Monday, October 26, 2015

good-bye to sorry

You know that childhood take-the-world-by-storm audacity we had once upon a time? The say-what's-on-my-mind, do-what-I'm-gonna-do, no-friends-left-behind, sing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-even-when-everyone's-looking kind of audacity. The unapologetically living kind of audacity. I miss it.

I think it was when I got married that I started to doubt my identity. Up until then, I was a poster child. But when I said "I do," my poster fell off the wall. As much as I loved my husband, I felt much of the world was telling me I was too young to get married. That I was throwing my youth away, giving up my glory years. And I did something I'd never done before: I hung my head in shame and apologized for my "mistake."

Not that I'd never done that before; but I'd never done something with complete confidence and peace, even with others looking on with disapproval, only to retreat in defeat thereafter. They said I was too young. I believed them. And then I started living apologetically.

Traces of shame have followed me around since. I got married too young. Had my first baby too young--oh, and my second, too (and they'll probably think that when the third comes around!). Along with apologetic living came self-doubt. I started to think most people looked down on me, thought the lowest of me. What was I doing starting a family in college? Why was I rushing into life?

Self-doubt sucked the life out of my life. Life was less vibrant, less enjoyable, less rich. It was filled with bitterness and worry. Apologetic living killed my joy and made me a slave to myself: I became consumed with fixing my life. I stopped thinking about others. I forgot that God wasn't only interested in me, that he had an entire world he cared about. The entirety of my life shrunk until it only revolved around me and what I thought was important. And trust me, that world is teeny tiny.

Just this week I've realized (and accepted) that I've been living apologetically. Apologizing for making the right decisions at the wrong time. Apologizing for the blessings I've received (who does that?!). And then apologizing for apologizing for it all (I'm not sure why I didn't get sick of how annoying I was earlier).

Today I stop apologizing for the good things that fill my life. Today I say what's on my mind, do what I'm gonna do, leave no friends behind, and sing at the top of my lungs. Today I rediscover that childhood audacity that dives right into life and takes it by storm. I'm not going to miss it. I'm going to live it.