I’ve had an interesting week and I want to share it with you. It’s a bit of a long story, but I hope you’ll bear with me. I’d always envied those who knew exactly what they wanted. The people who were clear and confident about their goals; their burning desires. And I’d always imagined that kind of clarity came like a thunderclap or the first loud beat of a bass drum. For whatever reason, that’s what I imagined it was like.
So naturally, I felt like there was something wrong with me, because I’ve never felt that way… about anything. But the other morning I had the thought that even though I’ve never felt the thunderclap, I have still had moments when I knew the outcome of some situation. When I felt sure about something without any external evidence.
So, I thought about those times. The first that came to mind was when my parents were applying for us to move to Canada. Even before I could reasonably assume we were going, I knew we were. I told everyone that we were moving to Canada and my parents got upset with me for going around and claiming something that wasn’t certain. But, in my mind, it was. And I was right.
The second instance that came to mind was 3.5 years ago, when I had the LASEK procedure done on my eyes in South Korea. I’d been warned that it might take as long as 3 months for my vision to get up to perfect. They had even warned me that my vision would be blurry right after the procedure and that I’d need a friend to help me get home.
But I knew, going into the procedure, that it would completely and quickly correct my vision. I won’t go into the details, but as I lay there on the procedure table, the surgeon told me to focus on the green lights that were about a foot above my face. I remember thinking, “Lights? I just see one big green light.” When they were finished with each eye, I saw nine distinct points of light.
My vision was already so much better than before the procedure that I didn’t even need my friend to get home, and made the trip by myself. When I went in for the 2-week check up, the technician told me my vision was already better than perfect. “This must be some kind of record,” he said. But I wasn’t surprised by my quick response to the surgery. Thrilled, but not surprised, because I’d known all along my eyes would heal quickly.
So when I thought of these two cases, I thought about how that “knowing” felt. It hadn’t felt like a thunderclap. It was very quiet. And still. It was the kind of assurance that crept up on me, but then once it was there, it wasn’t going anywhere.
Then I remembered something I hadn’t thought about in years. My favourite camp counsellor once described me as having a “quiet confidence,” back when I was authentically myself – for better or for worse. Before I learned how to “get along.” Others have made similar observations about me since then.
Then everything started to fit. I live in the quiet spaces. I prefer to spend my mornings in silence (or as close to it as I can get living downtown) and most evenings too. When I’m not in “teacher mode,” I don’t operate as a big ball of energy. In fact, at the end of a work day, I need time to not speak so I can recharge.
So, why was I waiting around for lightning and thunder, bass drums, and fireworks? And feeling inadequate and incomplete not having experienced it? I am quiet and so are my moments of “knowing.” What a relief!
I’m sure you’re wondering what the point of my story is. I wanted to share it with you as an example of how just allowing yourself to be authentically you can feel better than trying to appropriate a personality that just isn’t you. Regardless of what kind of personality you see out there in society most often, we’re all different and it’s our differences that make this place so fascinating to be in. Have faith that who you are is what the world needs. Because it is.
All my love,