I lived so many years of my life in the grips of this Happiness Hijacker: If I could just be like her.
I cannot tell you how many times I tried to conform when I was a kid, in order to fit in.
I felt . . . weird. I never felt like I had the right clothes, the right “look,” the right skills. But let me tell you something: I busted my butt trying.
Even at age 16, somewhere inside of me, I knew how exhausting it was to live my life trying to be someone I wasn’t.
But there was one friend I could always be real with — and she could be real with me. Her name was Carla. She was my very best friend. We were baptized as babies together. We were confirmed together. We lip-synced together. We rode bikes together. We talked about boys together. Everything, together. We knew each other’s strengths and quirks. She was the one person who could tell me I was weird, and I took it as a compliment. And vice versa.
As I have grown up, I still feel weird — maybe weirder than ever.
Yeah — won’t lie — there are still times when I’m tempted to conform to what the other moms do, what the other speakers say from the platform, to write like the other authors write. But when I am faced with that temptation, I think about the freedom I felt when Carla called me weird. It was proof that I could be the fullest version of myself, and be happy — quirks and all.
So. Can I tell you something? You’re weird. And I love you that way. More importantly, GOD loves you that way!
You’re weird, and you’re you, and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be. When you are your own weird self, two things happen:
- You put the brakes on the exhausting work of trying to be someone else.
- You give others permission to be their own weird selves, too. It’s a whole revolution of weirdness, which breaks the cycle of shame people feel for being “different.”
Keep it real today, friends. Get your happy on. Stay weird.
Be sure to join us over on our Facebook page at noon EST today as Jennifer Dukes Lee takes over for another fun live chat! And, for Tuesday, read Chapters 13 & 14.
Head over here to join the conversation. If I could just be like her. How have you see this Happiness Hijacker at work in your life?
Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of The Happiness Dare and Love Idol. An award-winning former news journalist, she is also an (in)courage writer. She loves air guitar, dark chocolate, emojis, messy people, and Jesus — not in that order. Jennifer and her husband live on the Lee family farm in northwest Iowa with their two daughters, where they spend at least five minutes every day in the pursuit of happiness.