In four months, I will be celebrating my 48th birthday. It’s not one of the “big” birthdays. It’s a normal birthday celebrating 365 days with breath in my lungs. Sometimes the normal birthdays are more difficult than the milestones.
This year, in particular, I am more aware that my life is changing. My daughter will graduate from high school and I will be the mother of two college students. My vocation is changing, too. I’m leading a congregation, considering an additional staff member, and coaching other women in ministry. It reminds me that somewhere along the way I graduated from rookie to experienced. So why do I still feel like a rookie?
In the midst of decision making, someone recently said to me, “You be you.” It stopped me in mid-thought and made me laugh. You be you.
We try so hard to be anyone else but ourselves. In our 20s and 30s, we’re trying to find ourselves. Sometimes we’re trying to lose ourselves. Other times we’re trying to please everyone but ourselves. But in your 40s? In your 40s you finally realize you cannot run from yourself. Wherever you go, there you are.
This idea of “you be you” cannot mean the same at 30 as it does at 48. Too many things have happened to tell me it holds a different meaning now. At 48 I want to be me. Maybe because I’ve tried being so many other people and the clothes don’t fit.
Here I stand at the entry point of 2018 and the goal of being me. The real one; the one God intended me to be from the start. This me likes coffee and reading and deep thinking. This me wants to shape my world and occasionally be shaped by it. This me thinks we’re better together and that quiet time is good for the soul. This me wants you to share your innovative ideas and hear a few of mine. This me believes we need each other in community if we are going to be the person God intended us to be.
You be you. Yes. This is what I want to do in the coming year. Be authentic. I’m betting this is going to be harder than it sounds. But it cannot be a difficult as trying to be someone else.
Happy New Year! Wake up from your recliner and you be you!