I had a really interesting experience last night.
In case you haven’t heard, NYC is smack dab in the middle of a full on heat wave.
Like, it is H.O.T.
Not even the shade Kimye has been throwing Taylor Swift recently could cool things off in the concrete jungle.
It’s sticky. Muggy. And humid. With no relief in sight.
And that means only one thing:
It’s time to get crazy. 😉
But for real though, bring on the frozen margs. 🙂
So in true Manhattan fashion, my friends threw a rooftop party last night, because, apparently masochism is a thing now.
JK JK, it was actually quite pleasant, once you came to terms with the fact that you weren’t leaving without sweat stains and frizzy hair.
But at this little soiree I ended up having a really interesting conversation with a guy I had just met.
Maybe it was the fact that I had drank 2 vodka/sodas, or the fact that the guy was happily married, so there was no pressure to impress him, but I basically ended up telling him my entire life story.
Now before I go on, let me just say three things: First, this is suuuuuper unlike me. I very rarely talk about myself. Especially not with people I have just met. Secondly, I don’t want to give you the impression that I had this guy cornered and was like, word vomiting all over this poor guy. He was the one driving the conversation and asking questions and keeping it rolling. And Thirdly, this was in no way a romantic/scandalous situation. Yes, he was married. No, he was not hitting on me. No, I was not flirting/trying to flirt with him. We were two young adults having a conversation.
So back to the story:
I literally told him everything. (Minus the anorexia in my past). But I told him about my faith, about the year I was on bedrest from my Ulcerative Colitis, about my thoughts on the hookup dating culture, about politics (eek!) — I even told him about the year I was the president of my sorority in college. (I don’t even think I’ve written about that on here yet, but goodness gracious is that a doosey!)
Long story short, I really opened up to this young man.
And thinking back this morning about that evening, I was shocked with how transparent I was.
But there was something that he said to me at the end of the night that stuck with me.
He said, “Wow, you were definitely not how I expected you to be.”
And when he said this, I paused, and took it in, but I didn’t ask him to elaborate on it.
Because, the truth is, that’s not the first time someone has said that to me.
I can probably recall 10+ times when I’ve met someone, and they’ve told me at the end of the encounter, “I totally thought you were going to be a b*tch.”
And every time, I kind of half-laugh, and go…”Thank you?”
But let’s face it: at first glance, you could probably make that snap judgment about me. Last night, I was wearing short shorts, wedges and a fashionable tank, while drinking a vodka soda.
I went through sorority recruitment. Believe me, I know how that reads.
But, as with everyone, there is more than what meets the eye.
Looking back at that night, I am so grateful to that guy for allowing me to open up. That was a gift: Allowing me to share who I am. What I believe. What I’ve been through. And accepting me.
Showing who you are is really scary. And to have someone receive that without judgement or criticism – it’s really a beautiful and selfless thing.
And I think that’s why this whole blogging adventure has been so life-giving. The love and acceptance and support YOU have offered has touched my heart so much and been so healing, I can’t express the gratitude I have for you, reading this.
But as I’ve talked about in recent posts, I’m slowly coming to realize that who I am is okay.
My past is a part of who I am that has shaped who I am today. And I’m getting more and more comfortable sharing that with people.
In fact, I almost want to.
Which leads me to my announcement.
When I was home, I got an early birthday present. A camera.
I can’t believe I’m about to type this…
But I think I’m finally ready, after a year and a half of blogging, to share who I am.
Because, I realize that that is the last and final step in the journey of self love.
When I can say that, Yes, I have all these broken pieces in my past, but I accept and love myself anyways. I am willing to take ownership of my history and the not-so-pretty parts of it, because that is not where my worth comes from. My worth comes from God making me, and Jesus dying for me.
I’m going to make a video, formally introducing myself. To you. Who, like this young man last night, have been so open and receptive to the bumbling, mess of a human I am.
I want you to know me. Because I’m finally ready to own up to all of me. All the gross, painful, and less-than-lovely parts of my past. God has forgiven me of all of it. And accepts and loves me just the same. It’s time I do too.