Growing up I was always different. More often than not, it was a burden. Even in my difference, I was human. I wanted to fit in just like everyone else.
It makes absolutely no sense that a young girl growing up on a 238 square mile Caribbean would have an affinity for turtlenecks and long sleeved shirts. Then there was the issue of me NEVER being “feminine” enough. I didn’t enjoy cooking, gardening or all the other stuff that most girls enjoyed. I love me a pair of pants and even though I loved a gorgeous dress and would wear the hell out of one when the occasion called for it, it was clear that I would never fit in.
There were times when people called my sexuality into question and it hurt. Hell, it pissed me off that someone would take a look at me and decide what I was or wasn’t. The thing is I NEVER got it from the men. It was always a woman concerned that I didn’t look and behave enough like her. Brothers knew I was straight but the sisters just didn’t get it.
Then there were the comparisons to my sister. We never had competition or rivalry or made too much of the differences between us. I had my own vibe: Edgy, sharp, modern, sexy. She had hers: gorgeous, 50s, hair for days and always smiling. But there was no need for us to do it. People did a fine job of it and set her as the standard that I should aspire to.
Every time they put me in a box, more and more of me disappeared. I’d be at university a confident, young woman full of life (probably because the brothers over there thought I was so ridiculously hot) and every time I landed home one questioning glance would cause me to shrivel up and lose my sense of self. They just didn’t get me and after I saw my family it was usually time to run. I was all too happy to take a flight back to where I came from. Home was no longer home.
Today, I don’t give a… I’m not running. I love who I am. Every last bit of me. I’ve given myself the greatest gift ever. It is not dependent on the compliments of man nor is it dependent on man’s approval. I feel good about me. I’ve given myself the gift of being comfortable in my own skin. I embrace who I am but I also surrender everything that I am to God. I trust that he’ll use who I am for his honor and his glory to reach the lands and people that he thought of I was created. I also trust him to eliminate that which does not fit into his plan for my life and to remold and reshape that which hasn’t adhered to his fashion for my life.
So hold on. Why did you use a picture of a pair of broken down, worn out dingy looking boots to say, “Be comfortable in your own skin”?
These worn out broken down shoes are so powerful to me because there was a time that I’d love to wear them and wouldn’t wear them because of what people would think. Today I stepped out of my house, I sat in church and even walked down the aisle to give my offering not too concerned what anyone thought about what I was wearing. I did note a few confused looks; a few people wondering whether I’d fallen on hard times or not but I wasn’t too concerned because I’m #comfortableinmyownskin
This was originally written on December 7th, 2015. It’s a lost blog post found at an opportune time. Over the next few weeks, I venture to explore the subject of identity; the difficulties that men and women are faced with in cementing and rooting their identities and as is the purpose of this blog, seeking out how to traverse the issue of identity on God’s terms.