My shame story starts in 4th grade. Forced to prepare for the TAAS test, my third grade love for creative writing diminished into my 4th grade hatred of English class. I conveniently started getting tummy aches every day when it was time for English class and would instead visit the nurse’s office. I was miserable.
In 5th grade, my favorite teacher, Mrs. P, nourished my spirit & my love for math and all things academic. With this newfound confidence, I decided to run for student body president. I lost.
In 6th grade, all students had to choose between Art/Music/Drama OR Band. I can’t sing or art, so even though I probably would have been SPECTACULAR at drama, fear kept me from picking that route and I chose band. Percussion. Well, wouldn’t you know I can’t percussion either.
In junior high, I finally found something I was good at: volleyball. Freshman year, diving, rolling, and serving were my specialty. I was starting server and defensive specialist. I loved it. Until summer before sophomore year when we were required to
run sprint a certain number of laps around the track under a certain time. I quit my beloved volleyball to avoid the shame of never being able to complete those laps.
Oh, and there was the time I thought I would raise a goat.
In 10th grade, I failed the TAKS writing test. Me, the smart one, the intelligent one, the nerdy one, the straight A student. Failed. Big time. I hated school. With nothing left to enjoy, I ended up graduating high school early just to get away.
In college, I thought I would finally find somewhere to fit in. I applied to be an Aggie Hostess, a group of intimidatingly gorgeous, popular, rich girls who support the football team. Did I mention that I was still in braces at this time? Needless to say, I did not make the cut. Second semester, I joined a group called Aggie Sisters for Christ, but I never belonged. I applied to be a small group leader. 8 people applied and 7 were chosen. Rejected. I joined a group called Ags of Open Acts of Kindness. Served for two semesters and loved it! Applied to be on the board. 4 people applied; 3 were chosen. Rejected. I graduated college early, chasing the belief that I could escape rejection. But, adult life turned out to be just as harsh. Online applications, job interviews, and rejection.
As women, we smush and smash and contort ourselves – trying to fit into the molds laid before us of who we think we are supposed to be. Who we are told we should want to be. When we are too big, too much, for those molds, we feel rejected. Too much, yet not enough.
When I gave up trying to fit in, the sting of rejection went away. I found a job I loved, a master’s program I enjoyed, and eventually a career path I am very fond of and plan to pursue. I met and married the man who showed me what true strength is made of and helped me discover a love of hiking and adventure.
I didn’t think I wanted to have children. I was sure motherhood would be one more thing I attempted and failed. One more way life told me I was too much, but not enough. But it turned out to be the only mold I’ve ever truly fit. I’ve made more friends since becoming a mom than I’ve made in my entire life. True friends. I’ve become even closer to my own wonderful mom and sister-in-love. Becoming a mother has made me a better, more patient wife.
My loud, my happy, my silly, my protective, my emotional, my strong, there’s room for it all in my baby’s heart. His heart is full; my heart is full.
Mom life picked me.