The “right” person
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.