My mother is coming to town today. I always look forward to her visits - we hang like old friends most of the time. Look out shoe stores! (I seriously need my own shoe closet...)
It's funny that even though I love her and I know she loves me, a small part of me waits to see if I measure up. This isn't a fault of hers but more a part of my personaltiy and how I view myself in the sea of women friends and family surrounding me.
My mom was always quiet, soft-spoken, smart, totally organized, remembered every detail that needed remembering...
Of the above, I am smart.
I know that doesn't mean something is wrong with me. I think it's natural to take the examples of femininity and beauty around me and internalize that as the "standard".
The problem, of course, is that while I do love girly stuff like goregous shoes and manicures, the resemblance stops there.
I am rarely quiet. I am outspoken and bold though I try to be kind. I'm hardly ever organized in a way that would make sense to someone else. I'm so consistently forgetful, my hubby no longer bats an eye when I run out of gas, leave clothes in the dryer, or wander around for two days with a dead cell phone.
I do not like chick flicks. I may be the only woman I know who remained unmoved by The Notebook. In fact, when they were floating in the pond of ducks and people all around me in the theater were sniffing away tears at the romance of it all, I was busy thinking, "I certainly hope they don't fall in. There has to be a LOT of duck poop floating around."
My hang-up is that I see women around me, both friends and family, who are such beautiful people inside and out and they are gentle, soft-spoken, and have full tanks of gas. I sometimes feel like a bold dash of brilliant red in a room full of pastels.
And yes, I know I was created to be who I am. I don't argue with that. I just sometimes struggle with feeling that maybe I'm less feminine and beautiful than the girl who can smile meekly in the face of rudeness while I'm already spouting off a snappy reply designed to put them firmly in their place.
Maybe I just need to recognize that strength comes in many forms. There is strength in remaining gentle toward those who don't deserve it. Strength in being soft-spoken and mild with others. And there is strength in rolling up your sleeves and wading in to the middle of life - swinging - if that is what it takes to stand up for truth.
I don't have any halfway mark for anything I do. I dive into life with determination that borders on reckless abandon. I don't see a lot of examples around me of women like me and I admit, some days it makes me wonder if I stand out to others the way I stand out to myself.
I believe there are no accidents. God created me as I am for His reasons and I just need to move beyond holding up the softer feminine images as my role models because those models just don't fit me.
One of these days, I'll be okay with that.