How closely do you think the way other people see us matches up with how we see ourselves? And I don't just mean how we look, I mean how we are viewed, personality-wise.
Something today that was said made me realize that because I'm the "bishop's wife" it carries a sort of, I don't know, expectation with it. (Which of course I already knew, but it shouldn't carry way back into your childhood.) People seemed surprised that I had done something blatantly wrong when I was younger. Actually, now that I think of it, there are a LOT of things that I did that were blatantly wrong. To be completely honest, I was kind of a little troublemaker/comedienne when I was a kid. This was further complicated by the fact that I was also painfully shy so the real me was glimpsed by only a select few. (I like to call them "the lucky ones". Ha ha, see how funny I really am.) This is how I still see myself, as a somewhat bratty or innocently mischievous person who tries to keep it to herself, yet fails miserably once in a while. (And really, growing up I never DREAMED I would become a bishop's wife some day. So, I didn't really live my life thinking that one day some of these shenanigans might just come back to haunt me.)
Also, I was just thinking about how I grew up. To be honest, there was really not much active parental guidance or influence. I think I turned out okay, but really I'm lucky things didn't end up worse. Maybe I have my husband to thank for that. Maybe there was just something inside of me that wanted to be good. Who knows.
So, it's interesting to think about the fact that some people grow up as a direct result of their childhood environment, whether good or bad and others end up doing everything in their power to "escape" the way they were raised, either rebelling from straight-arrow, conventional parents or vowing that they will rise above and do better than how they started out.
So now what really fascinates me is that I view myself still as that kid in that home that never really knew what it was like to have a "functional" family. I've tried really hard to be responsible, respectable and on time. (On time is huge for me. In elementary school there was no bus system in Nebraska. My mom had to drive us every day. And we were late, every day. And I was mortified, even as a little kid.) And, for the most part I think that's how people who know me now think of me, but to me I'm still that troublemaker little girl who always feels somewhat out of place and a little uncertain of whether people really want her to be where she is. I wonder if people who knew me in my younger days see me as I am now, or the whole picture, taking into account my background (if they even knew it).
Boy, this is getting really deep. I really did mean to just ask basically the question of if people view you as the "now" you, or the "whole picture" you, taking into account where you came from and where you are now.
Actually, if I really look at the real, whole picture, I should remember that all of us came from the same place originally, heaven. We are all children of our Heavenly Father, our Divine Creator. And, as my Grandpa Hendricks (who was very un-religious, a direct result of his very devout and over-bearing mother) had on his wall "I know I'm somebody because God don't make no junk."
Maybe that's the answer after all. It really doesn't matter how other people see us. It only matters how we see ourselves.