My brother and I hit a deer on the way to our parents’ house a few weeks ago. Our car has been in the shop for repairs for nine days. It might be in the shop for another three. As a result, I’ve driven my husband to work seven days in a row. And I’ve picked him up from work seven days in a row.
Some days, he’s ready to go when I pull up.
Some days, he’s not.
On the days I’ve had to wait for my husband in the vehicle, I’ve taken the moment to peer deeper into those corporate headquarters. It’s the end of a long workday. People flow out. I watch one woman on her phone. I wonder if she’s single or whether she’s headed to daycare to pick up her kids. I observe another woman who’s wearing a long peacoat and tall boots. Does she dress that way everyday, or just for work? I watch another woman with short, tidy hair walk confidently through the hall. I imagine the position she holds, the dollars that flowed through her hands that day, the power she so eloquently displayed in the board room. And I think about all the other women about to leave the building for the day. Who are they? What drives them? What do they love?
The truth of it all stares me in the face.
I’m not like these women.
I’ve faced this reality time and time again through the years. This comparing myself to the women with whom my husband spends his work days. This comparing, this feeling like I should be like them? It weighs on me. A lot.
These are the things I’ve said to myself in the quiet…
I’m not driven enough. Not competitive enough. Not extroverted enough. Not powerful enough. Not creative enough. Not outspoken enough. Not compelled to work full-time and climb the corporate ladder enough. Not secure in my intellect enough to spend a multi-million dollar budget. Not confident enough to do any of that. Not interesting enough. Not super excited about everything enough. Not providing for my family like them. Not modeling habits of a professional working mom like them. Not awesome at engaging in conversation like them. Not fancy necklace wearing, pencil skirt wearing, extra tall boot wearing like them. Not bringing in income that supports a full-fledged dual-income inner-ring $500,000.00+ home. Like them.
This causes me pause.
This brings me sadness.
This makes me feel less than.
This makes me feel like I’m not enough.
This makes me feel defeated.
This makes me feel like I should be someone else, like I should work hard to learn their ways, like I should emulate their behaviors so I can become more. Like them.
But I know. In my heart of hearts. That I’m not them.
I’m not a corporate woman. I’m not a business woman. I’m not a board room woman. And I’m not a million-dollar budget spending kind of woman. And if you’d ask me how to sell cereal to the nations, I wouldn’t have a clue.
I struggle with this feeling like I need to be someone else.
I struggle with this feeling like I need to be more like that corporate woman and less like “the mom,” the part-time small business owner, the blogger who likes to write, take pictures and advocate for the least of these, but gets paid nothing.
WHY struggle? WHY doubt? WHY worry about any of this, you say?
WHY the comparison?
It’s about security.
Security in my identity.
Feeling confident I’ll be loved no matter who I am, no matter what I do.
Resting in peace, knowing God created me specifically, uniquely.
Maybe I’m not made for board rooms. Maybe I’m not designed to manage million-dollar budgets. Maybe I need to give up the comparing and worrying I’m not enough…and accept who I am once and for all.
Move beyond this.
Move beyond this, says God.
Go. Be who you are.
SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS: Recently, I’ve been in the mood to pull posts out of my unpublished archives. There’s something about bringing thoughts and words to light that’s powerful. I originally drafted this post on September 16, 2014. While the post is not as timely as it once was, I still struggle with comparing myself to the corporate woman with whom my husband works on a daily basis. I recognize the need to break free from this comparison trap once and for all, but also believe I’m not alone in the battle. Hoping someone relates to these words today.