One thing you should know about me: I can’t estimate distances. At all. Not mileage, not centimeters, height, depth, nothing.
I used to think this was a necessary life skill, so I would pretend. “It’s probably ten miles away.” “It’s maybe three feet high.” “Oh, that’s like six inches.”
Wrong every time.
A few years ago I gave up. “I can’t do distances,” I say now, when anyone asks me how far or how long or how tall. Most people don’t even act like that’s weird.
“It must be kind of annoying that I make you tell me how far everything is, huh?” I asked my husband recently.
“No,” he said. “You never could figure it out before anyway. Now we just skip the step where you try to guess, and go straight to the part where you ask for help.” (He conveniently left out all the middle steps, the ones where I would forge ahead with my guess, be wrong, make a mess of whatever I was trying to do, clean all that up, and then get to start over again.)
The new method is faster.
See, it is not a mistake that you are you, here, now.
It is not, I think, an accident.
You don’t need to be all the things. You don’t need to do all the things.
You don’t need to be anyone or anything else.
You just need to know who you are, and be you.
And I will be me.
I know it sounds self-y, but knowing who you are, and working with the YOU you were given, is actually HELPFUL to the people around you.
If you are you for a good reason—and I think you are—you might as well figure out who that self is. You might as well own up to what you do well and what you couldn’t do if the future of humanity depended on it. (See: me, estimating how far from here to the nearest grocery store.)
It’s good to know what you have to offer. It’s good to know when to ask for help. You aren’t supposed to be able to do it all.
You’re supposed to need other people, and they’re supposed to need you, too.
You, with your personality.
You, with your life season.
You, with your responsibilities.
You, with your passions and gifts.
You, with your experience and history.
All the things you care about, all the things you’re made for, all the things you do—we need all of you. When you know what you’re made of, you start to get an idea of what you’re doing on this earth, don’t you?
You really don’t have to do it all.
When you run up against something that isn’t yours to do, let that remind you that you have a purpose—but this is not it, this purpose belongs to someone else.
So let them have at it. Invite them to it. Make room for them to step in and step up, and then get back to work on being yourself.
It makes your life more fun, and makes everyone else’s a little easier because you stop giving them bad directions. Just as one example.