Competence

I haven’t had too much inspiration for writing recently. Creativity ebbs and flows, and it seems that it’s ebbing right now. However, I needed to document some wonderful changes that are happening in my life right now, or at least that have been happening in the past month or so. These are some things I’ve developed:

Confidence. As many of you may know, most of my childhood was spent being rather passive and unsure of myself. That is no longer the case. I’ve truly grown to a point where I love expressing myself and my personality. Of course I don’t always know who I am (is there any eighteen-year-old who does?), but I have a pretty solid foundation of who I am.

Competence. This is especially new. I feel such a strong sense of ability. Whatever challenge that comes my way is something I can handle. I certainly don’t how to do everything, but I know that if there’s something I don’t know how to do, I can learn it. I’m intelligent and I have better reasoning skills than I previously gave myself credit for.

Resilience. I get up after I fall down. I’m not the sensitive little flower many people think I am. Sure, I’m expressive and vulnerable, but I am like silly putty. That stuff never crumbles. It’s soft and strong at the same time. Me!

Leadership. Oh boy, I actually love leadership. I love teaching, guiding, encouraging, and shining. Words can’t express how much joy being a leader brings me.

Those things weren’t always a part of me, but they are now. And that’s honestly something to be proud of.

 

My Absence and Maturity

It’s May already. It was warm enough to wear a tank top and shorts the other day. My winter coats are nowhere to be found. The world around me is fully green, fully alive–and so am I. Around this season, I start to realize the personal theme or lesson of the current school year. The distinction between who I was and who I am now becomes more clear. I didn’t think there would be a marked change in my personality this year, because my identity is no longer the fluid, pitiful, angsty thing it was in middle school. Each year I think this, and each year I discover that I’m wrong.

In September, I was convinced that after high school, I was going to buy a converted school bus and spend a year wandering across the country, blogging, and “finding myself.” Thus, I had no sense of urgency. Life was just a dreamy playground for me, and I treated it as such. Homework assignments were left unfinished. My peers stressed about college, driving, and adulthood while I spent hours relaxing, completely unconcerned. I stayed up late doing leisure activities, fell half-asleep during my morning classes, and returned home in the afternoon to nap. Rinse, lather, repeat. It wasn’t until January or February that reality hit me hard. It dawned upon me that I didn’t have years to just screw around and be a dreamer while remaining dependent on my parents. No. I realized that I’m strapped on a conveyor belt to independence, whether I liked it or not. So I started working. Everything became about my looming adulthood. Having trouble opening the carton of ice cream? Not ready to be on my own. Lost my purse? Not going to make it in the real world (whatever that means). These thoughts aren’t upsetting as much as they are practical. If I don’t know how to do something, I try to figure out how to do it. If there’s a problem, I fix it. This is my life now. I know what’s realistic and what isn’t. I know how to motivate myself. I’ve found a singular dream, a clear path upon which I’m excited to tread. Maybe, just maybe, I’m becoming an adult. And that’s both scary and invigorating.

Back in eighth grade, when I started this blog, I wrote about being concerned that I’d lose myself as I grew older. I worried that I’d become boring and cardboard. Sometimes I still wonder that. I’m not as spacey as I used to be. I’m not so much of a dreamy do-nothing. But have I really lost myself? I don’t think so. I’ve just matured some. The sparks of passion I had for a myriad of dreams have joined to form a burning flame for just one dream. I’m capable, focused, and competent–but I’m still silly old me, and that brings me comfort.

The drive for success I’ve described here has been the primary reason for my relative absence on this blog (compared to writing once or even twice daily). I’m in high gear. My education is important to me, and I’m owning it. Yes, I’m troubled that I’m not writing as much as I promised myself I would back in September, but my priorities have shifted. Those were different times. Of course I won’t give up on blogging. It’s just going to be hard, but summer will bring more freedom. More opportunities. More growth.

And I just can’t wait to discover it all.

 

 

 

I Am Fierce

I have spent the majority of my life being the nice girl next door. I’ll smile, take one for the team, and try to avoid putting up a fuss. Conflict was the disease, and trying to please everyone was the cure.

But no more. I refuse to let myself be trampled on by people too unkind to care. I will not shut my mouth when people are rude, inappropriate, or otherwise morally wrong. I won’t be a smiling doormat. I won’t be a damsel in distress. I will not be made to feel inferior because I am emotional, because I have a sensitive heart, because I am young, because I am female. No. I am fierce. 

 

I Am Me

Sometimes I still worry about what other people think of me. When I’m out on the neighborhood swing and I see people crossing the street, I feel a little self-conscious. If my hair doesn’t look great, or if my outfit is complete crap (which, with the effort I put into my attire, it probably is), I want to melt into the wall a little bit. Even the blog posts I publish make me a little insecure sometimes. What if people are unhappy with how many faith-related posts I’ve been writing? What if there are grammar errors in there? I, too, am a human. I worry about these things.

However, if I make a conscious effort, I can feel better. Who cares if people see me on the swing? They have better things to do than gawk at me. So what if I look horrible? Half the people at school are probably too tired to keep their eyes open long enough to judge me; or, more likely, they’re too busy watching the Snapchat stories of people they really don’t care about. And for crying out loud, who cares if people are unhappy with my blog posts? I don’t write to appeal to a crowd–at least, I try not to; it’s easy to get caught up in trying to captivate your audience. I want to write what I think and what I feel. What’s a blog if you lose yourself in the process of cultivating it, anyway?

I am me. I have always been me. I will remain me no matter what other people think.

Dressed Like A Knight

As a timid thirteen-year-old, shuffling down the hallways of my middle school trying to melt into the crowd, I thought I would never be confident. If my socks were a different brand from my shoes, I would spend the entire day trying to keep my feet out of sight. In the gym locker room, I was terrified of someone seeing me and making fun of my bra or something, so I pulled my shirt on so quickly that I twisted my neck and had to see a chiropractor about it. Day-to-day conversations were torture. At summer camps, I would avoid eye contact and sit on the corner of my bed, journaling about feeling left-out and abandoned.

The other day, after French class, I realized once again how much confidence I’ve gained. See, I had to recite a poem, so I dressed up as a knight for extra credit. After I finished, I thought, hey, why don’t I just wear this the rest of the day? So I did. I walked the hallways of my high school dressed up as a knight (or rather, a cross between a knight and a Roman soldier, because my costume did not match). I got strange looks. People asked me about it. But I felt amazing. Why? Because it was the culmination of my confidence. It made me smile that the girl who couldn’t even wear Nike socks with Adidas shoes was now dressed up in a child-sized knight helmet.

To all you timid thirteen-year-olds out there: don’t lose hope. You won’t be afraid forever.