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I'm so glad I was wrong!

I don’t like being wrong. I’m a perfectionist by nature and incredibly cautious. I don’t like to step out and try new things unless I’m fairly certain that they will turn out alright. As a child, I would pressure myself to do absolutely perfect on school assignments and feel like a failure when I didn’t. Being told I was wrong didn’t offend me but rather made me feel I hadn’t tried hard enough. Like I had let myself and others down. Yes, I’m fully aware that these are not great or healthy characteristics and I can gladly say that the Lord has spent the last decade teaching me to find the blessing in being wrong. Actually, I realized that I’ve made the statement, “I’m so glad I was wrong.” a lot recently and I’d like to share what that has taught me.

You don’t have to be great at something to enjoy it.

I’ve never been athletic. My genetic portion of athleticism was doled out to my brother so I always found what I deemed more graceful and less sweaty methods of healthy movement. I danced, twirled or marched for most of my youth and I even tried my hand at flag football in college which was disastrous but the idea of going to a fitness class, lifting weights or running outside of a life threatening event was comical to me. I was certain that I hated all of those things because they didn’t come easy therefore they must not be for me.

I’m so glad I was wrong! Do I love doing burpees? No, in fact, I’ve been known to lay on my mat and stare at the ceiling during that set but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy other aspects. Turns out, I’m fast (for a short distance) which is wild considering I never attempted more than a trot until I was in my 30s. I enjoy lifting weights most of the time and I’m not great at it but I can still like it. I like going to my fitness classes and yet, I still complain a lot. It takes a lot of pressure off when you realize that you don’t have to be great at something to enjoy it.

This time doesn’t have to be like last time.

As I graduated from college I had to move back in with my parents because the economy was not doing great and companies were firing, not hiring, workers. I was devastated. In my eyes, this was an absolute failure on my part and incredibly embarrassing. I spent the next four years trying to hide the fact that I, a grown adult, was sharing a bathroom with my high school brother. This along with several other challenges led this to be a not great moment in my life. Skip ahead to a little over a year ago when I realized I needed to sell my house but wasn’t going to be able to find a new one immediately and thus would have to move back in with my parents. I was truthfully dreading it because I just knew it was going to be like last time.

I’m so glad I was wrong! Living with my parents has been great in many ways. Not only do I get to see them all the time but I also get to see my nephew who they babysit. I’ve been able to save towards a better house than I could have purchased this time last year. I’m safe in my home and I’m never without snacks. Is it all rainbows and unicorns? Of course not! I can’t figure out the madness behind their dishwashing and we’ll never agree on how to organize a cabinet but I’m so glad that this time doesn’t have to be like last time.

Covid was a booger but at least my outfit sparkled.

Rock bottom can actually be the first step to something great.

I wasn’t 100% certain where I would work in my lifetime but I WAS 100% certain where I would not and that was a school. I knew for a fact that I did not ever want to step foot in a school again because learning was great but teenagers were not so much. I had also seen the strain, anxiety and exhaustion of teaching in my mother’s life so I did everything in my power to make sure I didn’t end up there. I wanted to do something exciting and impactful so that’s what I pursued. Marketing degree? Check! Minor in Public Relations? Done! Never darken the doorway of a school again? Absolute failure. After college when I couldn’t find a job I started substitute teaching to pay bills and had a moment with a woman who asked me why I didn’t get my teaching license since I was great with kids. I could have vomited on her right then. This was not a plan B, this was a nightmare!

I’m so glad I was wrong! What seemed like a rock bottom choice at the time has become my purpose not because I decided to accept my fate and settle but because this is what the Lord was preparing me for all along but He had to get me to where I had no choice before I’d stop running from His plan. Here’s the wild thing, teaching is just as hard, exhausting, anxiety-ridden and thankless as I feared but it’s exactly where I’m meant to be.

Being wrong can be fantastic.

I was never the cool kid growing up but rather the nerdy, goody two-shoes and if I’m honest, the popular kids always scared me. I was a bit awkward and kind of unsure of myself so as far as I was concerned we had nothing in common. Truthfully, some of them weren’t very nice which taught me to stay away and enjoy my lifetime position as a wallflower.

I’m so glad I was wrong and it’s this moment that made me realize how thankful I am for being wrong so often. You see, there was one guy in particular that I steered clear of due to silly reasons and assumptions but I figured it was better safe than sorry until one day, as an adult, I was forced to play nice and slowly had my world view flipped upside down. I was shocked to find that the stereotypical good looking, talented, athletic and popular guy was also a huge nerd and kind of awkward. He too struggled with being sure of himself at times and would balk at being praised for much of anything. His heart was far bigger than I’d have ever given him credit for and his wit is unmatched.

It was this realization, that being wrong can be fantastic, that came to me recently while laughing at his antics as I so often do. I am thankful for him and for the fact that I misjudged him, others and myself based on emotions, fears and assumptions that no longer serve me. Praise the Lord that being wrong can be so right!

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