Insecure is not a word I apply to myself often. There are plenty of other words I wholeheartedly apply. Things like opinionated, awkward, wishy washy. Hungry, grouchy, tired, are a few that often fit the bill. Every now and then I can bust out silly or downright funny (in my opinion, of course). Logical, focused, and introverted make my self-assesment list, as do mediocre, fidgety and stubborn.
I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s that I’ve felt loved and cared for my entire life. Perhaps its that I have people around me who encourage me, show me my strengths and weaknesses, both, and challenge me. Maybe it’s that I’ve learned to care little for what the world thinks about trivial matters because Lord knows the world has an opinion on everything! So somewhere along the way I decided to tune it out.
Of course this isn’t always great. I’ve been told that if I showed up for school pick up in a pink tutu noone would bat a lash. While this was meant to be a compliment to my slightly quirky dress code it made me think I’ve possibly pushed the envelope a bit far on a few occasions if a tutu on a 36 year old wouldn’t even cause a stir.
I also have my eating preferences. Mock if you like. I eat plain-ish food and very little meat and fresh guacomole is God’s personal gift to me. I can always find something to eat at any restaurant and I’m not worried about having to resort to the kids menu for chicken fingers if the rest of the offerings are lobster or steak.
I’m not afraid to state my opinion on the ways they’ve dealt with the homeless in my city and also boldly state that I do vaccinate my children. Of course, I love to hear your opinion on the matters as well and I won’t argue with you or try to sway you to my way but I will state what I believe.
Truth be told there is only one thing that brings it out in me. And when it comes, Lord have mercy….
The Christmas Party.
Just typing those words makes me itchy. My heart starts to pound. I instinctively drop what I’m doing and do a few sit ups. (you think I’m kidding.)
I don’t know what it is! Okay, I know what it is. I wish I didn’t and I could state that I’m oblivious as to why but I know exactly what it is. At the Christmas Party I am suddenly completely inadequate. Everything I ever felt like I didn’t accomplish in my life bubbles up to the surface. Things I don’t even care about – oh I suddenly care a great big bunch about.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m overreacting.
I assure you I. Am. Not.
See, my hubby works in a cool industry. With cool people. Who live in the cool city. Who dress like they live in the city. Who dance like they live in the city. Who eat foods that city folk eat and drink drinks that I’ve never heard of.
Oh, and they’re smart. Every dang one of them.
Remember the cool kids in high school? These are all of them. In a room together. Who succeeded. Not the cool kids who went on to do, well, nothing that you thought they would do. These are the kids that did it! They’re doing it! And they all look so dang good while they are.
When I walk into the Electric Owl – seriously, could there be a hipper name of a place to hold a Christmas Party – I’m confronted with every ounce of insecurity I have. I’m suddenly just a suburban mom. A barely educated suburban mom. A mom who has more than one child. A mom who lives, “where exactly is that?” in a house in the ‘burbs. My view is farmer’s fields and Costco lights. My day-to-day is driving kids to and from school and sporting events and youth group. My conversation starters are, “Did you brush your teeth?” and “Go to your room!” and I just don’t know how to work those into conversation at the Christmas Party at the Electric Owl. (more situps…)
And we haven’t even discussed what to wear yet!
Did I mention these are city peeps? Who probably never say peeps? (Lord help me!)
They’re hipsters who ride bikes on more than bike to work week and make their own cheese.
They’re professionals who wear expensive shoes and custom tailored shirts.
They’re well traveled, and that dress? Oh, they picked it up in Italy the last time they were there. From a little boutique just outside of somewhere I’ve never heard of. (awesome.)
I walk into that club each year with all these put together people milling around, mingling and laughing, and I can’t help but feel like I don’t belong. Like I have nothing to add. Like I am frumpy and my hair is wrong and are you kidding me those earings are so 2012. (truly, I’ve had them since the 1900’s.)
I know it’s silly. I do! I try and tell myself it’s silly. I self-talk the entire week before.
It’s fine. You look fine. Your hair is fine.
And then I schedule a hair appointment for right before the party.
It’s great. You look great. You can wear anything and look just fine.
And then I run all over town like a mad woman trying to find something that doesn’t resemble the ‘burbs or on the flip side look like I’m trying too hard.
It’s going to be okay. You have plenty to offer. You are smart and funny and ….
Well then I just sit right down and cry.
I hate it. Not the Christmas Party but what it brings out of me. It’s so not who I am. But clearly when squeezed, when pushed beyond my comfort zone, I break. I’m weak. On my own I just can’t do it.
I no longer feel completely comfortable in the skin that God gave me and completely thrilled about telling people how much I love being a mom. No, I feel upset that God placed that zit right on my chin today and I start wishing that I would have pursued law or politics or anything that sounds like more than mom!
It’s so lame, isn’t it? That these people I don’t even know can get me so off balance.
What’s even worse is that they’re all so nice! I have no reason to think that they think ill of me or are judging me. It’s just me.
I’m telling myself today that where God has placed me is perfect. Because it is. The life he has given is the exact one I was made to live. I’m reminding myself that being a wife and a mom is a glorious calling and there is nothing I would rather do. I’m speaking truth to myself, that I am a daughter of the King. I’m quoting scripture that says that we are not to look for praise from man. I’m bringing to mind the words that say he is enough. I am his. He has me right where he wants me. He is chiseling away at my heart even in this. I need not seek glory or beauty or riches. He is enough.
(along with some really great boots!)
Wish me luck!