Saturday, January 3, 2015

he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed

So in my 2014 post I promised a Valuable life lesson you learned in 2014, and mentioned a little bit about miscommunication and backstabbing. 

Something you may not know about me, as readers of my blog, is that I am a very quiet person.
Very quiet. 
I don't know how many times people have laughed about "watch out for the quiet ones!" around me. Or looked at me in surprise when I said something teasing, once I'd gotten to know them better. 
The family I lived with last year dubbed me a "mute cocker spaniel."

I was shy as a child, and starting med school felt slightly like starting life all over again. Literally learning a new language (200,000 new words in 2 years), having complex new information shoved into my brain between 4 and 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, spending lots of time with really, really smart people (and feeling like a complete moron most of the time - which I later learned was a feeling not exactly uncommon among my peers)...simply being an introvert spending every day all day with new people - I got quieter than ever.

Usually I am fairly able to read people, though historically I have not been the best at responding to situations. (I know what they're thinking but now how to react...worst of both worlds. Except that there is hope I may figure out the latter part. :)
This past year I sensed a lot of unpleasantness in one particular new relationship, but since every incident was a little thing (tone of voice, slightly odd question, puzzling comment), I felt like bringing it up would be overreacting and figured I was probably just being really overly sensitive. 

And then all of a sudden I found out they had gone to someone and complained about my personality, about my quietness, and basically about my interactions with them in general. To the point where counseling was suggested. 

I was completely blown away. 

Usually, getting along with people is a basic thing that I kind of count on. It is rare that I work somewhere that doesn't ask me to come back, or isn't willing to write me an awesome recommendation letter. I usually make at least a few friends wherever I am. People usually like me.  

And these people didn't. They were fellow Christians, people I hugely looked up to and respected (and had placed on a pedestal that probably increased the miscommunications between us), and they thought I had serious problems. 

Given the nature of the relationship and the people they complained to, I pretty much rethought my entire year and a half of school. And then college, and high school, and my existence. (Well, not quite. XD)

On the one hand, I am fairly certain I was not the only one miscommunicating (I asked for clarification and got no response; they told other people they had issues with me and never mentioned it to me), and so tried to take the hurt with a grain of salt. (Despite what they say about salt and wounds.)
But I realized a few things. 
I was letting my fear of making mistakes, of saying the wrong thing, of being overly sensitive, blind me to what I should see, abilities I knew I had, things I knew I could do. If I'd trusted my gut feeling about the situation and said something early, things would probably have gone differently. I was shutting down what I could do in fear of what I perhaps couldn't do. People didn't know me because I wasn't letting myself be known - fearing they wouldn't like who I was made them not like who they imagined I was. It had come around to bite me hard. 

Praying miserably about it gave me this:
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in you in Jesus Christ.
Not only is my normal communication impaired, the communication of my faith is completely ineffectual, when I am not willing to acknowledge the gifts, talents, abilities God has given me. He has given me so much...thinking I have little to offer is throwing His gifts back in His face. 

I've never thought of myself as a fearful person (horses can scare me, but I'm not scared of horses! I used to indignantly proclaim). Rather prided myself, actually, on making my younger siblings work to startle me. Did well in public speaking, despite hating it abominably. (It was scary. But I'd smoke it.) 
But somewhere in the past few years I forgot about how in ski racing you have to just go for it. Who cares if the course is icy and the curve of the hill is dropping out beneath you and your body is screaming that you're going to smash to pieces! Dig your edges in and ski! I forgot that if you fight a horse's motion you're probably going to go off - move with the horse and you're a lot more likely to stick with it. I forgot it doesn't matter if your hands shake when you play piano in front of people. You practice an hour a day and then you get up and play in front of every who showed up at the recital. And you enjoy it.  
I forgot to be the girl who wore a long skirt or dress every single day to her AP class in a place where no one else did because she wanted to stand out and make people curious about her. (She did, and it did open doors for talking about faith and beliefs.)

I know I said I want to succeed this year. 
But I also want to fail. I want to throw myself into whatever is before me, trying it out and not caring if I get it right or wrong. This is my year for learning, for practicing, for making mistakes and them not mattering. 
Around the middle of the year, I start clinicals - then I might make mistakes that matter (still less likely than later). But I have 6 months to try anything and fail without it destroying me or anybody else. 

Jesus Christ has given me many good things, not least of which is the opportunity to learn incredible stuff and spend lots of time around awesome people. By not acknowledging my abilities and skills and doing less than I should, I hurt myself just as much as I might by attempting more than I am able. I'm not just being cautious or careful. Am I not doubting what He's given me and where He's placed me? 

So here's to 2015. If I think I should say something...this year I want to say it. I rather doubt I'll ever be a noisy person XD but I don't need to mute myself to avoid messing up. Here's to messing up and looking stupid - and learning from it! :D (Since after all...maybe I won't mess up at all.)  :)

4 thoughts shared:

wisdomcreates said...

Big, Big, Big lesson! And one that I am still learning. This post was a huge encouragement to me.
In my striving for excellence (something that I will continue to pursue), I was afraid to mess up.
But people make mistakes, and its okay. Other people make mistakes and you still like them. That's what grace is for. And that is not just God's grace directly, but also God's grace through other people. Sometimes it's easier to just receive the grace directly through God. But I can't pretend that I, alone, in the history of the world don't need grace from other people.
So DO. TRY. Follow Christ. Let Him catch you if you trip. And keep going. :D

serena said...

From a fellow introvert: thank you for this inspiring post! I too can read people fairly well but never know how to react. And I especially appreciate your horse metaphor--I always understand things better when they're paralleled with horses somehow.

Miss Melody Muffin said...


You are going to be fabulous this year!!!

Katherine Sophia said...

Thank you, Wisdomcreates! :) I'm glad it was encouraging! It can be so much easier to fail in front of God...receiving grace from others is hard, and yet how else can we do anything? It is a lesson that I am slow to learn, but I am definitely hoping to apply to my life this year. :) No matter how many times I trip as I follow Him.

Thank you for letting me know, Serena! Horses have helped me learn an impressive number of things, and I'm glad you liked this. :)

*hugs back* So will you be, Melody. :) thank you for commenting!


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