Be that girl.

There was a time in my life… not so long ago really, that I was constantly thinking to myself “I don’t what to be THAT girl!” Now I’m not talking about things like being a judgmental asshat, mean, rude, gossipy, or even just plain a terrible person in general. No, I’m talking about the things that, in reality, make us who we are. Realistically I was busy being scared that if I let myself out of the neat little box that I had gotten crammed into, people might not like what they saw.

I spent so many years being terrified to let my awesome out. I was afraid that if I laughed or talked too loud people would stare. If I wore nice clothes and did my makeup then people wouldn’t think I was down to earth. If I was too smart, I might make someone else feel dumb. If I watched certain shows, read certain books, listened to certain kinds of music I wasn’t a “good Christian.” If I cared too much or loved too freely, they would think I was fake. Honestly, I was caught in an either/or mindset. I had it in my head that if I was one thing, I couldn’t be another, which was a pretty dumb idea.

The other day while picking my kids up from youth group I ran into a friend. I immediately ran over, hugged her and said “I had to give you a hug, it seems like I haven’t seen you in forever! Plus, I’m weird and love hugs.” She gave me a huge grin and said “I love hugs too. We need more people who are your kind of weird!” And then I proceeded to give a hug to the virtual stranger that she was talking to because I didn’t want her to feel left out. Like I said, I’m weird. But that’s when it hit, I really DO want to be that girl.

I want to be the girl who just plain cares more. The one who everyone expects to get a tackle hug from, because even if I just saw you two days ago, I am still truly excited to see you. The one who is so obviously sincere when I ask how you are, that you know you can be honest with me. The one you know you can call when life gets hard, because you know I will listen without judgement. The one who goes out of her way to help those in need, because I know what it’s like to struggle. I want to be THAT girl!

The girl who is genuinely kind, compassionate, in love with life, laughs hard and often, loves freely and completely without reservations, chooses to see the silver lining in even the darkest situations, is full of fire and passion, who finally sees that nothing in this world can hold her back from her destiny.

But that’s not all. I want to embrace the fact that I can be all of those things and so much more. Our society in general wants to put labels and restrictions on who and what we can be, and we let them. Being strong doesn’t mean you can’t be soft and kind. Being funny doesn’t mean you can’t be a deep thinker. Enjoying dressing up doesn’t mean you aren’t down to earth. You can be fierce, passionate, full of fire, and still be gentle, quiet and comforting. I want break the stupid rules that have been put in place to limit who we think we can be, and encourage others to do the same. No more holding myself back, and no more hiding who I really am. If anyone can’t handle the entirety of who I am, good, bad, and everything in between, they were never meant to stay in the first place.

So yeah, I do want to be “that girl,” because I am damn proud of everything I went through to find her.

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