Fair warning: this post may contain a mish mash of thoughts. I've neglected so many writing opportunities about my ideas and life situations lately that I feel as though they'll all come tumbling out, tripping over one another in an attempt to be heard.
I think I should start off by saying that I have not been myself this year. That might help in deciphering my newfound perspectives on things. I have watched myself struggle internal battles and become a weaker person. It's so strange to watch you tear yourself apart. Since the beginning of the year there was a shift -- a shift in my thinking and acting. I became a warped version of myself; a bitter, angry, resentful version. Well, to be honest, I'm still watching this warped version move about - not much has changed since this all started. But that's where I'm at.
I think I became stuck between different worlds, different Sophies. I've always been so concerned with what other people think about me. Always. It's something that's constantly on my mind. So, because of this, I found myself trying to meet multiple people's expectations - or maybe what I thought people expected of me. The problem lay in the fact that I was moving about in different worlds. I had my home life: working on my marriage, looking to move into a new home, financial issues, having a real world job and its problems. This is the life of an adult. At 24, I'm living the life of someone much older than myself and while I'm mature for my age and enjoy my home life, this life was met in battle with a new life I had embarked on: school life. This life consists of being around people my little sister and little brother's ages: three to six years younger than myself. Living at home or on res, not worrying about mortgage, car or insurance bills or wondering what benefits your job will cover. Looking to meet someone, not having been married for four years and with that same person for seven. Not working through the ups and downs of married life, let alone the real world in general. Cruising through life with papers on their minds, concerts to go to and what new tom toms or moccs to buy.
And so, this is where all of my Sophies came to a head. I was trying to be more than the one true Sophie. I was trying to be a kid at school and an adult at home and in the end I couldn't straighten out what to be and where. I couldn't balance it out. Even those people who are closer to my age at school appear to live the lifestyle of the younger students. Living in apartments with friends, hanging out at coffee shops and thinking about getting the school day over with to chill. I tried to mix in with people whose music tastes are different from my own, whose hobbies and thoughts are different from my own but the more I tried to accommodate to this lifestyle or the opposite lifestyle of the super old adult; the more I lost myself. And I think in an effort to protect myself, I shut down. I stopped caring about what other people thought, which is something I don't think I've ever done. I started posting my true inner thoughts on social media outlets and stomping around school and home. Having multiple break downs - crying at the smallest of things, like burning an egg or not being able to open a can of soup (yes, this happened yesterday - don't judge!). I felt... I feel... so miserable trying to please everyone that I stopped. But the person I became was a very ugly person. Self-absorbed, self-deprecating, angry, annoyed, unhappy. And I should've recognized this. When you're crying over a burnt egg, you're never really crying over a burnt egg.
I'm still struggling with getting back to the true Sophie, but I'm starting to realize that I needed this breakdown to get to the real me. I've always run away from confrontation, I hate it. If anyone crossed my path that I didn't agree with, I'd fake it or avoid them. But after trying to get on everyone's good side, it became too much. I overloaded myself with expectations I couldn't or didn't want to meet. This breakdown showed me that I need to be me, in all my messy glory. I need to like what I like, do what I enjoy to do, believe what I believe and not let anyone interfere with my happiness. For anything. How can I enjoy life if I'm not doing what I'm meant to do? How can I help other people if I don't even know how to be me?
One of my classes this semester has me writing questions about the books I have to read in the Bible. At first I thought this was a waste of time (as are most of the things in this class) but as I started, I realized something profound. By asking honest, truthful, hard hitting questions about God and his Word and the people he wanted me to know about -- the more I felt closer and more content in my relationship with Him. I've never known anything like that. Christianity always seemed to me as having cookie cutter standards. Everyone believes the same thing, the same way and if you think even the slightest thing other than that generic standard then you've somehow lost your footing on the path. Better get your map back out and try again. But I don't know about that anymore. When something doesn't make sense to me about God: he's actions, when people change his mind or he forgets something (yes, forgets -- as people like Moses have to point out what he promised in order to get him to hold up his end of the bargain) and I ask those questions, I feel content. I don't even need an answer to the questions. Just asking the question and wondering why allows for this feeling of peace to rise up in me and solidify that God cannot be put into a box. He is who he is, just as I am who I am. Who am I to tell God that he shouldn't do this or he can't do that? But by breaking out of this standard form of beliefs, I feel free in my relationship with him to figure out who he really is and not just who the man behind the pulpit tells me he is. And in the same way, I learn things about myself. I cannot be put into a box. I am not just a student in a school, or a wife to her husband or an employee. I am a strong, adventurous, caring, loyal, vulnerable woman who strives to do things that others only dare dream about. I cannot be split into multiples, I cannot be boxed into a corner and I think that stems from the one who made me. There is no other like Him. He is one God, he is expansive and loving and caring and dares to move those to do the impossible.
I am made in the image of God and there is nothing more beautiful than being me and all that that contains.