Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Tension Between Who You are and Who You Could Be.

I use to have a small obsession with Switchfoot pre- A Walk to Remember. But this line of their song 'Dare You to Move' has always haunted me for lack of a better term. The last 3 years of my life, since graduating college, moving 17 hours south to Florida, buying a home, starting a career, etc have really kept me in this exact tension - between who I am now and who I could be. I always feel the burden of potential, that no matter how far I come I have farther left to go.

That sounds like I'm dogging myself, and I'm not really. For being 25 I've accomplished a great deal and by most people's standards I'm really ahead of my time. I'm young, hard working, and extremely self-motivated. But that doesn't mean I don't feel the weight of my potential to do more, be more, grow more. If you've watched me push those around me what you may not have seen is how much harder I push myself.

My Dad has always been the good kind of hard on me. He's always challenging me and spurring me onwards. But in one of my recent freak outs about how far I have to go in my learning he even said to me, 'Bekes, you're 25. You can't expect yourself to be where I am, 30 years later, right now. You're doing good and it's good to push yourself but growing up doesn't happen overnight'. I mulled that over in the days that followed and laughed a few times to myself about how right he is. I keep trying to jump 30 years to being as wise as my parents, without realizing it took them 50+ years to get there.

It's a delicate balance. As a social worker I find myself frustrated again and again by people who don't push themselves hard enough. They're always playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda game or the 'I wish' game, when I frequently bite my tongue not to say 'You could, you know'. But the truth is my extreme isn't necessarily any better or healthier.

I've been faced with some new challenges lately in multiple aspects of life and as I've tried to rise to them I've found myself in a weird funk. I was muscling through this with my Mom the other day and it occured to me - I'm back to where I was a few months ago on the phone with my Dad, in a process. One that can't be rushed through in one conversation, one day, or even perhaps one year. We'll call these 'growing pains'. As I stretch to meet new expectations, new life changes, and new opportunities I'm experiencing a new kind of growing pain, the pain of growing up.

It's not without great support, however, that I face these new additions. I feel very blessed by the wonderful people I'm surrounded with daily. You would be hard pressed to find anyone with as many cheerleaders as I have. From blog readers, to twitter followers, to best friends, family, and guy friends who treat me like a queen - I've got a corner full of encouragers. I am eternally grateful for good people and a gracious God.



Neely said...

You know where to come if you need some encouragement :)

Café Moka said...

This post just made my day. You write so well and what you wrote is so true.
Thanks for sharing.

Kendra said...

You are doing wonderful in your life. You can only be as best as you possibly can. You are such an inspiration . You are doing great things.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith said...

I've always been that way myself. I'm 27 and at times feel like I'm 37, but that's okay :)

Your dad is right - we have lots of time to figure everything out!