Rev. Frazier (the confusion of a maiden name as middle name)
Jennifer (ugh, doctors and telemarketers)
"uhh...it says 'Call Jenny'. What's your last name?" (and thus begins the comedy routine of my last name)
Hey you (just kidding)
The roles I play:
social media guru
So many names, words, and roles, and yet if I had to condense it down into an identity, I'm not sure I could. It's hard to know who I am separate from my roles and what others look to me to find. Perhaps that's as it should be, and I guess this is normal for most people to an extent. I feel more settled into who I am now in my mid-thirties than I ever have, and yet, it's still hard to know what to do with myself. I continue to struggle with the same issues, hang-ups, temptations, even though I see them coming, even though I counsel others and "know better". I can rationally think through my situation, but that doesn't change my emotions, or often my behavior.
I was thinking about my five-year-old, Maryn, on the way home the other day. As you've probably picked up from the blog or Facebook, she's a feisty one. We've called her saucy, sassy, strong-willed, and sometimes difficult. God knew it would be best for her not to be our first child. We butt heads every single day, and yet this girl is the joy of my life. She is so hilariously funny (intentionally and not). She loves to make us laugh...and then gets mad because she doesn't want to be laughed at. She adores her big brother. She is full of imaginative stories and constant chatter and prefers to skip wherever she goes. She is strong and opinionated and reacted with disgust to the clothes I picked out for her birthday saying, "What are these weird things?!"
As I told my husband, "She's me...without a filter."
I don't worry about her in the same way I worry about her sensitive older brother. I try to instill a little more sensitivity and empathy in her, but know that her (ahem) brutal honesty may be a character trait we'll learn to live with over time. There has been progress as she'll usually say, "Thank you for the gift, but I don't like it." (yes, this is an improvement). I am proud that she will be able to stand up for herself and won't settle for less that what she wants. I hope that she will come to see all she has as a gift instead of something she's entitled to.
But for me, her gift is her sense of self. She is truly, honestly, completely Maryn. She knows what she likes and isn't afraid to ask for it. She has so many sides (silly, girly, tough, artsy) and she is comfortable in all of these roles. She is confident and brave (except when around costumed characters). With the many (often contradictory) pressures on women, I feel that she has the strength to stand her own ground. In a culture that breeds insecurity and sends the constant message that we need to be doing more, may she have the grace to see that she is enough, and may her parents have the patience to let her be just who God created her to be.