When You Want To Introduce Yourself As The Real You

photo by hotblack at morguefile.com

photo courtesy of hotblack

It’s hard to see the worth in what we are becoming.

I’m a writer, and so are a lot of my friends. Many of us feel like we’re not official writers yet. We cringe when people ask, “What do you do?” because we’re not paid for our words or we just write on little blogs and dream big dreams. It’s hard to say it outright, “I’m a writer.” It’s easier to say, “I’m (a something else).” That something else probably sounds more prestigious or socially upright.

“Tell me about yourself.”

“What do you do?”

“Who are you?”

Questions tough to answer if you’re at a crossroads and struggling to find the real you. I’m guilty of dodging the question even about my most important work.

It was easier to shut myself off from the discomfort I had with myself than face up to the reality of my exhaustion, self-doubt, and pain.

A year ago I started chatting with a cool British geologist across a row of movie theater seats. She asked me what I did for a living. I said, “I’m JUST a mom,” and mumbled something about writing. Basically, brushed myself off.

We were at last year’s Storyline Conference. A guy nearby named Tyler retook his seat between us, looked straight at me, and said, “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“I hear it in your voice. You’re discounting your role as a mom. What you do is important.”

I was taken aback, but he told me exactly what I needed to hear.

“You’re right,” I said. The lights dimmed and the session speaker took the floor.

I spent the next three days at the conference absorbing wisdom from amazing speakers, but the best thing I learned was the truth about myself: I have worth in my becoming— as both a mom and a writer.

I have worth in my becoming. Tweet This

That moment of realization informed every decision in my life. For the next year, I learned the lies I believed about myself:

  1. I’m not enough as I am.
  2. I’ll never be a writer and a mother.
  3. My perspective doesn’t matter.

This was a vulnerable moment in my story, and a revolutionary one. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

In the movie theater, I was afraid to call myself a mother. It was easier to shut myself off from the discomfort I had with myself than face up to the reality of my exhaustion, self-doubt, and pain. That some days I struggled to be a good mother. That I was fighting to be a creative writer and love my family well.

I tried to put an invisible barrier between me and the lovely geologist lady based on false information. In some sick way, I was trying make myself feel better and bring attention to myself by discounting who I was and wallowing in shame.

I wonder if we do that with our stories: isolating ourselves because it’s easier, protecting ourselves from judgement and further hurt.

I’ve held onto the beautiful truths that Tyler’s comment led me too:

  1. We are all seekers needing healing, guidance, and community.
  2. My story is not less than yours, and vice versa.
  3. The work God values is not the work the world values, like mothering and writing for the love of it unpaid.

So this year, when we meet, maybe at Storyline or at the playground, I’ll tell you I’m a mom first because that’s important (thank you, Tyler). And, I’m a writer too. I balance them like an off-kilter teeter totter, but they are my main loves. That’s who I am. Some days I’m not proud of my messy life, but I’m becoming ok with it, and myself.

That’s why when we meet, I want to know the real you, even the you that struggles to be heard. the one that is questioning who she/he is, the one that is fighting to be free, the one at odds with the world. 

I want to meet the real you, the beautiful person you’re becoming. Tweet This

Hi, I’m Christina. I’m a mom, wife, and writer trying to be all of the above. I get it wrong a lot, but I’m so thankful for Jesus’ redemption transforming me along the journey: that’s exactly what I write about. What about you? What’s your story?

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November 4, 2015