So yeah, I did a hard thing today.
You might do it all the time and think it’s no big deal, but it sure was big for me. It made me sweat and change my clothes twice and growl at my husband (not an eyes-batting-come- hither growl, mind you, but a get-out-of-my-face-even-though-you’re-just-trying-to-help-me growl.) When I’m trying to do a new thing that I’m not feeling confident about, I’m often a real pain to those I love. Sorry, people I love.
So what was the daring new thing I was trying to do?
A simple video of myself talking.
Yep, just me talking into the camera on my phone in my backyard. For the life of me, I don’t know what the big deal is about that. Becky Ramsey’s a weird bird. Somedays I wish I could take a vacation from her, I tell you.
In about a month I’ll be speaking at three events in Raleigh and Winston Salem, sharing some of the stories of my accidental pilgrimage in France from my book, The Holy Eclair, for Baptist Women in Ministry of NC. So when the organization’s Executive Director, my awesome friend Ka’thy Gore Chappell, asked me to do a promotional video to put on Facebook for the events, I said “Sure!” And then I walked downstairs to my bedroom and started my official freak out.
I speak to groups all the time now, but it used to be super hard for me. As a teenager I was so unnerved to give a short little speech in front of my entire high school that I lost my eyesight on the way to the podium (yes I did) and had to say my lines from memory, just hoping I was facing in the right direction and could get back to my chair without tripping over someone! Thank goodness that’s over. So what was the big deal about speaking to my camera in my backyard with only Jack the cat and some ants looking on?
I fixed my hair and redid my make up. I tried on a couple outfits and got so sweaty doing that that I had to fix my hair again, which had turned into a dandelion poof ball. I tried to get my dog Rosie to sit with me during the video, thinking that people could focus on her instead of my bangs, which seemed to be doing ballet on my forehead, but Rosie kept running away from me with a scared look on her face, even though I plied her with at least a cup of Life cereal.
When I finally got situated in front of the camera and gave up on the dog, Jack the cat kept walking on my lap during filming, flicking his tail at my nose. I tried to feed Jack some Life, but he sniffed it and knocked it onto the ground.
It was so weird filming, staring into the image of myself talking, while trying to focus on what I wanted to say about the three events, while inside my head I was saying DOES MY HAIR REALLY LOOK LIKE THAT? and MY, AREN’T MY EYES BULGY and I THOUGHT MY TEETH LOOKED WHITER THAN THEY DO. And then I’d forget what I was going to say next and I’d have to stop and start all over again.
STOP BEING SO CRITICAL, I’d scold myself. Then I’d try to think loving things while I kept my mouth moving on about the events. I want to treat my own self like I would treat my daughter or any girl child with feelings about her own body and self. But as I was saying GO YOU! I kept staring at that 53 year old lady looking back at me and IT WAS SO TERRIBLY DISTRACTING! It really was.
But I finally did it, and the video came out fine, I guess. I am who I am and I’m good with it, even with my precious poof ball hair and my eyes that see fine as long as they have contacts on them and my teeth which are all my own. (I’m practicing gratitude.) The whole experience reminded me that when I focus on the superficial things, it makes it harder to take care of the things that really matter! Besides, I really do like me, even if I do scare my dog sometimes and growl at my husband. Thank goodness they love me for who I am, even when who I am is uncomfortable .
So I did a hard thing today. But it won’t be hard the next time! So GO YOU, me!
And GO YOU, too! Grit and gumption to us all as we do hard things!