Blake gave me a Fitbit for my birthday last year. My friend, Deb and her husband, Matt have Fitbits too and wanted to be in a steps competition with me. Every week or weekend, you try to beat each other’s steps. It’s pretty fun and motivating. Except Matt said, “I can’t go against her. She’s a runner.” I thought, “Yes, he can. I’m not a runner.” I had just run my first half marathon and had run for a year. Why didn’t I believe I was a runner? I was! How come I didn’t consider myself a runner? (And for the record, he beats me all the time.)
I had been running four times a week for a year and had run quicker miles. I had run in negative 20 degrees and on hot and humid days, up and down hills and through mud. I had bought running leggings (never say never), a water fanny pack (oh, help). I had gotten up at 6 am to go running with a running club for goodness sake. My three year old pointed our runners on our drives around town. Blake had bought me fancy running socks and my brother in law, Chad had gifted me a running wrist pouch for my phone and car key. Of course, I was a runner! I was trying. I was working towards a goal. I was running all the time.
I don’t know why I have a hard time admitting when I am something. I can easily admit that I am a wife and mother. I can admit that I am a baker and reader. I love those things. They are my life. I have loved doing them since birth, I believe. But I think I have a hard time admitting when I am something different. It took my forever to admit that I was a writer. I had been writing my whole life, gone to college for writing, had some pieces published and had notebooks, journals and computers full of writing! I was afraid to admit that I was something I might fail at.
I might never get something published and get paid for it. (does it matter?) I might never run an eight minute mile. I might never have a book deal or run a full marathon. But I am striving. I am striving to do better at the talents God has given me. You can too. Call yourself what you are: painter, store owner, computer knower, DIYer, canoer, God lover, sourdough maker. You are those things because you have tried and accomplished and worked towards a goal.
My sister in law, Monica, said she wasn’t a writer and no way could she write about her husband’s unexpected death. But guess what? She is a writer! (So beautiful, you have to check it out.) And a wonderful one! She has a way with expressing feelings that are hard to understand and talk about. She has beautiful imagery and experience to go along with it. And she has courage. And I think we all just need a little courage to be what we want to be. And a little courage to admit when we are those things.