The “right” person

Written by hootenannie on September 14th, 2012

These days, when asked about my love life (thanks, everyone!), my response has been, “I’m not focusing on finding the right person – I’m just trying to be the right person.”

Good one, eh?

Here’s the only trouble with that statement, romantically focused or not: who gets to define what the “right” person looks like?  You?  My family?  My married friends?  My single friends?  My boss?  My books?  My church?  Or, scariest of all, me?

The past few years of my life have been nothing short of a war zone, and while the dust is finally starting to settle, my ears are still ringing.  I’m looking around at the landscape of a life that I did not plan, and my eyes are having trouble focusing.  I’m still walking a little wounded, trying like hell not to fidget with my bound-up broken bones, hoping to give them a chance to heal.

And all the while, I’m telling myself, “Be the right person.  Be the right person!”

Famously hard on myself, I have defined being the “right” person as achieving, succeeding, pushing myself, doing more, being better, and never, ever sitting still.  At some point, I decided that not reaching my goals makes me a Failure, that changing my course makes me a Quitter, and that not winning makes me a Loser.

So in the midst of the chaos and the noise and the still-settling dust, I spin my wheels, straining and striving and trying SO HARD to be the “right” person – based only on my own harsh definition.

But what if instead of trying to be the right person, the goal was just to be?  Period.  Just to be – with joy and gratitude and the will to breathe each and every day.  Regardless of whether I meet my arbitrary goals.  Despite my inevitable shortcomings.  Whether or not I “achieve” much of anything.

Because, as my mom reminded me, “there is grace to cover it all.”  (Sometimes, my mom sounds like Jesus.)

Maybe when we stop trying to be the “right” person, and allow ourselves to just be, we’re exactly who we are – which is who we should be, anyway.

11 Comments so far ↓

  1. Sep
    14
    10:25
    AM
    Tad

    If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone in any of this. I’m taking a class on men in ministry, and we all admitted right at the start that guys face the same struggle with what being “the right person” looks like. I think your suggestion to just be is a word that many need to hear.

  2. Sep
    14
    10:51
    AM
    Angie N

    I couldn’t love this post any harder if I tried. I’ve been using the same theory for the last year, be the right person and naturally the right person will come shortly after.

    But by just being, I’ll end up the happiest and most content version of myself. You’re so dang right. And realistically, aren’t happy and content some of the most attractive qualities you can find in a person?!

  3. Sep
    14
    11:03
    AM
    Marijke

    I like this.

    “..we’re exactly who we are – which is who we should be, anyway.”

  4. Sep
    14
    11:37
    AM
    Erin

    Love this!

    You should read this.
    http://www.ouruf.org/d/cvp_singled.pdf

  5. Sep
    14
    5:06
    PM
    Mary

    This is so poignant for me, today, Annie.
    xo love

  6. Sep
    14
    7:31
    PM
    Michael

    Peace, be still…and just be. And your Mom DOES sound like Jesus! I got no problem with the human face of God, so yeah, I like that. Be still, Annie Parsons…be still and know that you are beautiful in oh, so many ways, and you are much loved.

  7. Sep
    14
    8:35
    PM
    Mandy

    This is my favorite post that you’ve ever posted. Ever.

  8. Sep
    15
    1:00
    PM
    Sara

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  9. Sep
    18
    8:44
    AM
    Kendall

    “‘Don’t, for once, let your life be just a tale you tell, just words following words and never really involving you. Why, you are…you are – Ansel Gibbs,’ he finished finally with all the wonder of discovery, ‘go and BE Ansel Gibbs. Make acts you words, and speak out to the nations…’” – F. Buechner from “The Return of Ansel Gibbs”

  10. Sep
    19
    10:44
    AM
    Shanna

    Hey, sweet girl. The world and our friends and our families are filled with ideas of what a “right person” is, you’re right, and trying to meeting those ideas is like shooting at a moving target. Ridiculous. But what a right person is like is not a mystery. It’s Jesus.

    He’s the one we need. He’s the one we have to cling to, push towards, cry out to. Not because it makes us right for marriage or right for value or right for a sense of self-worth. Because He is righteous and holy, because He’s well-acquainted with our sorrows, because He’s the friend that sticks closer than a brother. And the more in right relationship we are with HIM, the more we look like the “right” person, the more satisfied we will be, the more joy we have. Because the more our hearts move towards the One they were made for, the more right they can be.

  11. Sep
    27
    7:58
    PM
    Amanda

    I hear what you’re saying, and I say YES and I love you. But right now I mostly want you to know that this paragraph is perfection:

    “The past few years of my life have been nothing short of a war zone, and while the dust is finally starting to settle, my ears are still ringing. I’m looking around at the landscape of a life that I did not plan, and my eyes are having trouble focusing. I’m still walking a little wounded, trying like hell not to fidget with my bound-up broken bones, hoping to give them a chance to heal.”

    Perfection.

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