To fully appreciate this, you’ll need to watch the video for Brandon Heath’s song, I’m Not Who I Was.
Go ahead. I’ll wait here.
(You should probably know that I have the song playing in the background as I write this.)
I’ve mentioned that this song is really speaking to me lately. It’s become increasingly apparent all this summer that I’m not the person I was two years ago, or five years ago, or ten years ago. I know that I did not accomplish this change.
I was reading the many and sundry interviews with J.K. Rowling about ending the Harry Potter books. Rowling doesn’t regret killing any of her characters. She doesn’t regret any of her literary choices. She only regrets not telling her mom that she was writing a book (her mother died of M.S. six months after she’d started Harry Potter). When asked what she would see in the Mirror of Erised, without a second thought her answer was “I would see my mom. I would be able to have a conversation with her.”
I wish you could see me now, I wish I could show you how, I’m not who I was…
When my mom passed on, I was very much in transition. I wasn’t exactly the completely neurotic and self-centered person I’d been in my early to mid twenties, but I hadn’t really gotten comfortable in my own skin yet, either. Frankly, I was a bit of a shattered mess at the time–although I doubt she knew the extent to which that was true. I know I managed to make her laugh, even near the end. We’d worked out our “stuff,” but I hadn’t nearly worked out my stuff, if that makes any sense.
I wasn’t a very good mom. While I don’t think you should completely shelter kids from reality, I let my son see far too much of my adult problems than was fair to him, particularly at the age he was then. I don’t think I was a particularly good daughter or sister, for that matter. I was full of self-pity because I thought I had no friends, and full of self-justification my unwillingness to be a friend.
I’m not who I was…
I have no illusions that I’m Mary Poppins, practically-perfect-in-every-way now. But I’m not who I was. I’ve learned that being “sensitive” isn’t a moral failing. I’ve also learned that it’s not a valid excuse to keep people at a distance. I’ve learned that I am a good enough writer to make a living at it. I’ve also learned that doesn’t make me particularly special–just makes for a more pleasant workday. I’m a better mom than I was. I think I’m a better daughter, sister and wife than I was. I know I’m a better friend than I was (but frankly, that was a pretty low bar to clear.)
I’m not as fearful as I was. I’m not as concerned with what other people think as I was. I’m not as selfish as I was. I’m more hopeful than I was. I’m more consistently at peace than I was. I lose my temper a lot less. I find a little extra patience a lot more. I call people more. I’m less surprised when they call me. I worry less. I still laugh at inappropriate moments. I cry just as much, but I don’t feel as bad about it. LOL.
So many of the things on the “white boards” in that video, are true of me, and so much of that has just changed in the course of a few short years. And I highly doubt that God is done with me yet.