Monday, October 10, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The Chicago Life
Bowl of Contradictions
If there's one thing I've really learned at college so far, it's that everyone is trying to "find themselves." Be it spiritually or academically, everybody is searching for "who they will be" in a few short years.
Throughout my years in Christian youth group, I heard one certain piece of advice given many times: be transparent. Be yourself around everyone. Don't mask who you really are. Just be you. So, good, I thought. Just be me. Just be Kait...And now I hear this same advice in my college ministry. Be yourself. But there's one rather significant problem: What if I don't know who the hell I am?
I can identify pieces of me. There's the volleyball player. There's the girl who likes to dance alone when her roommate leaves. There's the straight-A student. There's the has-been straight-A student crying, thinking, "How did I get a C on a paper? I can't get a C on a paper!" There's the child of God who loves to spend time with Him by the lake everyday. There's the rebellious girl that just needs to say a damn curse word once in a while. There's the messed-up college student who likes to go to bed and wake up early. There's the courageous spirit who wants to change the world. There's the restful soul that wants to stay buried in the covers and listen to Dashboard Confessional. There's a heart who longs to be artistic: to write or to draw. There's a mind that is terrified of failure. There's a woman who just longs to be held and kissed and called beautiful. There's a fear that that might not happen soon enough. There's a soul in anguish, of all these things jammed into one person.
So who's the "real me"? Who is this person that I should let shine through? I feel like all the contradictions inside just cloud my heart. I find it easy to pick parts of other people I'd like to emmulate. I'd love to have that person's thirst for knowledge and philosophy. It would be great to have that person's determination to succeed in a particular career. Man, that guy's got nice dance moves. That'd be sweet. But how much of that is really me, and how much is just who I long to be? What if I want to watch a chick-flick instead of an independant foreign film? What if I long to shop at Payless instead of the trendy downtown shops? (As if they have size 11's anyways...) I'm not being that person I strive to be! So who is this "real me?"
I know all the right answers. Everyone does. "Be whoever you feel most comfortable being." "Be who God wants you to be." "Just be." But maybe it's not that simple. Maybe the person I'm meant to be is going to be a little different everyday. Maybe one day I'll be striving to be an international ambassador, touching thousands of lives, and the next I'll just be excited to be a wife and mother. Maybe I'll want to write, or read, or think. Or maybe I'll just want to be silent and at peace. Yes. I am a white girl from Iowa who likes to listen to Kanye West. I'm a woman who cries both while reading Oedipus the King by Sophocles and while watching Jennifer Lopez romantic comedies.
So call me a bowl of contradictions. Call me a confused girl trying to "find herself." But come to think of it, I hope I never find myself. I hope I keep looking, and that I find something new everyday. This is my brilliant plan: When I go to be with God someday, He'll say, "I love you." I don't think He'll say, "I love that you read Leviticus even though, in my opinion, it's rather boring." I don't think He'll say, "I love that you got an A in that one class." I pray He'll say, "I love you." He knows the real me, even if I don't.