Monday, September 30, 2013

Intimidation-That's the Situation

Would you say this blanket statement is true? We are all intimidated by someone or something or some situation? 

I know I am.

Interestingly enough, the BFF told me last fall that I am an intimidating person. Which was a shocker to me. Really. I am confident and bold and have no problem sticking to my guns on what I believe. I have the ability to accomplish a lot because one of my strengths is being disciplined (and one of my weaknesses is being strong willed). But, I never saw these things as being able to intimidate anyone, because everyone else has strengths and weaknesses too.

My goal is to inspire and encourage, not intimidate. I remember a lot of my friends using this adjective to describe my dad as we were growing up. It created a bubble of awe around him, but very few friends. I'd rather have friendships and mutual inspiration and appreciation than a bubble of myself by myself...

I am going to a blogging conference in October. This does not intimidate me. I am going in order to learn. I am going in order to meet people and to form friendships. I am not intimidated by the bigger names or blogs represented. We are all just trying to be faithful to our God, our call and our readers.

I am somewhat intimidated at races by the gear and pre-race chatter. People who look and sound like they got their act together, lining up with the fast pacers. I feel like a poser and a slow one at that.

I am intimidated by my FB messaging inbox. Not the scope of unanswered emails, but the little number that indicates there is a waiting message. I wonder what is awaiting me there.

Sometimes the things we are intimidated by are rather irrational. Like my FB inbox. I have had so many good conversations and only a handful of bad ones, and yet I get heart palpitations every time I see a message from someone out of the ordinary.

Right now, today, I am feeling intimidated. And not only by my half marathon on Saturday.

It is rather junior high-ish and irrational, but I am intimidated because I am attending my cousin's wedding this weekend.

I am intimidated because it has been 6-1/2 years and two babies since I have seen my extended family.
I am intimidated because I was home schooled and didn't go on to college, and most of my cousins and family are college educated. I don't measure up.
I am intimidated because I don't have a job, and never have. I am not a professional.
I am intimidated because I have 4 kids. Does that make me seem like a baby making factory?
I am intimidated because I was always in the buxom branch versus the willowy branch of the family. I always have been bigger.
I am intimidated because they are all Catholic and we aren't. I don't know their customs and quirks.
I am intimidated because they all live in one city and we live about 40 minutes away. I am literally an outsider.
I am intimidated because they were all athletic and smart and accomplished growing up, and I was just...not.

I want to appear to the best advantage possible. Like I am a successful person thrilled with my lot. That even though I never have fit in with their crowd or their history, I am a great person. I have a life. Like I am skinny and beautiful and athletic and successful and_______.

I am painting my nails and plucking my brows. Picking the dress that accents my best features to the best degree and plays down my baby belly. I am picking out my accessories and shining my shoes.

Honestly, it is almost as if I want to be intimidating. I want to look like I have it all together.


Kind of ridiculous. Definitely a bit ugly. And way too needy for my liking.

A very tumultuous heart hiding behind the calm and collected exterior.

*I'm back, it's Sunday afternoon and the wedding is done. So what did I do?

Well, I still painted my nails and plucked my brows. But, more than that, I armed myself with a big smile and I survived. I questioned and listened and chatted and renewed connections. I had fun. I (re)learned that the important things to do are to...

Be friendly. Reach out. Let go of externals. Have fun. Stop counting score. Just love.