That’s just me.
What if I am just a regular person?
And I don’t want to soar and strive.
Everyone keeps saying GO GO GO
and my heart and mind keep saying
NO NO NO. Your ok as you are.
Maybe I am content with the day to day.
What if creating goals beyond my reach
makes me feel inadequate.
What if saying ‘I love you’ to myself in the mirror
feels irrelevant – you mean, I don’t?
I didn’t know that until you told me.
What if I don’t have a great need to fill for myself
or a need to fulfill for the world.
Does that make me a bad person?
Does everyone need to be great?
Maybe the not-so-great people make the world go round.
Perhaps all the cheerleaders who say BE all you can be
need to stop trying so hard to convince me.
I alternate between feeling connected and not,
but that seems pretty normal to me.
Why is everyone trying to sell everyone else
on being better all the time? Who made up these rules?
Maybe they are trying to sell me something
I don’t need, and if I listen, I will think I do.
I don’t mind you if you need it
as long as you don’t mind if I don’t.
I will make my own way based on how I feel.
Not what others say I should be.
That’s just me.
Do you ever feel like this? Like the drive drive drive-ness to BE and BECOME is a continual pressure to be more than you are? I think the above message speaks to a lot of us – even those of us who are reaching beyond our comfort zones. I know I reach all the time. But. There is a difference for me, that took me a while to figure out.
After a certain point in my life, I was able to tune out a lot of the pressure from outside voices to be “more” than I am. Even for high achievers there is a always more that is expected of you. People would ask me if I am ‘doing my best’ – and I started to have an attitude about it and say – I only do my best for my mom, my husband and God. Not for some idea of what best is that someone else created. Arriving here was a journey – as since early teens we are called to be ‘best’. Boring. Muses only want to be who they are not best.
I have an strange early memory that I think of often. I was about 8 years old and I was friends with a popular girl, Cheryl Gwin, and on one hand she worked hard at it, while it was effortless at the same time – interesting. I could see how much she had going on, and I liked her style. At the time I lived in a ghetto and she lived in a nice house. My personal style hadn’t come in all the way yet, and she was already in her fashion mode. I remember one day she took a huge piece of chalk and wrote, Cheryl is #1 on the street. (Thinking back, wow, early ego stuff huh?) I remember my thoughts as she handed me the chalk…
Am I #2 then? I could just not write. But I don’t want to miss out. She handed me the chalk, that means I am included. What am I supposed to do? I want to play but is it ok to be number 2 or can there be 2 #1’s or why is there a number? Should I just write my name HUGE on this street?
Her letters were about 15 inches tall!
I hesitated and then went ahead and did it, put myself in second place. I remember it as if it was yesterday, I can smell the chalk and the blacktop. I have been unpacking that memory all this time. I revisit my choices. My surrender to be next to someone who had more going on than I did, that’s ok right? And yes it is. My decision to be second, do I keep playing that out still? And yes I often do and is that ok? Yes it is. Is it ok not to be the best or to be #1? Yes it is, in fact, being at the top takes pressure I don’t want. What do I want?
Just to be in relationships where I can be myself. With others, with myself, and with the Divine. Then I can thrive as I am.
Not long after that incident some girls picked a fight with me, and I was on roller skates and had pigtales. One girl pulled my braids, they were girls from my ghetto and boys too. I was scared and felt threatened. So I swung and hit one – which scared her. And as the crowd dispersed I skated home, freaked out to have done violence but also felt I defended myself. About a half hour later, a neighborhood boy who was there brought me his leather jacket, a reward for my bravery. Our mom’s made me give it back after 3 days, but that leather jacket meant something for me, I can smell the leather. I slept with it a few nights. I may be ok being lower on the totem pole but I may fight back if pushed wrongly. That’s ok with me.
I live in a place where there is no higher and lower – just a place of mutual sharing, with all of us having different gifts – but I still think of Cheryl, my early teacher in humility and choice.
Today, I am here with my little sister Laurel having cafe in Calistoga with her 8 month old baby, Sebastian, having the most sweet normal day in the world. Not needing anything to be different than it is.
I wanted to say hello and send you some love for you being you – as perhaps you are just a regular person too.
There are lots of changes and classes coming up, that I will share with you in the next few days, for now, a sip from my cup to yours.
Have a beautiful weekend,