It was a regular Tuesday morning. I had just awoken to the sound of my alarm (which I am nearly deaf to) after hitting snooze who-knows-how-many times and trying my best to keep my eyes open to no avail.
I had written a blog post the night before, so as I always do on Tuesday mornings before starting my day, I skimmed through likes, comments, and my blog feed.
Do you ever read a blog post wherein the author says something fabulous about another blogger and it makes you want to check them out? Well, that happened to me. I read a post recommending a blog and read a few posts.
The first line that popped out to me was this:
“I’m not a writer…”
Wait…what? You’re not a writer? You have a fabulous blog and you’re not a writer? What is this madness? Aren’t all cool people writers? (Apparently not.)
This is what got me.
I am not a writer. I am a blogger, among other things. One that keeps telling herself that someday, I’m going to write a book, and someday, I am going to get a fantastic idea that sticks with me and become really popular and everyone will love me.
Maybe a little exaggeration there, but you get the point.
For the past few months, I’ve been all wrapped up in the concept of being a writer (whether fiction or nonfiction) and have forgotten my identity.
I am not what I do.
It’s okay to not be a writer.
It’s okay not to be a pro surfer.
It’s okay not to be an Olympian.
It’s okay not to be perfect.
It’s okay not to try to shove myself in a mold that I do not fit in.
When I was three, I started gymnastics and I continued until age eleven. Eight and a half years, and that was my life. I dreamed of going to the Olympics, or getting a scholarship to some nice and fancy gymnastics college. I’d be flexible at fifty-three and stronger than anyone I knew.
But it never happened, and I know it never will.
When I quit, there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I was still me. Just because I wasn’t a gymnast anymore did not mean that I was any less of a person. I realized that it was okay to not be a gymnast anymore, because as much as gymnastics was a part of my life, gymnastics was not and could never be my identity.
Now, I’ve found the same thing with being a “writer.”
I haven’t stopped blogging, but currently, I’m not writing a novel.
For so long, I felt as if I had to prove to the world that I’m serious about who I am.
Prove that I am cool because I write books.
But you know what? I don’t write books. I write blog posts. And I’m happy with that.
It’s okay not to be a writer, but it is not okay to force myself into that one-size-fits-all mold.
This is my writing. Not books. But yet, writing isn’t my identity.
My identity is so much more important than a title. I could be a doctor, or a writer, or a teacher, or a lawyer, or an editor, or a mother.
But as much as those things could be part of me, who I am does not rest on that.
I am a child of God because He adopted me.
I am holy because He has made me holy.
I am precious and loved because He has chosen to love me.
I am forgiven because Jesus Christ died for me.
I have new life because He rose again for me.
None of these things are what I’ve made for myself, but who God has made me to be and given freely.
I say all of this to say: no matter who I choose to be, my identity will not rest on that. I might identify with some things, but it doesn’t matter what name I make for myself. Ultimately, the only name that will be important is “Child of God.” “Forgiven.” “Loved.”
It is very okay for me not to be a writer if I would have to get there by pushing and shoving and stabbing.
That is not okay.
No matter who I am, a writer or not, I will still be loved. I will still be Amanda. I will be just as valuable as if I had chosen a different life.
It’s okay not to be a writer, if that means that I get to follow God’s plan for me in another way. His way is the best way, and I accept that.