I’m so used to being looked up to. I’m used to being admired, I’m used to having people look to me for wisdom, guidance, support, whatever. I’m accustomed to being in a place where I’m pulling people up and helping them out. I’m actually so used to it that when I’m in an environment where I don’t feel useful, I’m prone to leave. That probably seems odd for those of you who only know me through this blog, but I guess that’s because a lot of what I’ve been writing at this point have been new discoveries for me. There’s a whole part of me that I’m just recently coming to understand through this blog.
Anyway, I say this because yesterday I spent some time with a young lady who is simply better than I am. Now, sometimes we meet people who are good at things we aren’t so we can teach each other a lot (most of my relationships fit here), or we meet people who are better than us at one of the things we excel at so we can learn from them in that area, but sometimes we meet people who are just like us personality-wise, have similar experiences, strengths, character flaws, talents, gifts, intellect, etc., and they’re just more proficient than you in all of those categories so you have NOTHING to teach them. That was yesterday. She is an intellectual, profoundly poetic, amazingly artistic, passionate, level-headed, responsible, hard-working, and both encouraging and inspiring, you get the picture. Now, this isn’t to say that she’s perfect, because she isn’t. In fact, we have a lot of similar flaws: intellectual arrogance, “projectizing” people, being too hard on ourselves, selflessness to a fault, losing patience with people, hero syndrome (aka I-think-I-can-single-handedly-save-the-world syndrome), etc. The difference is, my flaws in these areas are more prominent. Maybe “better” isn’t the right word, and “further along” isn’t quite it either (though it’s true), maybe the right thing to say is that she’s more “mature” or “refined” than I. Like she’s a solid two steps ahead of me in every category, like I’m sitting across from a more polished, finished version of myself.
Now there’s nothing wrong with any of that, it’s just not what I’m used to, because naturally, I’m a teacher. I thrive when I’m able to pour myself into other people and see them grow, it’s natural for me. That’s probably exactly why I feel like I have nothing to bring to the relationship, like I should just be there to sit down and learn or like she’s gonna spend a lot of time picking me apart and making me better and that I’ll only aid her growth minutely. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m not afraid to be wrong or to be pushed towards being better. It’s just that I haven’t operated in a relationship with a peer that way. If it ever came to a place and time where I’d want to pursue her, I’m not sure I’d even want to simply because I don’t think I could add anything to her. I’m sure God will open my perspective in some way as I continue to spend time around this girl, but for now, I suppose that my only job is to worry about myself, something I’ve scarcely ever had the time to do before. Everyone else has always needed some degree of my attention and to put it shortly, she doesn’t. She’ll be completely fine without me. The more I think about it, the more I realize that this could turn out to be really healthy for me. (Lol! Can you tell?)