About 15 years ago I got my very first office job. Being a day-dreamy, often distracted creative type, I am not naturally suited for employment where time management, organizational skills, and general responsibility are parts of the job description.
But I needed the cash-o-la. So…I thought I’d just fake my way through it.
On my first day I wore business-ish clothes. I nodded during my training, not sure of a single word that the manager had said. I said, “Yeah, I can do that” more times than I remember (they were all lies).
And…um…I didn’t correct her when she called me Susan all day. In fact, I didn’t correct her for over a month. It was the only time in my whole life when I thought I’d have to switch to my proper name because I felt too scared to tell her that I preferred to be called Susie.
She was a little overwhelming. And scary. Super scary.
The problem was I didn’t respond to being called Susan. She’d yell at me, clap her scary hands in my face, and scream, “Susan! Are you deaf?”
I’m still a little afraid of her.
Anyway, one day, someone noticed that I wrote “Susie” on paperwork I’d done. He spread the news that I liked that name better.
Everyone used my preferred name. That is, everyone but the manager.
“But the name Susan is so much more professional. Don’t you want to be professional? Susie sounds like a little girl,” she said.
It was a moment for me to choose. Do I go with what she thought I should be? Professional Susan. Or would I stay true to who I really am? Just me Susie.
I chose to be myself. Well, as far as my name went, at least. That job? It wasn’t so much made for me. I, in fact, was horrible at the job. When I got laid off after 11 months I was so relieved.
Leaving that place was just one more step on my journey to being me. The me God made. The me who is a little forgetful (because I’m daydreaming about my imaginary friends). The me who sees the world in story. The me who delights in house finches and interesting people and listening to my kids read.
I’m Susie. I’m a little different. A bit zany. Sometimes over-sharing and over-asking. There are days when I don’t even make sense to myself and I’m learning to be okay with that.
You, my friend, are you.
You are wonderful and important. You have a unique purpose in this life. Don’t let anyone (ANYONE, do you hear me?) squish out the person God formed you to be.
Being yourself isn’t just about being who you want to be…
It’s about being who God intends for you to be.
There is nothing more beautiful than that.
*Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I’m setting up a newsletter to deliver info regarding the release of A Cup of Dust. I PROMISE, I won’t send out many email newsletters (I mean, that would be annoying, right?). If you’d like to receive very occasional email newsletters from me, please click HERE and fill out the “Send an email to Susie” form with the word NEWSLETTER in the comment box. Thanks so, so, so, so much!