Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Was NOT Born to Be a Housewife

I burn microwave bacon. I manage to ruin boiled eggs. I destroy ramen. I don't know how to use a washing machine. Washing dishes makes me gag. I forget to pack my own lunch. I leave the dog outside for too long. I can't fold bedding. I don't understand how to file taxes. I can't tie other people's shoes (let's keep in mind I learned to tie my own at a very late age). I try to do good deeds and they always backfire.

There are some things I just wasn't meant to do.

As simple as this statement is, so often I forget that some things I really just can't do. I'm not saying I can't get an A in geometry (which I somehow managed to do last quarter), but some things I'm just not meant to do. I can be on a Varsity volleyball team. I can go into medical school. I can study fashion design. I can publish a book. (I'm totally not rapping "I Can" by Nas right now.)

However, though I have the height for volleyball, I can't serve overhand and my best position is middle hitter. I also haven't played since seventh grade YMCA volleyball. While I could get into a pre-med program, I hate hospitals and have a serious lack of compassion for most sick people. While I can sew, I only do it when it's absolutely necessary (in fact, I am avoiding fixing like, five things right now). While I am an okay writer, it would kill me if anyone saw the personal things I write in my poetry and stories. Maybe I shared some of my stories with y'all in fifth grade, but... I write for different reasons now. All these things show me that even if I can do something, doesn't mean I'm meant to do it.

The problem is, so often I (like many others) tend to focus on the things I can't do. Math doesn't come naturally to me. I am a weakling in gym class. I'm definitely not going to be the class valedictorian. Even though all three of these things matter greatly to me.

I've always wanted to be the very best (cue the Pokemon theme song) at everything I do, even though I know that can't be possible. I've always blamed myself for coming out in second place (I've only placed first in 1st grade academic challenge and county cake decorating in 9th). I've dreamed of being valedictorian/salutatorian since I was very young, so I could prove to others that I can be smart. But obviously, I wasn't meant to do these things.

This reminds me of my favorite(ish) song from Fireflight's album For Those Who Wait, "All I Need to Be."

Tell me again that I am strong.
Tell me again that I won't fall.
I need You here to fix me where I'm wrong.
Take me beyond what I can see.
Break me,
Make me believe
That You have made me all I need to be.
Who I am is all I've got.
I can't be who I am not anymore.

I don't know what the actual meaning of this song is, but I guess I'll just write from my perspective. In my perspective, it's basically saying that it's time to stop dwelling on the past ("...leaving what's in the past behind") and what you're not ("I can't be who I am not anymore"). It's time to realize that who you are is all you have, and that's all you need. It's about believing that you were made the way you were supposed to be. About not looking to the right or left, but focusing on what you need to do.

This has been something I have struggled with, and to quote Fireflight again, "I know I'm not the only one." It's easy to focus on what's expected of me, or what I've tried and failed. After all, I'm human, aren't I?

It's easy to think the grass is greener on the other side of the street (which isn't true. The grass on my lawn is usually pretty green). This friend has higher grades than me. That friend is prettier than me. That person is ten times more competent than I am in (you fill in the blank). But what's important is focusing on what I was meant to be.

I clearly wasn't born to be a housewife (refer to first paragraph). I wasn't born to be a track star. I wasn't born to be a doctor. I wasn't born to be an author. I'm not supposed to be good at everything.

Everyone is different, and I should understand that, but clearly, I don't. A lot of people don't. As humans, we seem to measure ourselves based off what we've seen of others, to the point where we can't see our own strengths. We know that we are geared toward math and science, yet we feel untalented when around someone better at the arts. We know that we're introverted and sometimes shy, yet we feel the need to force ourselves to conform. If you don't struggle with this, yay for you. But for the rest of us...

Accept what you can't do, remember what you can. Like the old cliche goes: if it's meant to be, it will be. Stop dwelling on what could have been and remember what should be and has been. I'll never make the U.S. Olympic team, as much as I've wanted to since 2002. So. What. Gotta move on! Besides, there's so much more that I am meant to be, and I'm sure the same goes for you.

So, I wasn't born to be a housewife, but I am everything that I need to be, and at the end of the day, that is the only thing that matters.

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