Starting around junior high, I was a little problematic. On top of having difficulty navigating the social ups and downs of middle school, I felt (as many adolescents erringly do) misunderstood by my parents and convinced that they were trying to ruin my life. To prove my point, I was explosive, frequently screaming “You wouldn’t understand!” and “You’re ruining my life!” – followed stomping and door slams. Not my finest hour.
Since I clearly wasn’t open to my mom’s input, she smartly sought out someone that I could talk to. She found a girl at our church about five years older than me who was willing to mentor me through this tough time.
When I started Wildflowers & Progress, I caught myself filtering decisions about the blog through a sieve of fear regarding what a particular friend would think of me. This person has been a good friend through difficult times, but they don’t have a desire to understand what they deem illogical. They call it like they see it, even at the risk of hurting or discouraging others. I’ve been hurt by this friend, and there’s one instance in particular that I’ve carried with me for far too long.
A few years ago, I was embarking on a new challenge that I was really excited about. I shared it with this friend, and they said that I would fail, and even if I somehow succeeded, it was still a bad idea. Ouch.
I know some people believe a true friend will support you in whatever you want to do, and while there’s some merit to this, I think it’s oversimplified. If I tell a friend I’m going to jump off a building and neglect to mention I’m bungee jumping, they’re right to want to stop me.
I think that’s what happened here. This friend was operating on misinformation, but their intention was to protect me. True, I wish we could have had a discussion about my perspective, but even that’s not the real problem.
First things first: Nobody is fully encompassed by one personality type. The purpose of this post is not to oversimplify people, but rather to better understand ourselves and others, so that we can love others better.
I share this post because I’ve definitely made mistakes and learned lessons that I’m hoping to give you the shortcut to!
While there are many great personality profiles, this breakdown comes from Florence Littauer’s Personality Plus book. I fully recommend picking it up, as it’s obviously much more comprehensive than this post.
Still, I’ll do my best to provide something entertaining and valuable!
I currently have shingles. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s essentially chicken pox rearing it’s ugly head again – except in a condensed form that trades itching for nerve pain. It’s typically seen in people 50+, but hey, I’m an early bloomer.
When I was in the shower this afternoon, I noodled over how people have been saying that I’ve been doing so well with the pain. And it came to me – they don’t actually know how tough I am.
If we’re being honest, I’ve been a little nervous about this first blog post for Wildflowers and Progress. If we’re being super honest, I’m a little nervous about ALL the blog posts. And it’s a prideful, unrealistic kind of nervousness. If this blog is written to give people hope that they and their lives don’t need to be perfect (which it is), then I’ll need to write about ways that I and my life aren’t perfect (which I’m/it’s not).
But here’s the internal struggle: I don’t want you to know that I and my life aren’t perfect!
Like I said, prideful and unrealistic, right? Because the fact of the matter is that you do know that I’m not perfect, especially if you’ve spent any time with me. That’s not intended to be a self-deprecating knock, it’s just the admittance that faults are not hard to find.
And here’s another fear: I don’t want you to know that I struggle with perfectionism.