I’m thinking a lot about my age at the moment, maybe you can tell. Not in a sad way, or even a nostalgic way, heck it’s not even nearly my birthday. I’m just thinking. “Your twenties are for learning, your thirties are for earning” they say – um, yes please 30’s! I’m going to write more about all this I can feel it, but let’s get back to today. I learned something recently that I wanted to share, & not only because it made me feel quite grown up!
It’s quite popular to have a questionnaire or a quiz at 21st/ weddings/ baby showers these days. You know the kind; you fill in the blanks about the guest(s) of honour, answer a few fun questions & then they get to keep the whole stack to remember their celebration. They take them home & carefully stick them in an album, or they string them together to glance at and smile for years to come. Not for everyone, but they can be great (like the one below).
A few years ago I was at one such wedding & diligently filled mine in soon after I sat down. Then, being the ‘sticky beak’ that I am, I looked over other people’s as they lay completed on the table. I was struck by how funny the others were. And then by how funny mine wasn’t. Many of them were the kind everyone passes around during the meal, or that someone reads aloud to the crowd to make everyone laugh. Mine wasn’t.
This happened another couple of times in what felt like quick succession. And it made me sad. I started to dread those games, tried to get away with not filling them in at all. Sometimes I’d read the others first so I could copy parts of them & seem funnier in my answers. I even started to clumsily tell jokes & re-use comical expressions that just weren’t me in conversation.
I wouldn’t say I was a naturally dull person, but I’m no comedian. Sometimes I’ll give you a bit of a laugh – probably more of a gentle chuckle though. I love language & clever word twists, so every now and then I may dazzle you briefly with my wit or a good pun. But bear in mind that the people I was filling in these fun forms for are people who know & love me. They already know if I’m funny or not. And yet somehow I felt like I needed to impress them. With my humour. I needed to compete with people that I know & love, for… what?
Am I the only one who does this? This nonsensical competing, with everybody & with nobody, for nothing’s sake.
My grown up news of the day is that I no longer feel the need to be funnier. I can’t tell you when it happened, but it did! I guess I got to know myself a bit more, got to like myself a bit more. Realised that I was other things that funny people weren’t, and that it wasn’t about them in the first place.
Slowly coming to terms with the way I was designed & the quirky combination of things that make me me is quite possibly my favorite thing about growing up. Being ok with being me, dare I say enjoying it!. Remembering that God is celebrating it. I certainly haven’t got it all figured out – but I do have freedom from being funny – and I’ll raise my glass to every small victory!
So hand me a quiz friends, and you do one too. Be silly be kind be deep be poetic be cheeky be nostalgic be true. Go on, be funny or sarcastic or even a bit suggestive, but don’t compete to be someone else. Be a grown up. Be you.
*click on images for credits.