(This is an image of the confederate monument plummeting down from in front of the Durham County Courthouse. Disclaimer: I did not take this photo, and it has nothing to do with this post).
Earlier this year I made a mistake, and someone said “Wow I never expected YOU to do that.”
That comment struck me to my core. The emphasis that they placed on the “YOU” replayed over and over again in my head. Later I asked that person what they meant by the comment, they said “I hold you to a higher standard.”
While at first this comment came off as somewhat of a compliment, it took me some time to realize that I didn’t really like the thought of being held to a higher standard. But the reality of it is that it was true.
All my life I have been held to a higher standard. Mostly because others know that I operate with a high standard of excellence for my own life. I am a firm believer that people will treat you how you allow them to, therefore I’ve always wanted to ensure that people come correct when they come to me (just being honest).
By doing so, this caused me to often live my life “in the spotlight.” (Gosh I feel so narcissistic writing this, but this is me being real, raw, and transparent with y’all.)
I am not merely speculating, many people have always confirmed these thoughts.
By living in the spotlight, you invite others to cast their hopes and dreams upon you. They also place you on a pedestal. A beacon of perfection that can do no wrong.
Wanna know the problem with placing people on a pedestal? People like me internalize it.
I began to live my life in a very calculated manner. Always taking the right steps. Never leaving myself room for failure. For me, this started early, like in my teens.
And God forbid you actually do make a mistake, COVER it! By any means necessary, you make sure that it doesn’t leak out.
Living my life so perfectly, always following the rules, really started getting to me. Can’t you imagine how anxious you would become knowing that if you made a mistake (a simple one at that) you would be deemed as a failure amongst those who’ve watched you grow into who you are?
Honestly, I wanted to be able to make mistakes and not be judged more harshly than my counterparts. I wanted to be able to just live a little.
At 23, I realize that I have lived most of my adult life in stress. Stressing over perfection. Stressing to make sure I do nothing that would deem me unworthy of this metaphorical pedestal.
I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE FREE.
Deep down inside, we are all longing to be free.
So from here on out I vow to do just that. Live everyday freely, because quite honestly my body nor mind can handle the stress of trying to please others any longer.
I am going to live my life unapologetically.
I am going to serve Christ and do things that make me genuinely happy, regardless of whether or not others approve.
Whether that be laying in my bed one day and doing absolutely nothing, or making a sudden change in my career. If my steps are led by Christ, I am going to follow.
I challenge you to do the same.
I also challenge you to kick those pedestals down.
If you have someone in your life that you are holding to a higher standard so much so that you couldn’t imagine them ever failing, STOP.
Knock that pedestal right on over!
Just love them, and accept them for who they are. Whether or not you approve, because honestly your approval isn’t necessary for anyone’s existence.
I dedicate this post to my mother. She is partially responsible for my new found freedom. She has always encouraged me to “just chill out,” in her words.
I am finally taking her advice.