March 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

Today is Friday. Recently, the only day I've been posting (ah, the life of a mama with a mobile, teething 8-month old!). But I'm posting on Fridays right now because I love these five minutes of writing. I write with others who bring their hearts to the table for five minutes, too, and on Fridays we get to read and encourage one another. This week, we're all writing on the word, 'Ordinary.' We'd love for you to join us! Head on over to Lisa-Jo Baker's blog and link up!


GO.


I watched her from behind my coffee, notebook in hand, writing down any observations I could find. Our assignment was, 'Choose a stranger. Watch how they move. Get their walk into your body. Come in on Tuesday with their walk. You will create a character from this. You will write their story.'

It was for a theatre class, this assignment. I was totally in my element and so excited to find the person who would inspire several weeks of character development and monologue writing. I chose the most ordinary looking stranger I could find. Someone who kind of blended in with the crowd, a person's story who could be wide open. She wore a baggy sweater and her hair was a bit messy. She was carrying several tote bags and some groceries and looked like she should be in a rush, but was a little bit weighed down and moving slowly. I worked over the course of half a semester to draw out my 'character's' profession, insecurities, passions, place in this world. At that time, I was much more interested in creating my own story for her than thinking about what I find myself reflecting upon tonight.

If someone watched me for a class assignment, or even just observed me in passing, what would they see?

I think back on that assignment and that 'ordinary' stranger now and I realize. She must have been a mama. I know it. I see in myself the clothes and the hair that aren't always quite up to snuff. My hands are always full, and when I am away from home and my responsibilities here I still carry the weight of my family and my job as wife and mama with me wherever I go. 

I used to pride myself on being extra-ordinary. Wanting to stand out. Be at the top of my class, star in all of the musicals and plays I could get my hands on, be a leader, take the opportunities to speak in front of others, etc. I loved putting on make-up and feeling my best whenever I was in public, and I liked being great at what I did (whether it was in school, work, in social circles, etc.).

Since I became a mama, I'm okay with seeming ordinary sometimes. I wonder if when others see me, I kind of blend in with the crowd. If someone were to write my story and create a character for me, they might not see anything too special these days. The thing is, my heart has changed immensely. I wish when I was people-watching years ago during that college class, I would have looked past the worn-down outer shell and seen a little further into her extraordinary mama heart. That's what I hope others see in me.

STOP.

Love,
A Mama Bird who is teaching herself to feel extraordinary in her new skin

10 comments:

  1. i love your heart - you are EXTRAORDINARY to those you love and impact... i love your "people watching" mission - i hope people see more than the outside with me too :o)

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  2. bluecottonmemoryMarch 1, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    What a fun assignment - and one, I think, limited only by experience. Experience gives us insight into many many layers. Tomorrow, when I go to work, walking through a college campus, I'm going to do your assignment - and see what layers I come up with:) Love it!

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  3. What a fun assignment - and one, I think, limited only by experience. Experience gives us insight into many many layers. Tomorrow, when I go to work, walking through a college campus, I'm going to do your assignment - and see what layers I come up with:) Love it!

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  4. You know what? Being a great Mamma looks ordinary... but it is sooo NOT!

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  5. Being ordinary is extra-ordinary isn't it, being a mom and a wife and a friend and a vessel God uses is anything but ordinary.. Love this!!

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  6. Heather...I love your blog, and all I could think about when I read this was Julie Ray's quote "To be oneself is to be extraordinary". I feel like I understand those words so much more after college.

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  7. Wow! I love this. So many amazing lines. This is an exercise I want to try someday. I love the sentence "If someone watched me for a class assignment, or even just observed me in passing, what would they see?" which kind of terrifies me a bit. I also really like "a person's story who could be wide open" and how it makes me wonder what this would like. I find myself extremeyl humbled by your words this morning and looking forward to reading more.

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  8. So true! I feel like we've enjoyed remarkably similar experiences. Enjoy your new "ordinary" skin. There is nothing ordinary about God's work in your life!

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  9. What a fascinating assignment! And then an even more interesting thing to ponder what would be said about yourself. Stopped over from FMF - great post!

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  10. Heather,

    I love this so much. This was such a great way to start my morning. I love hearing what is going on in your head and how you feel changed by your new role as Mama and wife. I can't imagine anyone seeing you as anything but extraordinary. Really. Even at your messiest (hello, waking up at a slumber party!) you exude happiness and loveliness. I'm sure you've been wearing your heart on your sleeve more than you are used to, but people really appreciate that honesty. Wishing you a happy and restful weekend :)

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