Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wanna Be

My son's first email address was wannaberockstar@------. It perfectly defined him at the time. He still uses that email address, but he's no longer a wanna be, and he's not a rock star either. What he is is a talented musician with a guitar strapped to his shoulder and a high hope that it will bond to his skin and become a fifth appendage. He's a songwriter, the youngest in our church's praise band, and leader of youth worship and the teen praise team.

Unlike him, I still live at the address -- I still wanna be a lot of things. A better mother,  a better homemaker, a writer, a full-time professional. I have a generation head-start on my son, and he seems to be more accomplished than his mom. What's his secret?

Could it be that he's confident? And fearless? He looks dead in the eye of the skeptic with a defiant belief in himself and a firm grip on his dreams, his passions. He's undaunted by the fact that he's unorganized and can't seem to hold the details together before they slip past his creativity. He just lets nothing stand in his way. It verges on arrogant, but he's just winsome enough to get away with it. It's audacity (to ransom a word brilliantly taken hostage and branded by, and probably forever married to, President Obama).

And I wanna be that too - except that I'm not. Not wired that way at all. Why do we wanna be and have what is someone else's, discontent with who and how God made us? I'm in my 40s, never having stared boldly back into the eye of my fear and skepticism, a Wanna Be, still. This kind of tenacity flies in the face of the quiet and gentle spirit, the peacemaker, and follower that I am. Those traits disqualify me from passage into the land of Dream Achievers

So I'm still a Wanna Be. I wanna be a full-time income earner, a writer, a bible teacher, a mom my kids will - someday - be glad they had. I wanna be all these things because I'm wired with a love of words and an unused (as of yet) English degree and a passion for God's word and my kids.

Instead, what I am is a part-time bookkeeper, a blogger (with an encouraging mother), a bible teacher with no room at the church for another class, and a mom that's often most unpopular with her kids.

The gap between my "wanna be" and my "am" is the validation of others and the word someday.

I don't wanna be a wanna be anymore.

I read this today on Billy Coffey's blog:
You are a real writer the moment you put pen to page and soak it with your tears and sweat and dare to share yourself with the world. It is that supreme act of courage that gives your life meaning, not a piece of paper to sign and initial at the bottom.
I qualify -- I am. I have already put pen to pages soaked with tears and sweat and dared to share myself with the world. There may have been no contract or paycheck, and perhaps nobody else has called me a writer.

The defining factor is that I don't see it as an act of courage, I see it as a necessity, as natural as breathing. The difference between courageous and necessary is not a gap but a bridge:  from the land of "Wanna Be" to "I Am."

I'm also already a cherished mom, a bible teacher, and prayerfully a better income earner soon.  Saying so feels uncomfortable and wild because I'm wearing the King's mantle of audacity that's flying in the face of this gentle, follower type. But I'm learning tenacity and embracing the inheritance of my Father's genetics. He is, after all, the great I AM.
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