Monday, December 30, 2019

What I Believe about Myself

Everyone has been feeling it and talking about it. We're entering not just a new year but a new decade. And it feels all the more significant of a turning point because it feels like the first separate decade of the new millennium. That was a big one, 1999 to 2000; I think that was the first year I stayed up until midnight. Then we were in the 2000's. Technically the 2010's followed, but "tens" doesn't have the same sound of separation as "twenties." You don't hear people talk about the 1910's much--they're more likely to say "around 1915" or "turn of the century." So this New Year's, we're leaving behind twenty years of turn of the century time and entering a new and separate decade.

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I don't see the point in making vague comments that you will never actually take steps to achieve, or in making a resolution simply because it's the time of year that people do it and not because you feel led to be making a new resolution. But as 2020 has been approaching, I have been looking at my life for the past ten years or so and looking at my life in 2019 and thinking about what I would like my life to look like in 2020 and beyond.

Who am I? Who do I want to be? What have I achieved? How did I achieve it? What would I like to achieve? What mistakes have I made? Why have I made them? How can I move forward to prevent making the same mistakes again?

All my life, there have been lies that I have believed. Much of it I didn't even realize until fairly recently. The world has always told me that I am quiet. And I am: I am soft-spoken and if you put me in a social situation with a group of people I will certainly be the silent one. But I'm also not quiet. I have plenty to say and a deep desire to share it. If you start a conversation one on one with me and ask me questions, I will answer them in detail. While I hated class presentations as much as the next person in middle school, in high school I soon started to like them. It was my chance, my opportunity to share who I was and all that I had prepared. I became good at them, too. (And, you know, the fact that I write blog posts and books is evidence that I want to share what I am thinking with other people.)

And so I use my voice. I'm a volunteer docent at the Rosson House, giving hour long guided tours. That is, I literally volunteer to talk to people I've never met before. My previous job had me talking to the public all day. My current job puts me a little more away from the public but also has me literally using my voice all day (doing dictation). When the world told me I was quiet, it was telling me I could not do these things. But I am doing them and I like doing them and I am good at doing them. So why did anyone ever tell me I was quiet? (There are other lies, too, but this is one that is easy to share.)

All of the little daily choices make up who we are. What I choose to do first thing when I wake up in the morning affects who I am. What I choose to do when I leave the house. What I choose to do when I get home at the end of the day. What I choose to watch. What I choose to eat. What I choose to say. What I choose to think. Who I choose to be with.

Somewhere in the last year or so, I forgot who I am. I am the daughter of the king of kings, the lord on high, the maker of heaven and earth, the living God. And that is where my identity stems from. I am whole and healed, not broken. He's the one who gave me a voice and something to say and the desire to speak it. So why do I ever listen to other declarations of who I am?

I want to live my life knowing who I am and turning my back on the lies.

In the 2020's, I want to live.

How about you?

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