So I went to see X Men First Class night and it really was excellent. Not just as a big budget summer picture or a superhero flick, but genuinely a good movie. It's pretty incredibly realize and breaks down that struggle for validation, acceptance, purpose in some pretty incredibly meaningful way. There are so many great moments throughout the film (Fassbender in Argentina?!... intensity!) but there was one sort of throw away moment that hit me like a sock full of nickels. One of the character says to another character (paraphrase) "you'll never reach your full potential if you're spending half your energy on hiding who you are." I really wish that statement didn't apply to me as much as it does.
Man I'm a chameleon.
I'm doing way better at this, but the better part of my post high school years has been spent on trying to be the person that will be most accepted by those around me. Truth is it takes a lot of energy and there's a certain fear that's carried that eventually you'll be found out for who you are. But still I find myself trying to play the hipster, the jock, the spiritualist, the responsible adult, the wisecrack. Now these are all parts of who I am, but none of them fully encapsulate who I am.
This past year was the year of saying no for me. I made a decision that I would intentionally say no to anything that I didn't want to do/didn't feel let to do. This was kind of a big step. What was interesting about this process was that what remained after the dust settled really said a lot about who I am. And I really like that person. That awkward, dysfunctional, emotive, overly sensitive, goofy, spastic, creative, weird person. But just being okay with that person isn't enough. The point I'm at is actually learning to enjoy being that person actively. To not wish that parts were different, that I finally settled down, that my career or education were at a different point, that my group of friends would look or act a certain way, that my ministry would have a particular identity. The step now for me is to really own the life I've been given and to really enjoy being myself in it. It's a crazy thing to realize you don't have to change for anyone or prove yourself to anyone. It's a bit crazier to actually live that way.
I was talking to my little brother the other day and we were joking that the theme of the summer was danger and excellence. It was a joke and I was basically just riffing on Year One which was a horrible movie, but had some funny lines. But it's pretty true that I really want to stop caring what people think and using all the gifts I've been given to their utmost potential (excellence) and I want to be bold enough to live in a way that says that the outcome is not as important as being genuine (danger). I think it's going to be pretty epic.
I know this has been something of a recurring theme in my life, but I think I'm finally getting to the point where I'm learning to really enjoy where I'm at and who I am. To really appreciate the relationships, the opportunities, the adventures I've been given. I'm pretty amped for that.