Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am me. I am okay.

There was this poster that hung in my ninth grade English teacher's classroom.  I used to read the bold print over and over. 

It was a motivational posted with a white background and colored letters.  The big, bold, print said:  I AM ME.  I AM OKAY.

There was a bunch of stuff that I can't really remember completely in the middle.  I don't really think it was all that important.  I mean...catchy and "motivational", but not all that important in that I don't remember it.

I even purchased the very same print for my very own classroom when I taught ninth grade English.  I still don't remember all of the rest of the saying - but I AM ME.  I AM OKAY. was important.  Was prominent.  Stuck with me.

It's been awhile since I've analyzed how I feel about me.  Where I am and who I'm becoming.  It's good to take the time to step back.  To look at yourself through a new lens.  To think about where you've come from and perhaps where you're headed.  Retrace footsteps.  Dust some of them out.  Lay new ones.  Change direction. 

Thinking about has me thinking about that poster from Mr. Danel's room. 

There was a day when our class was especially rowdy and he went to the blackboard where the poster was hanging and he put his forehead against the poster and pounded the bolded words with his index finger in his frustration:  I AM ME.  I AM OKAY.  Poignant. 

There are times when we all do things that aren't so right.  Things that don't sit well with our souls and things for which we end up having to simply ask forgiveness.  And there are times when you look at yourself and you think - hey...I really AM okay.

In the past, those have been sort of rare times for me.  I've always been a little unsure.  I've always had these goals I thought were unreachable.  I've always felt I needed to carve out more space and more time and be more and do more and push farther and do and do and do and give and give and reach and reach and pray and pray and self mutilate and self-hate and talk down to the person inside me who wasn't making the cut right now.

Maybe it's that I'm thirty, and finally able to articulate that without thinking about it.

Maybe it's that we're unschooling now, and I feel peace about that decision.

Maybe it's that I've given up on my wander-lust and have decided that I really just need to trust that God is in control, and I am not.

Maybe it's because I'm finding friends and learning how to be a better one.

Today I was outside with my kids and my daughter told me to draw a picture of myself with sidewalk chalk.  I wasn't sure what I would see when it was finished.  Sometimes in my self-portraits I find myself looking just a little sad. 

Today...there was...yes I see it...just the hint of a smile.

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