People have called blogging a self-centered online diary. For some, that may be true, hence why I don’t follow many people. In fact, right now I faithfully follow only one photography company. And I know that people will choose not to follow me, but for those who do, understand that my blogs are my love letters written to you. I might complain sometimes, I might ramble about coffee or mini adventures downtown, but I have a purpose in everything I write: to open up a little bit more of myself to the people who choose to learn about me. And as a thank you, I keep writing.
During the course of this week, two ideas have been playing baseball inside my head. At halftime, SMALL was winning. In the top of the ninth, SIMPLE was winning. At the end of the game though, SMALL and SIMPLE tied.
Wednesday evening, after some provocation, a faint memory from my high-school days became clear. Confession: I am not good at science. During my sophomore year of high-school, I befriended a group of seniors, in particular a guy, and I ate lunch with them every day. But one week I went home during lunch every day to study for a big science test that was at the end of the week. The day of the test came, and I barely squeaked by with an A. Needless to say, I was excited; I hadn’t even dared to hope for such a good score, and I ran to the lunchroom to tell my friends sitting in the back corner my good news. After I did, one of the girls looked at me with obvious disgust and said, “You shouldn’t brag about your grades, Kaitlyn.” I was mortified; I was never intending to brag. I was genuinely excited and thankful. But I learned an important lesson that day: no one likes to hear the bragging of other people, whether they are bragging about themselves or someone else. And I vowed to never brag again. I don’t tell you my college scores, and I don’t want to hear yours. I don’t tell you how much weight I’ve lost in a month, and I don’t want to know how much you’ve lost. I don’t tell you how well I play the piano, and I don’t want to know how good you are (or how good your sister is). I don’t care how well you paint. I don’t care how well you do hair. I don’t care how fit your brother is. Bottom line: if a person really is amazing and wonderful, in any way at all, I will know. True amazingness can’t be hidden. If you have to tell me how amazing you are or how amazing someone you know is, then you and that person probably aren’t as amazing as you say. And even if they are, I will find every reason imaginable to explain away that person’s amazingness. I do not mean to imply that I detest every bit of information a person tells me. If you want to tell me about how you got locked out of your apartment at 3:00 in the morning, please do. If you want to tell me how your homemade candy turned into tar, do not hesitate. If you want to tell me how you got pulled over by the police three times in one week, please please please tell me! And if you walked on the moon, you may say, “Kaitlyn, I walked on the moon today.” But do not say, “Kaitlyn, I did something amazing—I walked on the moon.” After all this venting, my point is this: I do not want to be amazing. I do not want people to say I’m amazing. I want to be a small person who lives a small life and makes a small impact on the small circle of people I love. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Thursday afternoon I was once again provoked. One of my favorite movies is Julie and Julia. And one of my favorite scenes is when Julia gets a letter from her sister announcing her pregnancy. Julia begins crying but says, “I’m happy for her!” I relate 100 percent: to rejoice with someone you love while grieving at your own unfulfilled dream. I am blessed to have beautiful friends, I mean the kind of beautiful that causes men and women to stop in their tracks at the grocery store and say to them, “Wow. You are beautiful.” I don’t get that. I’ve had men come up to me before, but they never say I’m beautiful. They say, “You look just like my friend Amanda,” “You are going to change the world,” or “You should smile more often.” My mother says I’m striking. Fishie said, “You are . . . beautiful . . . in your own way.” The night before my senior prom, I had a sleepover with the other girls in the senior class at our adviser’s house. My family lived next door so I walked to my house in the morning before taking a shower and before putting on makeup. But one of my teachers was in the kitchen talking to my mom when I got home. I thought nothing of it; I walked in and sat down to eat breakfast. My teacher just looked at me and said, “Wow. I’m amazed—impressed—that you would have the guts to let me see you like that.” Later that evening he came over to my date and told him that he’d better appreciate how well I clean up “because she doesn’t always look like that.” Once again, my point is as follows: I may not be beautiful, I may not be conventional, I may be unremarkable, but I would much rather be who God made me to be all the time without fear of what others think of me (and hopefully, one day, be unconditionally loved by someone simply because I’m me) than pretend to be someone I’m not in order to please the majority.
I’ve concluded that integrity is best, regardless of who believes you or not, regardless of who agrees with you or not, and regardless of who accepts you or not. I wish I could be what I’m not; I wish I could have what I don’t. I’m hurt every day by what I wish for; that’s the truth. So forgive me if I cry in rejoicing and rejoice in tears.
Now . . . to drink my ca phe da.