So, lately I've been waiting tables to earn a little extra cash. I haven't really told anyone because, to be quite honest, I was kind of embarrassed by it. I associate myself so directly with what I do that I was afraid of the opinions of my friends/acquaintences if they knew. Sad, yes, but I think it is such a natural human tendency to consistently look to other human beings to convince us that we are likeable, that we are in a desirable place on the social ladder, that we are going somewhere, that we matter.
I'm currently reading Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What in which he expounds on what he's dubbed the Lifeboat Theory. Simply put, we're all just trying to prove our worth to one another in much of the same way as we would if we were in a lifeboat, say, that's carrying too much weight. The group needs to throw someone overboard, so you must prove that you don't deserve that fate--you must prove you have enough value to be kept in the lifeboat. He goes on to say that God intended that we would find complete and utter satisfaction and worth in His opinion alone, but since the fall of man we have looked instead to others. It's really fascinating. And I think he's dead on. Our jobs, our clothes, our cars, the people we associate with, what we tweet or write in our facebook status updates, all these scream out to be validated by others. For me, here are just a few of the things I really try to portray in a particular light in an attempt to prove my worth:
My home. I would be really embarrassed if someone showed up unexpectedly and the apartment had everyday items strewn about on floors and surfaces or the sink held the day's dishes. When I expect company I go into a frenzy cleaning and even redecorating. I think this frustrates my husband, who would rather present a comfortably lived-in home for our guests.
My job. As I mentioned previously, I do not want to be associated with a job that's uncool. I pride myself in the environments I work in instead of being thankful I have any job at all. I have a standard and, if I were to lose my job tomorrow, I would never consider taking a job I felt to be below that standard for fear of judgement from others. I myself cast judgement on others. It's a despicable thing.
My marriage. I want the marriage everyone thinks is perfect and hopes to have themselves. I want others to think Luke and I have it all together and have amazing communication skills. The truth is I'm often a selfish and bratty wife and when I'm upset with my husband I go into a stonefaced stalemate and refuse to talk to him or resolve the issue until I "feel like it."
The books I read, the way I portray myself on the blog, the way I dress, the photos I post, the things I pin, I'm attempting to carve out an image in others' minds which portrays me as this person they might look up to, want to be, want to be friends with. It's exhausting. It's worthless. It's a rat race many of us are running and I don't know how to stop. Do you all know what I mean? Wouldn't we be so carefree if we weren't always thinking about our image? Do you share any of my same struggles?
All that just to tell you that--anticlimactic alert--I was waiting tables, and now I'm not anymore. I quit. But not because of my image, mostly just because I remembered how horrible waitressing can be and how stupid and slow and stressed it makes you feel and how people don't leave good tips and how at the end of the day it's so not worth the toil. Waiting tables is not a fun, easy or cushy job. In fact, you should go get a job waiting tables right now just so you know how to treat your next server. So I'm mostly done there, but will continue to fill in once in awhile. I'm cool with that, it helps cover my commuting costs.
Okay, my last words are that I always want to be honest on this blog rather than just try to impress you all. I mean, I'll probably still do that too but I'll try as hard as I can to just be the real me. I hope you like the real me.
Thanks as always for reading my ramblings.