While I really should be simple and just write a post about my trip to Colorado, I kind of don't feel like it. I will more likely than not add something here about that tomorrow.
What I will talk about is an interesting conversation I had with my sister, Charity. She told me that my dad had told her an analogy where we all skied. Ky skied down the mountain, effortlessly and gracefully, and everyone was shocked because he was such a laid back person that no one expected him to be so great at it. Charity skied down the mountain, carefully and precisely. When she got to the bottom, she stopped and looked around to see if anyone noticed how well she had done. But rather than approval, Ryan flew by her on his skis. He passed where she stopped with big hurrah and flair, and then turned past him to ask Charity what was taking her so long to get to the bottom. Charity didn't get into what Jill was doing on the slopes... but knowing her it was something along the lines of being social with a big group of people. Then, apparently, my dad ended his story with me, saying, "And of course Megan just wasn't there."
Now I can get into the whole part about me not being there but that would just end up being some long analytical story about my childhood or my relationship with my family. I'd rather address the part my sister and I talked about after that.
I mentioned to Charity that I never thought of her as the type to seek approval. She replied that she always heard from people how "together" she had it. Everyone constantly tells her how good she is with her money, or how perfect her family is, or how together she has it... but the reality is that none of those things are 100% ALL of the time, and when they are close to it- it takes her a LOT of work to get there. I'm sure just about anyone can relate to that part of the conversation. She said that a lot of the time, people just expect her to get it right, and so when she does it isn't a big deal or a surprise. But in reality, all she wants is for someone to tell her, "hey- you worked really hard there and it turned out great." Some validification.
And so on to my next topic: the very same validification. How underestimated it is. I know that I don't ask for it, but I crave it. I want someone to tell me, "Wow, Megan... I'm noticing what you're doing." It's also funny because in order for our society to see us as 'humble,' we take those comments from people and reflect them with a grain of salt. Example:
"Hey, Sarah, I really enjoyed your speech in class today. I could tell you worked really hard on it and I thought it turned out fantastic."
"Oh, gosh, yea it was alright... I totally messed up at the end, though."
Did you notice what happened there? I mean, this chick could have spent days on her speech, and whether or not it was perfect, she DID work hard on it. When someone tells her it was great, she ought to have replied with something like, "Really? Thanks so much! I worked my ass off, it's cool that you appreciated it."
Why do we work so hard for someone to notice us, only to downplay it when they do? I think we believe that if we agree that we did something great we will come off as arrogant or self-absorbed. The fact is that we are neither. I also think that may be why people don't compliment each other as often as they should... because the response is never what it should be. No one is saying your life has to be perfect. No one is telling you that you should be turning water to wine or some other such biblical miracles... you are not an all-perfect being. And that's totally fine. I wrote a piece on friendship a few years back that mentions that a true friend will pick you up when you fall because they know you are not perfect- but they DID see you try. So when we TRY to do something great, and a friend takes notice... don't brush off their attention because your efforts fell short. Instead reflect their optimism like a mirror and thank them for it.
I kind of bounced around on this post, but I hope it makes you think at least a little!