I am a firm believer in allowing yourself to not be something...
I would love to be a dancer, and while I enjoy dancing around my living room (with or without my kid), I know that I am not a naturally gifted dancer. I can't follow choreography (and trust me, I secretly try), the moves get messed up, and I always go the wrong direction, but you know what, I'm okay with that. I love watching musicals and pretending that I'm in them, but I know deep down that's not who I was made to be.
I love singing. I sing my heart out in the car, and pretend like the people in the car next to me aren't looking. I know all the words to a ridiculous amount of songs, and while it's fun to daydream about getting discovered and getting a record deal, I know that's not going to happen. My husband keeps bugging me about singing on his next album (check him out on YouTube here), and while I might do it one day (knowing how he can completely change my voice if it sounds horrible), I'm not waiting with baited breath for my chance to become a music star.
There are plenty of things that I enjoy doing that I'm not particularly talented at, and then there are the things that I am just not that good at and don't enjoy doing.
I am not a gardener. I inherited my mom's ability to kill plants (she once killed an aloe plant...and a cactus), and while I like the thought of growing and harvesting my own food, in actuality - no thanks. I don't enjoy dirt and bugs, and honestly - vegetables. I'll leave that one to James who has a small but thriving garden growing on the side of our house. My real-life friend, Ang, from The Coupon Project, has been gardening for a few years, and she loves it. I follow her progress and cheer her on...but I'm okay with not being a gardener (or a deal-finding, amazing blog writing, food-canning woman - Go Ang, you rock!).
I'm not a great cook. Sure, I can follow a recipe, and I can turn out a decent dinner, but I'm no where near my friend, Jen, the chef, and her husband, the other chef. Going to their house for a simple dinner is an event - fancy china, amazing food, fully coordinated linens - it's awesome! I love hanging out with them, watching their love for food, and being their guinea pig for new recipes, but I'm okay with not being a world-famous chef, or even a real great home cook.
I hate exercising. I hate sweating. I try to get some in because I know it's good for me - a walk around the block, dancing around the living room, jumping a little rope. I've watched many friends train for and run everything from 5ks to full marathons, and I cheer them on, but you won't catch me paying money to run way too long and get sweaty and gross. I'm perfectly happy being on the sidelines (as long as it's not too hot out).
I would make a horrible stay-home mom. I watch my friends who find such great joy from staying home with their kids - teaching them, playing with them, and being awesome moms. During my longer breaks from work, I become an antsy, bored, impatient, slightly resentful stay-at-home mom who just wants to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it - is that too much to ask?
But, you know what - I'm okay with that, too.
I know my skills, interests, and talents , and I know my weaknesses, dislikes and inabilities. Now, if I really put my mind, will and effort in to it, I'm sure I could do any of the above things, and do it well. But here's the thing - I don't want to, and I'm okay with that. I love watching my friends do them, but I refuse to compare myself to anyone, or to do something simply because someone else is doing it. I am allowing myself to be who I was made to be, and I'm also allowing myself to not be something that I wasn't made to be.
As Elijah grows, my hope is to nurture what comes naturally to him and what he loves. Sure, there will be areas that I'm sure he will struggle in, and we will work together in those areas to help him succeed - to a point. If he struggles with math, we will work to get him a passing grade, but I will not force an A out of him. That wouldn't be fair. I want him to know that I value him for who he is and who he was made to be, not for what I think he should be. And if my son isn't a doctor, or lawyer, or mathematician, that's okay with me. If he's not a singer, actor, or athlete, that's okay with me, too. As long as he is following the path God designed for him, whatever that may be, I will be one proud, proud mama.
I firmly believe that God has created all of us to be unique and to have special gifts and callings, and if we compare ourselves to others and try to follow in their gifts and callings, we are likely to miss out on getting to know the real us.
I know myself, and while there are things I wish I was better at, or things I wish I could change about myself, I try to be thankful and grateful everyday that I am who God made me to be. I focus on the positives, and try to let go of the negatives. It's not always easy, but it's so more much joyful to spend your time being you, rather than trying to be someone else.