I still struggle with the thought that anyone finds me inspiring. When you spend a majority of your life trying to just blend in to the background, it's difficult to comprehend that people are paying attention to you, admiring your accomplishments and following your lead. Never, ever, did I think those words would describe me. Who would want to be like me? I'm quiet, I'm not athletic, I struggle when I'm in situations that require me to step outside my comfort zone and so much more. Those are just some of the imperfections I feel are a part of who I am. However, I've started to see those attributes as positive qualities.
Being quiet. I definitely size up people and situations. I will never be the person who just walks into a room and becomes the center of attention. But, I am really observant and I notice a lot of things about people that others might miss. I find that to be a positive quality. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy talking to people. But, it's going to take me awhile to open up to you completely. I'll feel out who you are before I let you get too close. Yes, definitely a defense mechanism. However, it is also just who I am. And I've finally seen that I can be a leader, even in a quiet way.
Not athletic. I am so not coordinated. I have no balance. Or core strength. So, I spend a decent amount of time laughing at myself when a certain someone tells me to try new exercises. I think my favorite memory of this type of thing (and there are many) is when she told me to put my feet on a physioball and do a push up. I just laughed. I tried. And proceeded to fall over several times while laughing at how stupid I probably looked. And, when I looked up, she was laughing with me. So, it shows strength that I don't take myself seriously and it doesn't bother me when other people laugh right along with me. I've always looked up to people who can laugh at themselves and not get mad when others give them a hard time. Now, I've become the person who laughs right along with everyone else. So, another imperfection that has become a strength which allows me to (apparently) inspire others.
Being in situations that require me to step out of my comfort zone. I'd much rather stay inside my little bubble. But, I've slowly learned that, no matter how weird I feel, I can do things that are uncomfortable. Each time I do, I grow as a person. If we were all the same, we wouldn't have the privilege of getting to know people who have different passions in life. Those who struggle with different things than we do. You can use your imperfections to educate others. I am hopeful that I am doing that on a regular basis.
I think because I now see these things (and so much more) as positive qualities, I am allowing people to see how it is possible to be happy and content even when there are still things you'd love to change about yourself. I no longer want to change a lot about myself. I just want to continue to become a better version of myself. I think that is the greatest gift I can give anyone who is looking up to me or, better yet, says they are inspired by me. But, no matter what, I will always find that completely strange and weird to hear.
Thanks for being a part of my adventure! And so it continues! 14 months and counting... :)