Nice to meet you.
April 23, 2013 § 4 Comments
I’ll give you a second with that.
Now, as we take that sight in, I just want to say that I appreciate that girl. She wanted to be fancy for a friend’s graduation and didn’t exactly have access to tweezers or a hair straightener just yet, so let’s not hold that against her. Precious lamb.
That said, I’d like to think that I don’t resemble that Natalie very much anymore. Bless her heart, it’s just been about 15 years and time naturally grants you a few good haircuts and allows for your braces to come off.
But I remember who she was. She was entering high school and every inch terrified about it. It was the Great Unknown, full of cliques and AP classes and boys and fashion. She knew it was a turning point, a time to get serious and be one more cap and gown away from college. Her tummy was in knots and after barely surviving middle school, i.e. The Dark Ages, she didn’t exactly picture herself ruling the halls of Highline High School. Honestly, all she wanted to do was stay put in 1998 and ignore the passing of time leading her toward bigger and scarier things.
And even though there are times when I still feel like I could easily walk the halls of HHS and not a day has passed since I was a proud Pirate, the truth is that plenty of life now separates me from high school Natalie. Even college Natalie. She didn’t really know if she was going to make it.
This’ll never work, I remember thinking.
I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t equipped to survive it, let alone thrive.
But, here we are, a few years later, and–you guessed it–I made it. Some might even say that I thrived. There are fond memories and stories and failures and embarrassing moments. I didn’t escape unscathed. But when I made mistakes, I see now (and appreciate) how they added to my story. Lessons were learned. I grew into those years and that cap and gown, had to learn to be who I needed to be. I gained new knowledge and skills that I carry with me even now.
Looking at an even bigger picture, there isn’t anything I’ve done that hasn’t impacted who I am today. I’m sure you would agree. Everything we do writes a page in our book that we refer to. We are all mere suggestions of who we once were.
So as I face one of my biggest challenges yet–motherhood–and battle thoughts that I am entirely unqualified and am completely unable to picture myself wearing an Ergo and up for midnight feedings, I realize that it won’t be the “me” I am now, in this moment.
There will be a new “me” evolving.
There already is.
I’m not the Natalie I was even before I was pregnant. So when I feel like I can’t do it, that I’m not cut out for it, I’m right. For now. Because it hasn’t happened yet. But when it does, I will change. I will become equipped. I just will. I will wake up and do what I have to do to keep a little person alive and, I’m sure, look back in a couple of years and appreciate, see growth and change.
And no matter what, I won’t sink because if God thinks I’m ready for this, then He has the tools for me.
And I will come through it a different Natalie.
I don’t know her yet. I don’t know what she looks like or exactly what she has to offer. In a few months, I’ll introduce myself and say, “Nice to meet you–have at it” as I hand her the baton of this new phase of life. I know she’s ready and waiting, with open palms. And I bet she’s pretty rad.