“I felt alive there,” I told my friend on the phone. This is my real life friend who is also a blogger and a writer and “gets” my online and blogging life as well as the flesh and blood one.
“There, with all those people, I felt like I was free to be myself.”
“But it’s not real life,” she reminded me. And yes, I know that. It’s not real life. I agree.
She was there too. And she felt it. The zing of meeting new/old friends, the flash of brilliance as we all laugh at the same joke, the fire in our bellies as we talk about Jesus and who we all are in Him. It all made us feel so alive and comfortable in our flesh.
But I feel as alive in the pick-up line at my daughters’ school as I do when I’m sitting around a table with friends and wine. Helping with afternoon spelling words is as reality-based as listening to an amazing God-breathed speaker on a Saturday afternoon, and the dishes we do after dinner, my husband and I together, are as real as music played late into the night when the children are all sleeping.
So who am I?
Am I that girl? The girl who, in humble honesty, feels less-encumbered when my daughters are safely tucked into bed by grandparents miles away, and feels free to be who I was before I became a mother. Or am I the woman who runs a household (not well), cooks meals and makes sure the cat doesn’t vomit on anyone’s comforter. The woman who can’t go more than a few short days without seven-year-old arms around her neck.
If I’m honest I’m both.
And the older I get, and the more relationships I wade through the more I realize that I’m not two sided or two faced, I’m all-in-one.
Who am I? Henri Nouwen says that “One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.”
That’s making the assumption we know who we are in the first place. Here’s the thing: I think I’ve always known who I was but making peace with that is another issue altogether. I know I’m
Worried about what others think of me
But aside from that? I’m still figuring it all out. I’ll be 40 in a year and I still don’t fully understand my own heart. But then there’s the side of me that knows I am
And maybe that’s the who-am-I that I need to focus on. That’s the who-am-I that Nouwen might have been talking about. That will never change.
Beloved by God and cherished by Him; let me never forget that. As soon as I do, all the other who-am-I’s change. My world tilts and I forget it all. The dinner table with friends becomes stale and the putting children back to bed after nightmares becomes tiresome. I must remember who I am so that the other parts of me have a solid place to stand.
Home or away it doesn’t matter. As a mother, a wife, a friend, a companion, it doesn’t matter. I want to make a practice of remembering who I am.