I can't even tell you how excited I am to introduce you to Jena Christiansen aka JC HEART. She is one of our columnists and I know you will LOVE her as much as I do. She will be sharing her heart with you on many experiences that she has faced in her journey of becoming a Big Tough Girl™. xo, Ashley Mitchell
We grow up in a world where you need to look like the hottest celebrities, wear the latest trends, and have the coolest job. Our self-worth depends on “followers”, Likes”, and how many hits a blog post gets. Fitting in with the “in crowd”; at school, church, and other social events.
In elementary school, I was far from the coolest kid in class. My friends wore glasses, and some even pretended they were from other worlds. The epitome of my “coolness” being my yellow, long-sleeved shirt, and silk, black overalls I wore for my 6th grade pictures. Truly, I don’t believe I could have written uncool any better than that picture shows.
We moved, and in middle school I was surrounded by people who didn’t know how uncool I really was. It was a chance for me to be with the “in crowd”. I thought it was an amazing moment, being invited to be in the pictures with the cool kids. Sitting at their lunch tables, and enjoying having our PE lockers next to each other’s. Slowly, that year, I began to treat others in a way that I KNEW was horrible. Making fun of a “friend” because she wasn’t as ‘pretty’ as the other friends. Running and hiding from her at lunch because I thought that was what cool kids did. They didn’t have “uncool” friends…
High school was … better? I didn’t fit in with the cool crowd. But I wasn’t a total nerd. I was… me. I didn’t have a lot of money, my own car, or the coolest up to date clothes. I wasn’t on the cheer squad or dance team. I wasn’t part of the honors club, or debate club; I wasn’t a part of anything. I was just me. I went to school, and socialized, friends with most everyone. I wasn’t the prettiest, the boys didn’t want to date me, and the girls didn’t want to be me. But I was happy, and that was enough.
Jump to the current moments of my life. I just had my 10 year reunion (which is a story in itself), and feel mostly like I did even in elementary, middle, and high school.
I still don’t fit in. I am not the most popular “blogger”, my Instagram has minimal followers, and I don’t get many “likes” on Facebook. I still don’t have the most up to date clothes, and I don’t even own my own car. I am very much a homebody, even if that isn’t where I want to be. I don’t belong to a Crossfit group, or Golds Gym, and can’t hold a candle to anyone’s marathon stickers.
In my church group I am the one who sits alone often, listens but almost never has any input, and I have a very boring calling. Many of the “in” women/families of the ward live on the same street as I do. They are nice, cordial, and involve myself and my family when necessary. In my “social circle”, my friends are spread across the US, resulting in more phone and computer time, over real life events. Dang them for having jobs and moving from this little town! ;) In the other “community” (I’ll call it for now) I am a part of, I am NOT super popular, and am not anything to be shouted about. I tend to hang with the underdogs, and would rather be sitting with the “nerds” than the “popular” crowd.
One of the most amazing women I have had the opportunity to meet said something to me one day, “I am not for everyone, and everyone is not for me. That, is ok.”
It is true for me, especially, I am not for everyone.
But do you know what I am? Let me tell you.
I fought to be where I am today. I did it alone. I did it with help. I learned from all my mistakes, and all the moments in my life. I am not perfect. But I. Am. Me. I know what I am and what I am not. I know what I can do, and am always sure I can’t do everything. But I will try.
Daily, things will happen that make us feel unworthy, or worthless. Weekly we will be hit with hard moments, and great triumphs. Yearly we can look back to see what built us up, broke us down, and how we pushed through. I can honestly say that I still wish I could “fit in” a LOT of the time. I know that fitting in, though, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And I’d rather be me, than be part of the in crowd.
I want all to be a beacon of light. To lift others up when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. To be a pillar of fire, to anyone who feels like they have been beaten down by the words of others. I want everyone to know that just because one person says something about someone, doesn’t mean it’s true. I have my own opinion about everything. And it’s MINE. I will not fit in. I will not belong to the in crowd as long as I am there to be better than I can be, and to help others see their own best they can be.
I don’t belong with the cool kids; the in crowd; I belong on my own side. I belong on the side that will fight for everyone. Everyone belongs, when they don’t feel like it. Be a pillar, a beacon, a ray and fight for truth, hope, faith, and whatever else you believe in!!!!