Monday, March 31, 2008

My Book About Me: Volume II

I remember my mom giving me this book when I was a kid and now I wish I knew what had happened to it.

Somehow along the way I turned 37. Now, I don't feel old. I don't really think I'm old. But the 6-year-old in me that filled out her "My Book about Me, by ME, Myself" really thinks that this 37 year old woman is ancient -- and really ought to know who she is, thank you very much.

I hate sounding like a whiny middle-aged woman having an identity crisis. In fact just seeing those words on the screen makes me cringe. The truth is this isn't a new identity crisis -- I've always had it. Probably always will. But that doesn't mean I have to like it, right?

I am awed by people who seem to know, or at least eventually figure out, who they are. I don't mean what they do -- cause really, come on. But I have friends who are Writers and Artists and Photographers and Speech Pathologists and Mothers and that is who they are. They have true gifts and passions. It's not work to them (or not always). They really appear to love what they do and they do it well.

I don't get it.

I have heard the talk about "spiritual gifts" and let me tell you: evidently, I came to the party late cause I seem to have left empty-handed: Administration? Don't tell my boss, but not-so-much. Exhortation? I don't think I know what it means so that would be a no as well. Teaching? Um, I'm a card-carrying member of the "Never taught despite my education degree" club. Encouragement? No. Mercy? Uh, NO. Pastoring, evangelizing, prophseying? No, no, and no again.

Look, I'm not fishing for compliments here, I just really don't see it. And it doesn't have to be limited to spiritual gifts (though this seems a noble cause worth pursuing) -- I don't feel especially gifted in anything. "Jack of all trades, master of none." And maybe that's OK. Just feels less than overwhelming. You know?

So, I either haven't figured it out or haven't stumbled across it, I'm not sure which. Or maybe it just is what it is. But it seems like I always expect something better to come down the pike, but I inevitably make a wrong turn (or wrong decision) that keeps me from ME. I'm not unhappy, just a little bit lost. Waiting to figure out whatever It is that I am.

The six-year-old is getting impatient. I'm not sure what to tell her. Maybe I should go get another book and start from scratch, or better yet, Sara and I could do ours together.

Not a bad idea, really...

Wait, I just thought of something. I know a lot of words. Not like in a freaky-deaky Scrabble champion kind of way, but you know -- in that way where I feel compelled to use exactly the right word kind of way. That way that alienates people because they think you think you're superior to them.

Now that's a helpful skill. I'm sure I'll sleep better tonight.

ADDENDUM: My husband said he felt bad for me when he read this. He thinks I sound depressed. Rest assured, I don't feel bad about this or depressed. Anticipatory maybe, or confused or I don't know what. But not depressed.


Anonymous said...

first of all, of course I had this book. in fact, I think i filled it out twice. (probably lost the first one or something.)

i so so so know what you are talking about here. and i won't throw the compliments your way since it would sound disingenuous, but you know they're there.

not depressed, i don't think.

and don't pooh-pooh the word thing. it's pretty damn impressive.


Ket said...

this is why you are the greatest friend: because you had the same mother, were just a disorganized as me, and are equally talented in the wordsmith category.

really -- who else would say "disingenuous?"

Anonymous said...

aw, shucks...