Monday, June 27, 2011

I wish...

I wish I didn't care what other people think of me.
Of what I wear and don't wear.
Of what I read and write.
Of how I choose to live and refuse to live.

But I do care.
I care less now than I used to - and that's a good thing.
But I still care way more than I want to.

I worry what people will think of me if I curse or post a link to a blog with curses.
I worry what people will think of me when I say I don't go to church very often anymore.
I worry what other people will think when I say that I miss church sometimes.
I worry what people will think if I asked the questions that plague me at times.
I worry what other people will think if I stop asking those questions.
I worry that I worry so much about this stuff.
I wish I would stop all this worrying.

I read other people's blogs - about gardens and books and miracles and art journals and scrapbooking. I read about how great things are for them. Or how crappy. I read about how much they write and cook and work and sew and how many photos they take and books they publish every year. I read about the eradication of puppy mills and the creation of elephant sanctuaries and about how some people don't kill ants; they just usher them to the safety of the outdoors. I read about people's workout schedules and study schedules and travel schedules. I read about organic food and vegan food and processed food. I read about travel hacking and round-the-world-travel plans and how much of a difference they are making for orphans in Nepal or refugees from Rwanda or prisoners in Cuba.

And I wonder what I'm doing that makes a difference. What I'm doing that will matter in five or ten years. I wonder if I'm being positive or realistic or loving or honest or transparent enough. I wonder if I'm kind enough or gentle enough or loyal enough or faithful enough. I wonder if I'm waiting too long to live out my dreams or if I haven't waiting long enough. I wonder if I'm good enough, too good, bad enough, or too bad to be loved, accepted, forgiven, trusted, or taken seriously.

I wish this stuff didn't matter to me as much as it does. Most of the time, I keep all this worry and wondering and wishing in check. But sometimes, it's all I can think about. Some days the only question I ask myself is, "If anybody really knew me, knew what I think, what I don't think about, what I believe, and what I stopped believing years ago, what would they think of me?"

I recently read an anecdote from The World Domination Summit that took place a couple of weeks ago out west. Apparently, one woman stood up at the end of a session and said something like this:

"In my 20s, I worried a lot about what other people thought of me.
In my 40s, I stopped caring what other people thought of me.
In my 50s, I realized that nobody ever really thought that much about me at all."

I'm more than half way through my 40s; I've got a long way to go before I catch up with her.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

This made me smile! I worry the same! And ironically I spent half my morning trying to figure out how to kill the house ants in a nontoxic way-- so I laughed outloud about those ushering out the ants to safety:)!!! I think people's blog are snippets of seeming perfection, surrounded by this big, messy thing called life. Thank goodness for grace-- we are all so imperfect. And precisely bc of God's grace we are not judged, but forgiven. So don't worry about what anyone thinks-- bask in His mercy!

Thanks for sharing that!

It made my day.