Yesterday I was on the phone with Marianne. (I know, enough about her already.) We were talking about this whole authentic thing and we confirmed the following: it's hard. It's so very easy to feel less than. To compare yourself and those you love. To wonder where you fit in and why and how.
(And we're old enough that it should be easy by now, right?)
I told her that I'm writing these posts because I want to get better at this. I think/hope it will help. I am certainly thinking about it a lot. I've been thinking about not just Marianne but all of my siblings. I wonder if the rest of them are all just smarter than me? They never seemed, at least from where I sat, to struggle with feeling like they had to compare.
(Maybe they remember it differently?)
Olivia was just born independent and entertaining. Enoch was born confident and charming. Ammon, the youngest, was and is perfect. (Thank goodness he wasn't born first. I would have been doomed.)
But I want to talk about Tabor.
Because, besides being the funniest person I know and kind on a cellular level, he is authentic. In a family of academically achieving siblings, Tabor, the fifth, has a learning disability. He struggled to learn to read and spell and do division. He struggled not to get A's in his classes, but to pass his classes.
We are pretty close and I never ever remember him complaining to me about feeling inferior. I never remember him worrying about it, or whining about not measuring up. Also, Tabor is six and a half feet tall. His older siblings were basketball players (except, you know, me). Marianne and Enoch were regular picture-in-the-newspaper stars at basketball.
But Tabor, tall and with more of a disposition to fight for rebounds than any of the rest of us, wasn't interested. He didn't play basketball because he didn't want to. He would never be swayed by arguments of all that height being wasted. He didn't have anyone's expectations to live up to except his own.
Tabor has always been his own person and with his mustache and cowboy hat, he is to this day, his own person. He is a college graduate, successful, a fabulous husband and father (and brother). To my way of thinking, when it comes to being authentic, he is a hero.
|This is us at an NFL game in Seattle. Tabor...um...stood out a little. I love that kid.|
Lesson for me: I don't have to live by anyone else's idea of who I should be, only my own.