In Others’ Words: Be Happy

Be Quote Erasmus 11.4.13

This past weekend, I listened to a radio broadcaster chat with a middle-schooler — asking the typical “What do you want to be when you grow up?” questions.

Where do you want to go to college?

What do you want to study?

What kind of engineer do you want to be? (This, after the kid finally said he thought — maybe — he’d study engineering.)

I don’t know how the kid being grilled felt, but I was frustrated. I wanted to tell Mr. Broadcaster to leave the still-discovering-who-he-was-kid alone. To let him be with not having all the answers.

Yes, in time, this young man will grow up. Pursue his dreams. Become who he is meant to be. That’s what life is about. But right now he’s still wondering. Still dreaming.

Sometimes it is okay to not know who you are.

And then there comes the season in life — brought on by a crisis or a celebration — when you stand up and embrace who you are. Strengths. Weaknesses. Dreams. Disappointments. All of it.

All of you.

And there’s an unquenchable  joy in recognizing who you are for the first time.

In Your Words: When are you most you? And when did you first look in the mirror and recognize the “you” that God meant you to be? 

 

Happiness: Being Willing to Be Who You Are Click to Tweet 

Embracing Who You Are Click to Tweet 

Are We Happy Yet?  You, Me & Identity Click to Tweet 

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20 Comments

  1. November 4, 2013, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    My first thought about that broadcaster is that he must not have had kids. 😉 I got frustrated just READING that interview.

    For me, I saw glimpses of who I am in my teens, but I usually stuffed them down, trying to be who others indicated I should be. This probably sounds sad, but it took me until my forties to truly, fully embrace who I am, and who I am becoming. To let go of what others thought I should be like and be comfortable with who God made me to be.

    • November 4, 2013, 10:23 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne:
      I think many, many people (me included) go the “Who am I expected to be” route for far too long. It’s so freeing to finally embrace who am I — me, myself — and God.

  2. November 4, 2013, 7:46 am   /  Reply

    Have to echo your frustration with the interviewer. I feel like schools more and more try to direct kids down career paths so ridiculously early now. Thing is, while I was kind of a lucky kid in that I pretty much always knew what I wanted to “do,” what we do isn’t the same as who we are. And we only feed that misconception–that our career or accomplishments or lack thereof define us–by trying to pin kids down into a career too early. And then it just gets that much more confusing for people when careers/accomplishments/successes don’t fulfill them.

    Sidenote rant over. 🙂 As for when I remember looking in the mirror and recognizing the “me” God meant me to be…I’d say there have been a few pivotal moments like that. I especially remember a couple moments like that in London…it was definitely a season of spiritual awakening for me. Also, that very first Storycrafters Retreat…and speaking at ACFW last year. Both those experiences were, “Whoa, this is me” moments.

    • November 4, 2013, 10:25 am   /  Reply

      Don’t you just love the “Whoa, this is me” moments?
      I remember sitting in a writers conference and hearing the speaker urge attendees to be brave enough to pursue their dreams. Tears streamed down my face because I realized I was. I was pursuing my dreams — and achieving some of them. Such JOY!

  3. November 4, 2013, 7:58 am   /  Reply

    I think it was when I realized that, in spite of a life that was largely unpleasant, I wouldn’t change it, recognizing that to eliminate the bad from the past I’d have to sacrifice the good of the present on that same altar.

    • November 4, 2013, 10:25 am   /  Reply

      You are so wise, Andrew. I value your insights.

  4. November 4, 2013, 8:28 am   /  Reply

    Thank you for this, Beth. I so believe we should be authentically who God created us to be. True freedom is being who you are, regardless of what the world thinks of it. I appreciate this quote… and you, my friend.

    • November 4, 2013, 10:26 am   /  Reply

      I appreciate you too, Reba — and how you cheer others on as they pursue their dreams — and their identity!

  5. November 4, 2013, 10:08 am   /  Reply

    In 3rd grade I started writing fun stories in verse and enjoyed the acclaim of my classmates. In 6th grade I finished my work fast so when lower-grade teachers had to leave work early for doctors, dentists, business, they put me in charge of those classrooms. I did great and loved it. Both experiences formed what I wanted to do and be–still at it 🙂

    • November 4, 2013, 10:35 am   /  Reply

      Dee:
      Why does it not surprise me that you knew at an early age who you were and what you were going to be?
      Oh the places … oh the people …

      🙂

  6. November 4, 2013, 10:57 am   /  Reply

    I’m most me when I’m with people who get me. When I have to be around people who are friendLY, but aren’t my friends, I find myself worn out with all that behaving, and usage of manners, etc. But when I’m with people who like me, in spite of knowing me, then I cut away the bonds of expectation and just Jennifer them all to bits.
    I have been told, occasionally, that I can be somewhat humourous. Which is good, because I have the attention span of a badly injured gnat and often find myself tied in knots just trying to get through the sermon. So, making people smile has been helpful in getting myself, and my cohorts, out of trouble.

  7. November 4, 2013, 1:48 pm   /  Reply

    I’d have been frustrated too. I walked around my Freshman orientation weekend at college wearing a name badge that also read, Undecided. 🙂
    I am most me when I’m with my family.

    • November 4, 2013, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

      Coleen:
      I knew I liked you.
      Know I know that I know that I know.

  8. November 4, 2013, 1:48 pm   /  Reply

    “… just Jennifer them all to bits.”

    Oh, I love that.

    Love you.

    See you soon!

  9. November 4, 2013, 4:43 pm   /  Reply

    I wanted to be a cowboy when I was a kid. Heck. I still want to be a cowboy. While that isn’t feasible at my advanced age, I guess I’ll just have to settle for writing myself into a western. That aside, I remember the first time I really saw my worth as God saw me. I had started making silk flowers as I looked at one of them, I realized that I had created something that was incredibly beautiful. And if I could do that, I could do anything.

    • November 5, 2013, 6:05 pm   /  Reply

      Creating one thing of beauty expanded the view of your potential … I like that.

  10. November 5, 2013, 8:24 am   /  Reply

    Really, a middle-schooler? I’m still figuring out what I want to be. I do know I don’t want to be an engineer … I’m doing this by process of elimination.

    I’ve talked this week with two friends who are about my age and both said the exact same words, “I reinvent myself every few years.” When I hear something more than once, I pay close attention, but I’m sticking with no engineering. 🙂

    Love your posts, Beth.

    • November 5, 2013, 6:04 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Kim.
      And I like the idea of reinventing myself … there’s freedom in that.

  11. November 5, 2013, 9:48 am   /  Reply

    For me, there’s always, in the background, a sense of how deep my potential runs — it seems so vast that no particular role or category in this world can hold it. I suspect a lot of other people have a similar, visceral experience of what they’re capable of, which may be hard to translate into words. I only really started acknowledging that fact a few years ago, and pushing to do whatever I can to honor what I’ve been given.

    • November 5, 2013, 6:05 pm   /  Reply

      I like the idea of honoring what we’ve been given. Beautiful thought, Chris.

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