My personality is too much. One of my dear friends uses the word “extra” to describe me on a consistent basis. And maybe I am extra. At my first “real” job, my boss politely told me that when I joined the company, my personality was “a bit much.” Needless to say, I quickly bid corporate America ado, not because they would not have me but because we were not a match.
All of that being said, I would rather spend a majority of my time alone. And by alone, I mean with a few handpicked loved ones. I love to dress up, but I am just as content dressing up to go out to the movies or to eat as I am to dinner parties, birthday parties, or any parties for that matter…
So what does this interesting mix of characteristics make me? Apparently, the perfect leader. I’ve been told that my “outgoingness” (for lack of a better word) combined with my need for personal space create a transparency that some feel is charismatic. While I love to put on a show for the spotlight, I also enjoy uninterrupted time with just me and my thoughts. In my eyes, my roller coaster of emotions makes for tiring days, but for some my authenticity is refreshing.
Leadership and perfectionism, however, pave the way for long days and short nights. I have to be the perfect mother to my children, the perfect wife and sister and daughter, the perfect teacher for my students, the perfect children’s minister…a heavy load for two small shoulders.
My hair breaks off from the root. I develop stress spots in random locations on my back, and at times I give life 100%…and I come up short. I did not spend enough time with the kids. I did not spend enough time preparing the lesson. I did not spend enough time developing the program. I did not give my husband enough attention. I did not give my friends enough attention. I did not give my health and my appearance enough attention.
The other day, I ran my fingers across the remnants of a spot of hair and sulked, I wondered if God chose the right person to carry such heavy responsibilities. As a society, we love to say to figure out which things are most important and focus on those, but what happens when you skimmed the load, and the remnants are essential for your survival? I mean, what exactly should I give up? My faith? My family? My friends? My job? I am already down to the bare minimum.
And out of the silence and the sulking, God began speaking.
- You were made for this. You were created for this. This road was designed specifically with you in mind. This path will take you to your destination, and while you may tire along the way, you will enjoy the journey. Only you can do this. And remember, when you feel you cannot go on, I can carry you and your “heavy load” as you call it. Just keep waking “up in the morning. I’ll take it from there” (again my favorite move quote – Shemar Moore, Diary of a Mad Black Woman).
- Your team needs you. On Friday evening, I had barely reached the outskirts of home in my return journey from Houston when my phone rang. It was as though a radar sounded letting people know I was back…And God kept talking. You have a team! A group of people relying on you to keep going, a set of individuals who needs you to do your job so they can continue doing theirs. Sometimes you are their only motivation. Sometimes you are the voice of reason in a world of nonsense. Sometimes they need to see you moving so that they can also continue moving.
- You are enough. All by yourself. Everything you do is enough, even when it isn’t. For every time you felt as though you did not do enough for your kids, or your friends, or your family, or your job, or your house, or even yourself, look yourself in the eye and repeat after me, “I am enough.” You did the best you could, and even if you didn’t because you were too tired, or too frustrated or too temperamental, you are still enough. All you can do is what you can do. Your ordinary is extraordinary. And that is enough. When you give all that you have to all that you do, then that is enough. So stop beating yourself up…because enough is enough.