I need to be careful about my overconfident defense mechanism. I was chit-chatting with a mother yesterday about empowering women--being all fired up about this post and all--and I said something along the lines of: "I would love to mentor young women, because I'm so awesome."I said it with a hopefully-obvious-to-all ironic smile, but I'm not sure if she knew I was being tongue-in-cheek or if I was playing it straight.
Sometimes, I wish I had a pack of flash cards that helped me communicate more effectively. One could say, "I'm being sarcastic," and another might read, "Totally Sincere." Yet another might say, "I'm attempting to be funny," or "I'm being 'ironical' (bonus points if you know that ironical is not a word)" With these cards, I would simply hold up the sign that matches my desired intonation for effect.
On second thought, I should ask my sister-in-law, the Occupational Therapist, about this idea. I would bet good money that it already exists to aid people with autism.
Anyway, the mother in the waiting room, having been told of my awesomeness, laughed, kinda surprised that I said it out loud, and agreed, "That's right!"
I backed down a bit, saying "I'm just kidding," She just smiled, and we waited awkwardly for the kids to be dismissed.
And now, reflecting on that moment, I wonder why my first instinct was to explain away my confidence. Perhaps its the Midwestern Lutheran in me, not wanting to attract too much attention, not wanting to appear too puffed up with pride. There's a lot to be said about humility, about recognizing that all good things are blessings from God. I certainly admire humility in others, and I believe that people who are always bragging about their accomplishments have something to prove.
Yet, by denying the fact that I am awesome, I am telling the world that I am not fearfully and wonderfully made. That isn't true.
Like all things, it's a balance. I don't want to come across as puffed up or conceited. But yet, I think it's healthy and good and right to occasionally say, out loud: "I am beautiful. I am awesome. I am smart. I am funny."
I guess the key is remembering who made me that way. By myself, I'm not awesome. But God, working through me, can make me very awesome indeed.