a little and a lot

Friday, November 02, 2007

When I Grow Up

"Know thyself" is an famous ancient phrase, attributed to Socrates among other Greek sources.

I think I am pretty good at knowing myself. I am really hard on myself about the faults that I have. I know that I can be opinionated, judgmental, perfectionistic, egocentric, and that I am not too cheerful in the mornings. I also know how to use most of my faults as strengths, trying to be passionate, enthusiastic, knowing the difference between right and wrong, doing things whole-heartedly, and...well there's just not much you can do with a selfish non-morning person. But that is neither here nor there.

As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking about what it would be like to be a movie star, with paparazzi following me everywhere. I recently saw a little blip on TV about how the superstars and paparazzi have a fragile relationship. If famous people are nice to the paparazzi and pose for them every now and then, the paparazzi aren't as pushy and tend to be more considerate. However, if one is rude to the paparazzi then watch out--they love to capture those oh-so-unflattering pictures and keep a flash bulb in their face at every turn.

I would be nice to them, I decided. I would smile and wave and the paparazzi would love me. I would be renowned for being so kind to them.

As I thought more about this during my drive, I decided I was full of crap.

There is no way I would be nice to those privacy-stealing paparazzi who wouldn't let me get a moment's rest. I know this because when I am stressed or grumpy (see the above morning comment), I am not even nice to the person I love the most in the world--my dog! Just kidding--my husband! (Strangely, now that I think about it, I am ALWAYS nice to my dog. Poor husband!)

So often I imagine myself acting a certain way in a certain role, and that "certain way" does not even run parallel with my personality. For example, for many years of my life I always imagined what I would be like as a wife. I would cook elaborate Sunday lunches and the laundry would always be promptly folded and put away...NEVER left in the dryer untouched for 2 weeks. (I mean, who does that? HA.) I would leave my husband little love notes in his jeans pockets and we would take a walk in our neighborhood everyday.

Most of you are having a good chuckle right now. And it's not that any of those things NEVER happen...But it's funny to think about all of them happening on a regular basis. And the thing is--I honestly thought I would be like that!

This whole "When I grow up" mentality has got to go. Because when I actually BECAME a wife, I didn't morph into someone different. I was the same old me.

I still do this. I imagine that when I become a mom, I will do fun things with my kids every day. I will not ever rely on the TV to occupy them. I will not make mac and cheese and frozen chicken nuggets every day. I will put love notes in their lunch boxes. I will not be mean to them when I am in a bad mood. I will...be a different person... ???

When I am a mom, I will still be me. Me, who is grumpy in the morning and does not prefer physical activity before 11am. Me, who has a strong need for people to like her and can't stand the thought of people being angry with her. Me, who says things she doesn't mean when she gets upset.

When I grow up...I will still be me.

I've been thinking about "When I grow up as a Christian" recently. What is different about me 17 years after I committed my life to God? A lot...but not much. I am still in need of the Holy Spirit to produce His fruits in me. Still in need of Christ's blood to cover my inadequate attempts to be a true representation of Him. Still in need of a God who is always present. When I am ninety-two, will I have this incredible legacy of faith to pass on to generations to come?

When I grow up...I'm pretty sure I will still be me.
Good thing He will still be Him.


Julie said...

I love you, I love your thoughts, I love your faults and strengths. I totally needed to hear this. Sometimes I feel like an overwhelming failure as a mom because I am not who I thought I would be as a mom, my child is not always who I thought he would be, and my life looks different than I imagined. I am glad that I am still me, faults and all and I need to quit dreaming that some life transition will fix my faults. So glad God will still be God.

Miss you friend.

Blessed said...

Love it, Jesse! Great thoughts.

If I were the paparrazi, I would follow you around all day long because you are that cool. :)

melanie said...


check this for the blog book.


Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

This is great. This is why I love you, because you talk about the things other people think ab but never admit to themselves let alone anyone else. Amen to the when I grow up thing. I think even as a mom now, I still struggle with finding that delicate balance of being the good mother vs. being selfish and pursuing a career because I want one vs. disciplining correctly vs...it just goes on and on and on...I struggle with cherishing where I am in the moment and growing stronger through it. good story. ;)

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

so off the subject and back to our phone convo a day ago...I am sooo doing that blog book thing! seems like a small investment for a fun lifetime of memories my children will enjoy! (that, or they'll think I'm a complete jerk...)

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