My pastor said something to me on Sunday that confused me: "Did you know you're glowing today?" I was too baffled to get all the rest but it was something like, "It's a nice change." I must have mumbled a "Thanks" or something like that before I walked away, because the conversation was definitely over.
The confusion, however, has remained with me for the past couple days. And the thing is, I've realized that he's right; he's never seen me like this before. I've only known him for the past couple years, and I was already dead inside when he met me -- at least a part of me was.
This same pastor sat across from me in his office just a couple months ago, with a highly concerned look on his face, asking me "You're not... suicidal, are you?" when I mentioned my tendency toward what I refer to as self-sabotage or self-destructive tendencies. I might have actually laughed in his face; I don't remember (if I did, I'm sorry!). I've never been suicidal in the sense of wanting to end my life -- and I told him that -- but I'm the queen of what I referred to as the "emotional suicide": The killing of the parts of me that I feel are "less than adequate" for one reason or another. Granted this is not nearly as intentional all the time, nor as final as an actual suicide, but it was the best analogy I could come up with at the time.
There are three main parts of me that I've stifled over the years:
- My love of music. When I was in high school, I sang all the time. I sang lead on the youth worship team, had solo parts in nearly every musical I was in, and could rarely be seen NOT singing something. When I went to college, tried out for choir and was told that since I couldn't read music, they didn't want me. This was a huge blow to me and my ego. In a last ditch attempt to salvage that part of me, I took a music theory course, was told that since I wasn't a major, it didn't matter whether I "got it or not", and ended the semester with a "C". For the next 10-11 years, the only time I sang (except for extremely rare occasions) was in the shower, or my car... alone!
- My love of writing. I ended up majoring in English in college with a concentration in writing. I was published in several campus magazines, edited the feature section of the school paper, and was introduced by my favorite poetry professor as a "poet" to one of her colleagues at a dinner for the big-wigs. After college, I got a job as a school librarian and taught creative writing for a couple years. Then life happened, I stopped working for the school, and I stopped writing. For the next 6-7 years, the only time I wrote anything was if I was directly asked to do so for job-related responsibilities.
- My love of encouraging others -- the song that God gave me to sing. This happened over time. I don't even know how. When you have a passion for pushing people to stretch beyond themselves to be the person (s)he created them to be, you get a lot of backlash. People don't so much appreciate it. So, over time, I just stopped. And for however long it's been, this passion has been embroiled solely in cynicism, if and when I allow it to come out at all.
So... recently, I've been revived in all of these areas. I joined the worship team at church two years ago. I started writing this blog in October and started writing a "novel" (which may or may not grow up to be that big, but time will tell) in November. And now, I'm learning to sing my song again (whether you all wanna be pushed or not!).
And with the singing, comes the life.
I can't help it if I'm glowing; I'm finally feeling alive for the first time in years!