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I’m a different person now.
OK, not really. I’m still the same goofy girl who wears the same pair of shoes pretty much every day, takes a bath at night because I can’t make myself get up early, and has such a severe compulsion to check my e-mail that I am freaking out at the thought of an Internet-free weekend (see Twitter for semi-explanation) (this is a scheduled post, posting automatically for me!).
But I have noticed, especially since I’ve been back at work, that I feel different. I talk to people in the elevators and the halls. I don’t stare at the floor when I walk around our buildings. I don’t worry as much about my clothes, my hair, and being judged by complete strangers.
I smile at people in the grocery store. I give unsolicited advice to people looking at baby items in the mall. I speak up in Sunday School.
I’ve always been some version of shy. In high school I was frequently told that people thought I was a snob because I was so quiet. College helped bring me out of my shell, but I am still a fairly quiet person and was not one to talk to strangers. Entering a crowded room full of people I don’t know–or even just acquaintances–has been my worst nightmare.
Giving birth has given me confidence. If I can push a child into the world, I feel like I can do anything. My body feeds a human! I’m not just Jessie anymore. I am someone’s mother. God put me in charge of another person! So He must think I can handle the responsibility.
All my life, I’ve struggled with having any confidence in who I am. I’m not cured of that … but it’s certainly getting better. God didn’t mess up when He made me the way I am–wild hair, chubby knees, stretch marks, and all.