Fitting In Is Overrated: Reminding Yourself How Unique You Are
When I was a teenager and young college student, I felt inadequate. I wasn’t as skinny or athletic as other girls I knew. I didn’t catch the eyes of the boys around me and I certainly didn’t stand out in a crowd for anything but the glasses I was forced to wear thanks to my 20/50 vision. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends, and lots of them. I was a great student and got scholarships and awards. I just never felt like anything about me was special. I didn’t feel like I had much to offer.
As I continued through college and my early adult life, I became really good at telling myself how much I didn’t belong. I searched for worth in failed romantic relationships with guys who were totally wrong for me. My friends had all moved away and making new friends as an adult proved harder than I’d imagined. I felt like I knew who I really was as a person, but those thoughts persevered and somehow became fact to me: I just didn’t fit in. I wasn’t enough.
Now as an older and slightly more experienced adult, wife, and mom, I see the error in my thoughts. My inadequacies had nothing to do with who I actually was and everything to do with who I was told I should be. In my previous years, I allowed my weaknesses to overpower my thoughts about myself, while I only considered the strengths of others. I allowed myself to feel worthless and unimportant, overlooking my academic achievements and social success. What I had to offer was just never good enough…FOR ME.
What I failed to realize over those years is that I am an original. NO. ONE. IS. LIKE. ME. I am made in the perfect image of a perfect Creator and He takes pride in every single hair on my head. I have my grandmother’s sense of humor, my mother’s eyes, my father’s ankles (or lack thereof–thanks dad!). The body I felt failed me for being bigger than I desired helped me grow a beautiful baby girl. My outgoing and strong personality has helped me gain jobs and relationships. I am 100% me and no one else, and took years to see the beauty in that. Do I still have moments of doubt in myself? Insecurities? Abso-freakin-lutely! I am human and susceptible to the lies about me that the world tries to instill into my mind every single day. The difference is that now I refuse to let those thoughts in. I meet any moment of doubt with a moment of confidence. I have discovered that lessons in confidence can be obtained quite readily through the eyes of my toddler. When asked what she loves about me, she easily gives me a long list. I’m funny and pretty and I make good noodles. I snuggle her and buy her treats and I like ice cream like she does. Simple truths from the eyes of a child who has not felt the weight of what the world says a woman should and shouldn’t be.
So embrace your uniqueness, mama! Boast in your strengths, power and beauty. Surround yourself only with people who make you better and who realize all of the perfectly original things about you. God made you in His image and He wants you to see yourself through His eyes. Because of this, you are perfectly imperfect and exactly the way you should be. Find joy in that everyday and never, ever forget your worth.