Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Show Your Real: Lindsey T.

Time for another Show Your Real post...from another Lindsey! One of the things I love so much about this series, is connecting with people who believe in this idea of transparency and community...and sometimes believing in it even more than I do! Lindsey is a constant example of what it looks like to live thoughtfully. She doesn't take decisions lightly, partly because she feels so deeply. I'm so thankful to count her as a friend. 
I was honored when Courtney asked me to do Show Your Real. It’s always been a concept that has resounded with me. I think you can’t really be known or loved without showing your real. The more I try to hide my real, it seems, the more bad stuff happens in me - it seems like I divide myself between the front I hold up and the actual me. Not showing your real is just a form of dishonesty to me. I truly believe that others can only see Christ in me, when they see my real -- how can they see Christ’s work, when I just try to show I’m perfect already, without being in need of Him? The irony of this post is that it has taken me forever to write it because I am (hypocritically) worried about what others will think of it, instead of simply showing my real.

My husband Mike and me in Japan this summer. What the photo doesn't show is how sick 
we were of smelling stinky pickled sea creatures and how we longed to get back and eat 
normal, American food (I know how annoyingly uncultured that makes me sound - but that's real). 

During the course of the past 4 years, God has freed me from a host of fears, stereotypes and small-thinking and I now have a pit bull, 2 tattoos (which feels weird even typing), a motorcycle license and a Vespa that I enjoy riding (when it’s not broken down). I never pictured that for me - I was straight-laced, never drank, and was honestly, pretty judgy of the above life-choices. I used to think that loving people, maybe even just loving a few people who are easy to love, was just a part of following Christ and now I know that it is all life should be about, next to loving Him. I feel like I can’t show my real, without sharing how my real is so different now than it was just a few years ago, because of Christ’s freeing work me.

This is me faking a smile/trying not to cry/crushing Mike's hand/scared to tears getting
 my tattoo done - don't let anyone lie to you - it hurts like CRAZY to get your foot tattooed.
 And if you wake up the next morning and cry about what other people are going to think - 
that's a good thing - it will make you change what you think of others.

In the past 3 years, my real has been totally different than I ever expected it to be.
  • 3 yrs ago - I was shamefully and painfully fired from a secure job I didn’t particularly enjoy, but that I believed was supposed to be my career track.
  • 2 yrs ago - I was being led out of the pain of the ego blow of being fired and had gained hope. I decided to go to grad school for my MBA because I found I was passionate about business and potentially having my own someday.
  • 1 yr ago - Mike and I decided we were moving to Raleigh after I graduate school.
  • Currently - I graduated last month and I am interning at an advisory services company, which I received through God’s awesome provision. Mike and I are planning on moving in about 2 months and seriously considering opening a cafe in Raleigh when we get there.

After I’ve let go of significant fear (fear about debt for grad school, fear about moving to a new place, fear about learning to ride a motorcycle, fear about what others think of me since I have a tattoo - and let’s be real - I still struggle with these), my eyes have been open to all the possibilities God has. Life can be so much bigger than I ever thought. My existence can actually change huge, significant things - like the life of a co-worker or the lives of thousands of impoverished people around the world).  Focusing on the small and petty led my life to be so small and petty - but focusing on God and the potential He has for my life has led me to see so much potential.
Our very sweet, paradoxically-tough-yet-constantly-seeking-a-comfortable-spot Pitty

I feel like now is a perfect time for a dose of reality. Seriously, it’s not like I’m free from fear and now my co-workers are all encouraged by me and I’m flying across the globe to free people from the modern-day slave trade -- though I hope both of those are true someday. I’ve always enjoyed reading about people’s “typical day”, because I like seeing how different and similar we are - and that no one wakes up and has tiny birds and mice help them get ready in the morning - even though they might look like it. Unlike the majority of people, I have not had a “typical day” most of the past few years (I’ve had 5 jobs in the past years - most were part-time). However, since obtaining a steady internship - my typical day looks like this:

  • 6:30 - 7:00am - Wake up - dependent on whether I showered the night before
  • 7:00 - 7:45am - Read Bible & get ready while Mike takes care of Macie (our pit bull)
  • 7:45 - 7:55am - Mike drives me to work while I eat breakfast, we pray and talk, he drops me off and goes to work
  • 7:55am - 12pm - Work like a cog in a machine and become excited if someone actually has a real-life conversation with me
  • 12 - 1pm - Lunch, at my desk, while I write some personal emails, work on personal projects, read news, etc.
  • 1 - 5pm - Work again and usually scramble to try not to take work home
  • 5 - 5:30pm - Mike gets off work, picks me up at work and we go home
  • 5:30 - 7pm - Change out of work clothes, Mike and/or I make dinner, take care of Macie
  • 7pm - 9pm - Spend time with family or friends, run errands, work on the house, pick out clothes and prep lunch for work tomorrow
  • 9pm - 10:30pm - Talk, watch TV or read with Mike, sleep

I respect your time (after all, time is more valuable than money, so you better be sure whatever you spend your time doing is worth it - if I learned nothing else in business school, it’s that) and so I’m going to wrap this up. A while ago, a pastor at our church said “We should eat change for breakfast” - because we should be constantly changing and improving. It’s a concept I whole-heartedly agree with (after all, we wanted a pit bull to change stereotypes about them, we wanted our fixer-upper house to improve it), but is also a concept that is completely hard and terrifying. A constantly changing life is one of adventure and spontaneity and never knowing what the next day holds, but it is also a life of risk and uncomfortableness and danger.  That’s why the change has to be what God has, the risk has to be worth something, I will find change and adventure emptying if I seek it for fulfillment in and of itself.

Me. Through the lens of friend and photographer Anthony Barlich.

In moving soon, without having jobs or a house in Raleigh, it’s so hard for me to trust God in this place - when I have to step off of solid ground and just wait for my feet to hit something. It feels exactly like a trust fall.  The best part is that it holds all the hope of something new. There is no hope without change - and so I want to eat change with a heaping mound of hope every morning. Seriously, as much as change can be hard to chew through, I’ll take it if I get hope. Like how I used to eat steak as a child if that meant I got dessert.


Show Your Real is a series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often suface-cy interactions of social media. We invite all of you to participate! Please comment, link, and hashtag to spread the showyourreal love. If you would like to contribute a guest post in this series, please email me! 

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