A few days ago, I conducted a social experiment. Without much of a reason why, I posted this question – “What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of me?” My friends graciously provided over 20 honest, thoughtful, kind responses. My brother said, “Perfect!”- but we all know that’s simply not true; but my family has always been my greatest fans and cheerleaders. I’m grateful for them.
So why would I pose such a question? The truth is, I was feeling “insecure” (probably the most prodding response I received – but it was very accurate).
I needed to prove to myself that my own perception of myself was wrong – that the negative lies swirling around in my head that night did not define me. Some of them were true, but they did not define me. Yes – I’m not fiscally secure (yet), I could stand to continue watching my fitness (but I’ve started keeping a food/exercise diary on MyFitnessPal and I’ve cut back on “going out”); I could have more reinforcing conversations with myself, rather than fighting myself, etc. But those irritating moments and bad days do not define me.
There’s a scene in the movie Creed where Rocky is instructing Creed on shadow-boxing. He turns Creed to the wall of mirrors in the gym (probably my least favorite thing about any gym or bar I’ve ever been to) and he tells Creed that his toughest opponent is the one staring back at him in the mirror. You then – slightly humorously – see Creed intensely throwing punches and ducking to avoid them as he faces himself, his greatest threat yet.
I think that’s the greatest struggle a twentysomething has to face. I’m fairly certain that’s why we see so many people in their twenties lose their faith, walk away from the church, turn to destructive lifestyles, and turning their wheels for a period of time – until they finally reach the day entering their mid-to-late twenties (shoutout to my 26th birthday, fastly approaching!) and realize it’s time to fight their demons.
So I was sitting in my car outside the Library. Because I’m a nerd. Loud and proud. I love to read and learn and write. But mostly, I love stories and emotion.
I’m sitting there in my car, questioning life and doubting myself. And I asked my friends what they thought defined me, what they valued and believed to be true about their relationship/interaction with me and it turns out, they want to call out the brave, courageous, writer within that’s good at relationships, witty, goofy, Christian and yes – occasionally insecure. But the overwhelming theme was that they loved me for me. That I was enough. That I was indeed, worth it.
I’m Justin Meyer and I struggle with insecurity and occasionally retreat to poor habits or shut-down when confronted due to a sensitive heart. But those do not define me. That is not who I am.
I am enough. I am loved. I am, for the most part, respected and talented.
So thank you for contributing to my semi-vain study where I conducted a social-experiment regarding the lens through which you see me.
But at the end, I’m still holding to the belief that this life is for an audience of One. And I’ll continue sharing matters of the heart. Because in the end, that’s what counts. And the One thought I was worth everything – even His Son.
(For the record, I hate cats. But this one looked pretty insecure. And I figured Allie would be thrilled that I featured a ‘cute’ kitten at least once. Enjoy it while you can – it won’t happen again. :P)