Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Best of Us


 I stepped into the elevator around 8:10am on a Tuesday. Inside was one lonely rider to travel to the “P2” parking garage with. He was an Indian man with a head full of thick jet black hair, a bright gold chain around his neck with a medallion I couldn't see, tucked beneath the collar of his button up. But those weren't the first things I noticed about him. The first thing I noticed was his extremely slight stature. He couldn't have been more than 5-foot-three-inches and with the heels I’d chosen to wear that day, I towered over him.

I instantly felt the rush of self-consciousness as I backed closest to the wall away from him and tried to contract my spine. I leaned on one foot so I wasn’t as starkly tall. I avoided eye contact and bounded out of the elevator as soon as the doors opened.
Elevator

When I got to the office and approached my second set of elevators, I was greeted with the same feeling as there stood the girl I nicknamed  “The Girl From Floor 33.” I see her every now and again and she is PERFECT. Petite with dark brown hair and always dressed to the nines, ears studded with iridescent pearls or sparkly diamonds. Her all-black outfit was perfection this day, multiple strands of cascading pearls hung from her neck, standing out against the stark black of her top, her hair perfectly coiffed into a top-knot that would put pinterest to shame and her no-doubt designer leather bag draped over her arm; Wall Street Journal in her other hand.

Suddenly I felt very juvenile in my olive Banana Republic shirt from years ago and black dress pants that had a very imperfect crease down the middle. My laptop case swung clumsly from my shoulder and I regretted hitting the snooze button so many times as I could see the crimpy ends of my hair out the corner of my eye.  
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When I reached the 25th floor and hurried to the safety of my cube, I began to wonder why I felt that way. Why in the presence of these two, I felt suddenly so aware of my height and my clothes and frazzled hair?I wondered if others had daily wrestling matches with the monstrous, sword-wielding confidence-crushing thoughts of self-consciousness and unworthiness? I wondered if others let thoughts like these get the best of them? 

I wondered about the Indian man in the elevator. Did his height make him uncomfortable in a totally different way than mine did? And The Girl From Floor 33 – does she struggle? What could she possibly struggle with? She’s perfect! But maybe she does. Maybe she has an ingrown hair on her pinky toe – who knows?

It’s so easy to see the beauty in others. And sometimes very hard to see it in ourselves.  

But God made us just the way we are for a reason….Some days it’s hard to remember this. But on the days I do, it’s so freeing. It’s freeing to know that God made me to be all 67- and-a-half inches tall that I am. And he made the Indian man to be the tiny stature that he is. And he made The Girl From Floor 33 to be a knockout. But it’s freeing to know that when He sees me, He takes pleasure in my height or my nose I don’t love and even my “football player knees” (thanks for those by the way Dad).
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Not that I won’t struggle with these feelings again…..maybe tomorrow when I step on another elevator they will return. But for today, I will remember that

I am a masterpiece.

And you are a masterpiece.

For You formed my inward parts; 

You wove me in my mother’s womb. 

I will give thanks to You, for I am FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. 

Psalm 130:13-14 

31 comments:

Chelsea said...

GREAT words... very encouraging.
Something I really needed to read this morning, so thank you :)

Katie said...

this is beautiful and you are an amazing writer. It made me get a little teary and I seriously needed to hear this this morning. thanks for being honest and sharing what God has on your heart and I guarantee this will be an encouragement to many others too. thank you friend!

Kayla said...

I love you so much! Have a great Wednesday!

Brooke said...

This is beautiful. So, so beautiful. You are amazing and BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for being so encouraging this morning : )

Angel said...

who could make you feel self-conscious?! seriously. you're gorgeous, crazy unfairly thin, athletic, smart, successful, Godly, and everything else that makes you AMAZING!
i love this post and it's going to my list of favorites! so encouraging, especially in my time of prom datelessness. ;) hahah.
i love you and i hope you have an amazing day!!!

megan said...

Such a great post, Ashley! We'd all be lying if we said we didn't all think like this daily! I know I do.

Shannon said...

So incredibly beautifully written. I can relate to this so much.

One of my favorite posts from you ever!!

Whitney said...

wow, so funny how God leads you to things that you need. I needed to hear that more than ever this morning! Thanks for the words of encouragement... and also, i love that you said "football player knees".... i have been looking for a way to describe my oversized, chubby knees for about 10 years now. that is the PERFECT description.

hope your day is full of confidence :)

Shalyn said...

Ahhh such an awesome post Ash! I love it! And I love you! You seriously, are without a doubt the most beautiful girl ever. You are inspiring, encouraging, and one of the sweetest girls I know. I feel lucky that I know you and I just can't wait to hug your neck in July! You should never feel self conscious because girl, you got it GOING ON! :) But in all seriousness, you do. You are GORGEOUS and I think you're just great. XOXO!

arianapia said...

what beautifully gorgeous words you have written!

i think we all struggle from within at times. thank you for verbalizing what i feel a lot of the time.

but those moments when we feel confident are so wonderful, and you are absolutely right, freeing.

let's bask in those moments as if they were rays of warm sunshine!

J and A said...

You are the best! Love this post, needed this post! :) Thank you!!

Sara said...

I have to recommend a book...So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore. It is such a great book that helps us become aware of the insecurities that make us struggle. She really opened my eyes to how today's culture really adds to these insecurities. Highly recommend reading it with a friend or two! There is a workbook to go along with it, if interested.

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

first, girl...you can write. not that you didn't know that, but you can - and i love your writing (flash back to all those handwritten short stories we traded, remember?!)

second, we all go thru these struggles - including the indian man and the perfect girl in your story.

the grass is always greener on the other side in our own eyes - like, 5'3 me, i wish i was as tall as you! ha! i always have. but i esp love that verse - such a comfort! thanks for this. :)

Christianna said...

This post is utterly brilliant! I love when people voice the thoughts that so many others are afraid to say out loud! Everyone has those moments of self doubt, whatever they may be, but it's what you do with those moments that speaks volumes! Yay for you and this post!

Tabitha Mahoney said...

Love this, you are beautiful! I'm the same height and I've always felt it awkward, we aren't short but then we aren't tall either.

xx
Tab

Courtney said...

This is such a great post, Ashley! I like to think everyone struggles, not just me. I wish I could stop.

Sami said...

This is fabulous! You are incredibly gorgeous Ashley and don't ever think different. I'm 5'5 and I feel better when I put the tallest wedges I can find on bc it makes me more confident. I am jealous that you get that feeling everyday :) You are sweet and an amazing writer! You kick butt and I couldn't be more proud to be one of your sponsors this month!

Shauna said...

So perfectly written. Thanks for the reminders.

{Shauna}
www.ShaunaWyrick.com

Clarissa said...

What a great post! I can definitely say I've felt like this a time or two.

Clarissa

bigdreamsandgirlythings.blogspot.com

Jess - PrettyPhysicist said...

I love you and I love this post. You are seriously an inspiration. I am so self conscious and always feeling awkward, etc, so I completely get this post. I wish I could be stronger and more sure of myself like your gorgeous self!

Sarah said...

You are seriously so amazing! First of all, you definitely don't need to be self-conscious. You're GORGEOUS!!! Thanks for the great reminder, lady! xo

Mandy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring words. After half a lifetime of embarrassing teeth, I finally got mine fixed last week. It wasn't until I was no longer embarrassed by them that I realized how negatively they affected my feelings of self worth. Because we are more important than our teeth and knees an Banana Republic shirts (which would put my Old Navy to shame!)

I really enjoyed this, and you have a new follower in me.

Mandy
www.indisposablemama.com

jaimie michelle said...

This was an amazing post! I was smiling all the way through it! So true and SO SO inspiring!

Love it!

Jaimie
www.jaimiehart.blogspot.com

Brittany said...

That was so wonderful. written so perfectly.

Sara Louise said...

Ashley! You killed this post! I loved every single word of it. You made me smile and nod my head and feel all warm inside. I'm so happy I read this on this Friday morning, the sun is shining and I feel good and ready to tackle the day and the weekend! You're my hero of the day :)

Vanessa said...

This is a beautiful post -- everyone needs to hear words like this from time to time. Thanks for sharing your heart. =)

Ashley said...

I'm glad you decided to post this! Very encouraging words, especially coming from someone so beautiful (inside and out!). I think everyone feels this way some times, no matter how thin or thick, short or tall, extraordinary looking or girl next door...it's just something not many people admit.
Thanks for posting this :-)

Kelly { MessyDirtyHair } said...

good shots & great words! what could be better?!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Girl! I love this. Seriously. Made me teary-eyed. I hear you, loud and clear. This is all so true. And believe me... you are GORGEOUS!

Jenna said...

So this is a little late, but i'm a new follower and I'm catching up on posts. I have loved everything I've read so far but this post was so amazing and it's so refreshing to know that we are not alone! We all need to be reminded of what you just reminded us of and this just made my day :)

Katie said...

Sigh. All the feels on this one. If I could get rid of my nose and my glasses and be a bit taller with skinnier legs, I'd be okay lol. It's just not so great at all. And I know we are not supposed to compare, in fact Taylor was just naming off one of those comparison quotes to me just the other day but then again I think it's easier for guys so what does he know (he did offer to punch Ry for me so lol I guess I won't argue with it). But comparing just sucks and looking on IG makes me feel like a pinterest failure ugly ogre. But I think you are one of thee most STUNNING people I know. True story.