“You are a snowflake.” I’m pretty sure the moment she said those words she instantly wished she had come up with an analogy a little less cliche and a little more complex but it suited the situation perfectly and so that is the first thing my friend, Christen, said to me after I confessed some pretty big gremlins to her that were knocking at the door of my heart. She barreled onward speaking words of love and affirmation to me and quite honestly spoke a few words to me that I didn’t even realize my soul was longing to hear from someone until she spoke them into existence. Later in our conversation she would try to switch her analogy over to a tree but I wasn’t buying it. Snowflake is what she said and snowflake is what stuck. (Sorry, Christen. I just loved it too much to let you change it.)
I’m at this new crossroads in my life (cue old Britney song) where I’m not exactly sure which way I want to travel. My time has opened up. My passions have changed. My skills have…diversified…that’s a nice way to say “I’ve spent the last 5 years cleaning up different kinds of spills than I did before children.” And so I am inching my way towards new-ness. I am trying my hand at some of these new skills. I am letting chinks in my armor show a little bit as I wander away from what I was once known for to a new territory where I am by far not the best of the best anymore…and maybe not even the best option. And trying new things and meeting new people and expressing new desires and life goals requires a whole lotta vulnerability. Like way too much. Like I spent all of yesterday when Levi was at school staring at blank walls and blank screens and finally just dug out an old book I have dog eared every page on because I have read it so often, just because I felt like I needed to be in the presence of an old friend. Someone who has loved me for years and keeps showing up. (If you don’t presently feel this way about a book, any book, I feel sad for you. You can borrow mine. Everyone needs at least one best friend that is actually a book.)
And with vulnerability comes her old frenemy, comparison. Comparison says, “There is no way you will be as good as __________ at this.” “Look at her. People LOVE her and you look, act, speak, behave, nothing like her. So sum ergo sum…you will not be loved or successful at this.” Or my personal favorite because I am such a logical person at my core, “Hey, dummy. People go to school to do this. Like real school. Where they spend hours upon hours learning how to do this. There is no such thing as doing this without a degree.” This one kills me because, although I live with a husband who is completely successful at a career that he has spent a sum total of ZERO hours at school for, I am convinced he is an exception to the rule. Because he seems exceptional at most things. And this will not be the case for me.
I start looking around at all of the people who are successful at all of the things that I want to do and I can’t find any commonalities between myself and them. And so I begin to talk myself out of the very things that I know at my core I am in love with. It makes me a very cranky, temperamental, emotional pile of goo when I do this.
Enter my friend, Christen, who responded to my pile of goo over Cuban food with the declaration that I am a snowflake. She reminded me that I am completely unique. She reminded me that I wasn’t made to look like those other snowflakes and I should just let them be them and me be me. She reminded me that I have been equipped with a unique set of giftings and talents and that success is not to be solely measured by numbers. In fact, I am truly hoping to live the next few months ignoring all numbers that keep shouting to me that I am failing. (Except our budget, hubs. I promise not to ignore those numbers.) Christen spoke life into me by reminding me that comparison is only helpful when shopping for a new car or selecting a new wireless carrier. Comparison is truly the thief of joy and it seeks to melt all the snowflakes into one big pile of icy chaos.
As cheesy as it may seem, you are a snowflake. Remember this when you feel like you are failing while others succeed. Remember this when social media organizes all your perceived failures into a scrollable little box of supposed perfection. Remember this when the numbers start to get to you, be they the numbers on a scale, the numbers of “likes” or the numbers on a sign up sheet of something you really believe in but no one else seems to. Remember that if you weren’t here those important boxes that you check for this great big world would go unchecked. Embrace how God made you, scrapes, bruises and rough edges included. He didn’t make a mistake. He knows exactly what He is doing and where you are going. Because you are His snowflake 🙂