My entire life I have heard that at around age twenty-two you wake up one day and realize that you’ve finally figured out who you are. Well, that happened to me.
I didn’t even know I was on a journey to “find myself,” a term that’s always made me cringe anyways. It’s not even that all of a sudden I am a totally different person. I feel like I am more “me” than I have ever been. Actually, I feel like I did when I was 12. In my childhood innocence, I was much wiser at 12 than I was at 18. The only difference now is that I have a few more years of experience on my side. Let me tell you, ages 14 to 20 are ROUGH years. At least they were for me. Although truly good years, they were laced with heartbreak after self-inflicted heartbreak, procrastination of Olympic caliber, and my mother NEVER understood me. Ever. I was just sure of it. (Disclaimer: I was SO wrong!)
I’ve never been much of a wayward soul. I’ve always had at least some sense of where I came from, what I wanted out of life, and what I believed and why. But between puberty goggles, senioritis, and young love, I definitely lost bits of myself along the way.
I don’t know what changed, and I don’t know why, but something has clicked this week and I’m so thankful. It’s the second time in my life where I know without a shadow of a doubt that God reached into my soul in spite of myself and rewired my circuits. What grace. I know there are scientific explanations for this phenomenon as well, but even that points back to His design.
I’ll just list 5 of those re-wired circuits:
1. My fashion sense called a meeting to regroup. The last few years I’ve been going through this “try to be boho-chic” phase, partly induced by the fact that I now live on a tropical island teaming with free-spirited surfers, yogis, and middle-eastern-inspired hippies. I wanted to rock “shag and free” so badly, but as you might be able to tell from my excessive use of quotation marks in this post, I’m more than a little bit over cliche’s. (P.S. For all of you boho, yogi hippies, I am in no way calling you a cliche! Some people are truly wired that way, and thankfully we are not all clones and robots. However, the cliche became ME when I was trying to be YOU, because there simply are and were aspects of you that I found inspiring.) Here is my point. If you’d have asked me when I was 12 what my fashion style was, I’d have used words like classy, semi-professional, and relaxed. Even if at that point I was still running around in overall’s and muck boots. The reality is that I never stopped using those words to describe myself, but there was some sort of disconnect between my psyche and my closet. In the end, my 12-year-old self was right. If I could live in a Boden or an Ann Taylor catalog, I’d be thrilled. (Side note: Why is it SO EXPENSIVE to dress like that?! Thank goodness for the occasional gold mine finds at TJ Max and Ross!)
2. I unfollowed 300+ people on Instagram. Don’t worry, I didn’t unfollow any of you! To be perfectly candid, a lot of it was for moral quality control to eliminate accounts that represent lifestyles and worldviews that were slowly eating my soul rather than satisfying and uplifting it. My Instagram feed has become a much more beautiful and peaceful place as a result.
3. I desire contentment and spiritual strength more than ever. My own pride has become painfully evident to me over the last few weeks. I am also watching the world fall apart and have an overwhelming and intense desire to be led to and rooted in the Rock that is higher than I. Also, my dehydrated heart has been begging to be bathed in music. Peaceful music. I’ve really been enjoying Andrew Peterson, Chris Rice, Paul Baloche, Matt Maher, Laura Story, Audrey Assad, and Steven Curtis Chapman lately. Music that connects me to the Source. On that note, I was in a frenzy trying to turn on my curling iron this morning when I realized it wasn’t plugged in (i.e. connected). I had a real aha moment. A heavy and beautiful epiphany.
4. I want a baby!? We’ll just leave it at that… no surprise to anyone who knows me. But I also am deeply jealous of my sleep, so I’ll just keep enjoying that current luxury.
5. I chopped my hair off! I remember just agonizing over my short hair as a kid, willing my hair to grow faster or to be thicker, all to no avail. It wasn’t until I turned 20 that I was finally able to achieve the long locks I’d always dreamed of, and was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of having long hair for my wedding. But part of the awakening happened when I realized that 1) I was no longer wearing my hair, it was wearing me, and 2) that while I truly loved having long hair, I was subconsciously trying to satisfy some unspoken standard I had placed on myself as to who I thought I should be. If time lasts, I’m sure I’ll have long hair again someday. But I don’t want to be unhappy in my own skin anymore. And I want every cell in my body to live only for Christ.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Philippians 3:12 ESV