the distance in order to feel half-way normal.
I’m still trying to figure out why I was ashamed of those things, why I fought the art for so long. Maybe it was because I was in my early twenties and still trying to come out of myself. And the self that began to emerge was different from the self I thought I ought to be, so I denied those parts that didn’t seem to fit with my ideal and I tried to work on those parts that seemed best.
I felt guilty for who I was, how I was made. And because I wouldn’t let myself embrace the creativity and all that comes with it, I was denying myself myself. In turn, I was denying everyone else myself, too. I couldn’t love fully or live fully. I don’t want to sound so self-focused, and I know I’m running that risk. But I believe when we allow ourselves to be accurate expressions of how God made us, then we bring him great pleasure. Like a gift. Like worship. He made us certain ways on purpose, didn’t he?
“I’m slow, not prolific. I have to think and concentrate to get anything done. I’m disorganized and messy. I speak when I should shut up and shut up when I should speak. I talk too loud and too long. And my head’s shaped like a light bulb. If who you are is random, then yeah, go on a self-improvement program. But, if you think God is in control of the whole thing of you, and he made you on purpose for a reason, and you try to be someone else, who will be you?”
- Gary Morland, New Life’n
Some stuff about us are faults or sin or change-worthy. But I think a lot of those things we try to make different are actually the things that make us different. And it doesn’t have to be an artsy thing, like writing or music or paint. It’s whatever thing that makes you come alive. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the question, What do you really want to do? As it turns out, being a grown up is overrated anyway.