So, if you caught any of my “From the Sidelines (FTSL)” series last fall, you know I’m a sports mom. Our boys rotate throughout the year from one sport to the next, which certainly keeps our family hopping. But no matter the sport or season, I came to realize two things in the bleachers at basketball this past Saturday:
1 – I can’t sit still during a game.
2 – I can’t stay quiet during a game.
Those of you who have met me are probably nodding (some emphatically) right about now. It’s true, I’m not a quiet, mousy kind of gal, and rarely do I sit still for long (or not talk with my hands). But I’m not just loud and wiggly to get attention. No, my fidgets and shouts happen because I get wrapped up in the action of the game. I’m rooting for our team (sometimes, I’m rooting for both teams—hey, those kids are working hard, too!), I’m holding my breath when a shot goes up, I’m screaming yelling when a basket is made…it’s what I do.
Thankfully, my kids haven’t asked me to be quiet yet—doing so might well cause me to spontaneously combust. 😉
This weekend was no different. It was 8:20 AM and I’m in the bleachers whooping and hollering…and I realize the sound is echoing off the other bleary, sleep-deprived parents clinging to their travel coffee mugs. (Usually, my dear hubby and youngest son are there clapping and cheering, too, but they had to be on the other side of town for our youngest’s game so I was flying solo.) And honestly? I started to feel a bit insecure.
Why was no one else cheering and clapping? Was I breaking some early morning cardinal rule? Believe me, I wasn’t trying to be obnoxious. But how else was I supposed to cheer on the kids playing their hearts out on the court if I couldn’t yell?
Then something amazing happened—a family switched seats and came to sit in front of me. And the mom? Yep, she was a yeller and a sideline talker just like me. More so, even. I was in HEAVEN.
And POOF! just like that, my insecurity about being “the loud one” faded away.
Sometimes in life we find ourselves in situation where we feel like the outsider, the oddball, the loner. It’s then that our confidence withers, our insecurities grow, and doubt wraps its taloned claws around our chest and begins to slowly squeeeeeeeze. But that doesn’t mean what we’re doing is necessarily wrong, or that we need to change our ways to better fit in. Sometimes we just need to step back and see if there are others out there just like us, people who will support us and be like us and come alongside us. People who make us want to stay loud…and proud.
In good company, even those of us plagued by doubt and insecurity can begin to grow and blossom. Confidences can be developed, talents explored, and suddenly we’re feeling much better about ourselves. I encourage you to be on the lookout for the like-minded, and see how drawing near them just might let your inner light truly shine.
Have a great week, everyone.