I had a conversation with one of those guys on the sidewalk with a clipboard trying to get me to support children in third world countries a few days ago.
Normally, I just walk by and keep my head down, and my RBF (resting biznitch face) is enough to make sure they don’t come any closer. I tried all of that, but this guy was persistent. He wasn’t scared of resting or active biznitches. So he started talking to me, and he said this:
“Listen. You’re a successful woman (in my head: laughter) You have an education and a career. You live in New York. You have dreams, and you’re pursuing them. You’re driven, confident, compassionate and you know who you are. They need that. They need to see someone like you to be empowered that they can be all of those things too.”
This was obviously all a sales pitch, because I really don’t know where he got that I’m compassionate in that moment as I was staring him down, but it got me thinking.
He said something true: They need that.
Everything else he said is debatable, but no matter where I currently fit in his description, he explained the person I want to be.
Which had me asking the question, “What am I doing that matters?”
I spend a lot of time on the internet liking memes about how I’m a twenty-something whose life is kind of a mess. Because, well, they’re relatable. My favorite one at the moment, although I can’t remember where I saw it, says this:
My parents at 25: *married, two kids*
Me at 25: “how many nights per week is it acceptable to order pizza online so I never have to interact with a human person?”
Also me at 25: *wakes up holding a chicken finger after a night of drinking*
This is hilarious, and I don’t actually drink that much but if you factor that out, mostly true. But as this guy was talking, I had a thought: Instead of glorifying the fact that my life is so not together to make myself feel better, what if…I actually tried to get my life together?
I say that I just want to be honest. I don’t want to give people the impression that my life is perfect in any way.
But what if I was honest in a different way?
What if I was also honest about my need to overcome them?
And then transparent about my many attempts, failures and successes in that pursuit?
What if I took all the energy I spend finding memes and used it to work toward making my life into something impactful?
What if instead of joking about how I’m so lazy and uninspired, I became all of those things that guy said about me in his sales pitch?
And I’m more than fine with joking about how ridiculous life is on the internet. Because let’s be real here. I need an outlet for all the crazy that happens to me daily, and I think memes were just such a great invention. I love social media, and I love the age we live in. I am here embracing 2016 with a whole heart.
But I also think sometimes joking about this becomes a coping mechanism for me because I feel inadequate.
I want to be able to joke about my life. I once saw a meme that said people who are offended by memes are the same people who remind the teacher about the homework in school. Why is that so accurate? I am not that person, in either instance.
But I also want to be able to take my life seriously. There are so many people out there who see me and interact with me daily, and I believe I was placed in their lives because I can be someone that they need.
Someone recently reminded me of Proverbs 18:21 – that your words (and actions) have the power of life and death attached to them. They have the ability to give life and to destroy it.
I want everything I do and say to empower those around me, to speak worth into their lives and to build them up.
So, yes. My life feels like a disaster some days. That’s just a fact. I want people to see that too.
But if I can work through my challenges and insecurities, and be honest about that journey, I think there are a lot more people in addition to children in third world countries who need that.
If I want to empower others to be everything they are made to be, I need to start with myself.
Thanks for the realization, clipboard man. Here is a quarter. Because I spent all of my money ordering pizza online.