My mom and sister were/are amazing at all things crafts and home-making. When my sister was in high-school, she was hired to sew a wedding dress for a young lady, complete with thousands of ornate pearls on the bodice and skirt. I’m not kidding about this. She also sewed a long, black wool coat and matching wool dress for herself, along with plenty of other outfits and paraphernalia. My mom quilted, and sewed, and painted, and sketched, and decorated, and baked bread and cookies. These were the women in my life. My live-in Martha Stewarts—without all the negative connotations attached.
Me? I played basketball. And ran around climbing trees. I wore my hair in a ponytail. I liked to be loud. I liked to write.
My mom was an amazing lady. My sister is an amazing woman. And luckily, I wasn’t judged for my lack of interest (or capabilities) in crafts/baking by anyone in my family, especially not my female counterparts. However, it was inevitable—I wouldn’t leave this situation unscathed.
Somehow, I found myself looking around and wondering if my skill sets were enough. Am I enough? Can I contribute? Are my interests and gifts valid?
Unfortunately, human nature didn’t help me with this. As humans, we live in a perpetual state of comparison. It’s engrained in us because, once upon a time, it helped with survival. We had to think and categorize fast, in order to stay alive.
We still think and categorize in our modern society. Only now, all this does is bring awareness to the ways we’re different from each other. And then, we start pondering whether our differences are good, or bad, or neutral.
It took me a while, and I’m still learning, but I know now … it’s a neutral thing.
So why is this so hard for me to wrestle with? I know, face value, that some people are soft-spoken, some people are loud. Some people dress in jeans, some people wear trousers. Some eat breakfast. Some people skip breakfast. Some people work in an office. Some don’t.
We’re humans, we’re all different. I know this, right???
Some women love to cook. Some women love home décor and decorating. Some women love designing invitations. Heck, I even have a friend who loves folding fresh, warm laundry. (True story.) It’s because we’re made in a million different, beautiful ways. It’s a gorgeous thing—loving and being exactly who we we’re meant to be.
I just had to stop feeling guilty about not being all the things I wasn’t. I had to drop the shame associated with my healthy (and yet variety-lacking) dinners. I had to drop the shame associated with that stain I could not FOR THE LIFE OF ME get out of my son’s neon yellow sport shirt. (Okay, I only tried once, but still.) I had to drop the shame associated my non-handmade birthday invitations.
Other people love and thrive on things I don’t love and thrive on. My sister loves crafts. I start twitching the week before Valentine’s Day, because I know the yearly “Valentine’s box decoration time” for my elementary kids is coming up. But guess what? I have a friend who LIVES for this Valentine’s box decoration thing.
And it’s all okay. It’s not just okay. It’s beautiful.
Because it’s impossible to be all the “other” things, and be who we’re meant to be. And if we try, we short-change ourselves. Essentially, we short-change the world.
Because the world needs us just the way we are. With the gifts and skill-sets we were created with, not the ones that we struggle to acquire in order to deem ourselves “good-enough.”
So step up to the plate today. Valentine’s Day is a day of love. Love yourself—long enough and deep enough to appreciate all you have to offer and all that you are in the world.
I’m wishing you a VERY HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Yes, friends, The Golden Order book #2 in The Mod Code Series is available TODAY.
Find copies available on all platforms here.