Emotions Are Hard for Me, But Here I Go . . .
I saw a meme once that read 'I've tried emotions before, turns out...I don't like them". While that's comical, that resonates. Emotions can be challenging for me. I have them, but translating them to people is difficult and challenging. I'm transparent often, but vulnerable rarely. It's an area I'm challenging myself to grow in. It's one thing to be transparent about what's going on, but it's a totally different thing to be vulnerable with what's behind the situation or story. Not all people need or have earned the right to my vulnerability.
About 15 years ago, you'd have found me in the walls of Fort Mill High School. You would have found someone outwardly silly, spontaneous, outgoing and conversational (*special note: 'FM' took a weird turn when I opted to DIY my own face paint for Spirit Week). If you could have seen behind the outward, you would have seen constant paranoia of being disapproved of, rejected and offensive to anyone. You wouldn't have ever seen the sequin, glitter adorned Alicia...but oh, she was there. Just hiding.
A few weeks ago I stopped dead in my run when I landed right in front of my high school. Rarely do I find myself really pressing the introspective button, but there I was. Crying in front of my high school. Where I am today is truly a work of Grace, refinement and sanctification. When I saw that dear ole Fort Mill High sign, I remembered some of the ridiculous choices I made that were for the approval of others. I remembered getting broken up with over chicken nuggets and laughing it off in utter embarrassment, not to let anyone see I was fragile and hurt. I remembered the sting of falling just short of the 'Friendliest' superlative, wondering who it was that didn't like me. Achievement and approval drove my decisions and choices. With age, hard work, a support system that called me out and ears to truly listen - I've been able to look back (and inward!) and identify my greatest strengths and my biggest opportunities through these defining years. Can you tell my 30th is coming up....? Big shocker, this is an ongoing process. With knowledge comes power they say, right?!
A coach on our team provided great insight into that popular phrase- knowledge is actually potential power. Knowing things and never letting that knowledge shape or change you, isn't power at all. Knowledge can be powerful when implemented and applied. Achievement has always been a fuel for me (and that's NOT wrong!). The strong desire to get things done and have impact are two of my biggest motivators. They're now fueled by the desire to know and love others well. To relay something much larger than myself, to take myself out of the equation entirely. I'm just a messenger. Rejection still stings and mistakes still challenge my thoughts, but I've taken the pressure off to be all things to all people.
When something fails, I am not a failure.
I'm here to run my race, to play my part. I am unique and who I am does not equate to the sum of my achievements or captive audience. While I would be encouraged and t-h-r-i-l-l-e-d to have you on 'Team Alicia', I'm okay if I'm just not for you. This teary eyed run reminded me of the pain and frustration that comes from living your life continuously chasing after moving targets, whether they be people, status, income or followers.
I'm curious, how have you changed since your high school days? Would love to have you click 'reply' and let me know. I'm encouraged by the growth of others and would be incredibly honored if you shared a bit of who you see when you look back and what you think your defining moment of change or encouragement was?
Always in Glitter,