My new friend Julian, mentioned me in his blog post last Thursday. It was a post about honesty and after being bestowed the honor of the mention, I am supposed to write ten honest things about myself. Well, I told Julian that I could not write ten in one post because I didn’t want to use up so much material in one day, but it did spark something in my mind. I had an Aha moment if you will. I finally admitted something to myself and have decided to admit it to all of you.
In Martha Beck’s book “Finding Your Own North Star” she talks about how we all have our “everybody.” These are the people whose standards we measure all of our decisions and behaviors by. At first I wasn’t sure if I had an “everybody” and who they were. But as I’ve been blogging I find myself quite often thinking things such as: Everybody will just hate this. Everybody’s going to think I’m crazy. Everybody’s going to be so offended. Everybody’s going to be shocked. Everybody is going to think I’m selfish. Everybody will most definitely be praying for me. Everybody will just stop reading now.
It was only today, after reading Julian’s honesty post that I faced the truth of who my “everybody” is. They are Mom, Dad, and my sisters. I’m 34 years old and have been states away from them for 11 years, but still at the end of the day, they are the only people whose opinions of me matter. Which leads me to the title of the post.
I am the black sheep of the family. Mom denies it (she thinks of it as having negative connotations), but it’s true. I was reminded of it on my last visit when I was gently nudged to put on make up. It was made clear at the bar-b-que, when the only thing my vegetarian diet allowed me to eat was the chips, cheese dip, and coleslaw. I see it when I discuss politics or voice my social and religious beliefs. I am aware of it when I admit I do believe in reincarnation and don’t believe in “the devil.” I knew it in 9th grade when the first boy I ever truly fell for happened to be black. I recognized it in college when I’d arrive home after a night of drinking. I was reminded when I got my first tattoo, and by the time this posts will probably be reminded after my second. When I kindly decline an invitation to go to the Baptist church, I feel it. I am certain it is true when I am asked if I am “saved” and told that none of the good I do matters unless I am.
I’d say to a degree I grew up feeling like an outcast, even though I wasn’t one in school. I always had a group of friends that I belonged with, I just didn’t always seem to fit in with the group that was most important to me. These days, I’m sure they pray for me everyday. I’m also pretty sure that they pray that one day I’ll come around and be someone different, someone more like them. What I pray for is that they will take the time to get to know ME and find themselves loving me instead of wishing I’d change.
As a final thought, I am sure that everybody’s going to get their feelings hurt, but I’m also pretty sure they’ll be learning something they didn’t know before. What I’ve put here is my perception of things. It may not be an accurate depiction, but it is mine and I needed to put it out there.