Thursday, November 14, 2013

Be Yourself

I have two great desires in life.  Two desires that conflict with each other greatly.  Two desires that keep me from living fully in either. 

I long with every fiber of my being to make a difference in the world.  I want to be known deeply, to my core.  As my profile says, I want to leave a legacy rather than a memory.  I want people to hear my name and smile.  I want to change the world.

I also long to be invisible.  I don't want recognition.  I don't want to stand out.  I don't want to be known as anyone other than the lady who smiled at the cashier or held the door for the person with their hands full. 

I get a writing prompt that says, "Be Yourself" but sometimes I don't know what that actually means.  Sometimes I'm not sure which me will show up. 

My boss dropped this book off on my desk yesterday.

This book includes an online test that helps to identify your strengths.  She said there was no rush, we won't go over the results until early January.  I am both thrilled and terrified.  I LOVE with a distinct passion getting into people's heads.  Not in a bad way, mind you.  I just love knowing why people behave the way they do.  I want to know their stories, I want to know what drives them.  I want to know the same about me. 

I love doing personality tests.  I'm the girl who actually answers all of the questions in the magazine surveys.  I love knowing how I think and how I relate to the world around me.  So I am excited and thrilled to get started.  I'm terrified though.  My boss wants to know what makes me tick, how I think, how I relate to the world around me as well. And that brings it to a whole new level.

Telling someone else my strengths leaves me vulnerable to people knowing that I don't fully live my life.  I'm giving someone else the key to my head.  I'm telling someone else what strengths I have that I hide.  What if I actually have to use them?  What if I actually have to live in the present and stop being afraid?

What if you're reading this and thinking that I'm crazy for not wanting to open up those strengths to those around me?  See this forces me out of the desire to remain invisible.  This forces me to be the terrified girl who wants to change the world and is afraid I can't, that my story won't make a difference.  This takes me away from the comfort of being invisible and means that someone else knows me. 

What does that look like?  What if it doesn't matter?  What if I don't matter?  What if these dreams of changing the world are just that, dreams?  What if they are unreachable dreams?  What if they are foolish dreams?  What if I have to start sharing myself with the world?  It's a scary thought.  It makes me long for invisibility even more so.  It brings me to dark places in my head that tell me that if I don't try then I cannot fail. 

And I find myself on the verge of not caring if I fail because it means getting out of my self-imposed cage.  I'm not quite there yet.  I'm still afraid to fly from my cage, I'm still afraid I will miss my anonymity and my ability to be invisible when I desire to.  But sometimes the view out there looks almost beautiful enough to make me want to try it.

* This post is part of Faith JAM, where every Thursday Bonnie Gray from Faith Barista gives a writing prompt.  Today's prompt was "Be Yourself".  I've done a guest post for someone before and I did a post for MOPS International but this is the first time I've ever linked my blog on something like this.  I've been challenged to share my writing more and I felt like this was a good starting place. *


Bonnie Gray said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. Dawn. I wish everyone could read your words. I can hear your voice. I can hear *you*. And yes, I would feel the same way as you if my boss told me to do Strengths Finder with him/her! :) I also do ALL the personality surveys in the magazines too. :) You are already there. Sharing your story, releasing it into the world in this post. I can't wait to hear what you find out. Because it's already true. All those strengths God placed in you aren't going away. It's in you. Thanks for stepping out to add your voice to the Faith Jam. I feel so honored you shared it.

Dawn said...

Thank you Bonnie. I'm honored that you took the time to read this and see my heart.