Defined with Grace

Hey, Danae here. I have something I want to share with you.

During college I have lots of memories of being shocked. Shocked at what some just did, shocked how crazy-cool our world is (honesty, mainly nerding out over typography and medical animation), but sometimes it was being shocked into silence as I saw a piece of how my classmates viewed life, and viewed themselves.

One such memories was during the final semester. You know the one where everyone is bled dry and ready to sleep for the next few years, but terrified because they don’t know where they’re going to be? Yeah, that one. If I could describe it, its a mix between a flustered hen house, the zombie apocalypse, and utter silence. I was blessed to be able to coast through this storm, but I ran into many others along the way. One experience was when a classmate had a full-blown panic attack during our design class while trying to complete a simple task (this should tell you the amount of stress we’re under). After she settled down and was able to focus back on what needed to be done, I reminded her of this simple thing:

you are not defined by this.

She was shocked and almost burst into tears. I stood there, also shocked, at her reaction. Was it really such a crazy concept that you’re value, you’re worth, you’re ability is not defined by the simple moments when we fail, freak out, or by the school we attend? But it is. So often we blend what we do, with who we are. We introduce ourselves,

“Hi I’m Danae, Graphic Designer and Photographer.”

“This is my brother, he’s a doctor,”

“This is my friend, she’s in fashion.”

Why do we do this? How do we separate ourselves from what we do, our jobs? Now, don’t get me wrong, what we do does have an impact on us. Its part of us, after all, its what we do. But it does not define us. If we allow ourselves to think and live like that, life is going to be pretty terrible. I don’t know about you, but I am a major screw up. I am jacked up! But I am not defined by those mistakes. I am not defined by my past. I’m not the designer, I’m not an anorexic, I’m not the girl who tried to kill herself, I’m not a college graduate. Those are all things I’ve done, and things I’ve been. At times I let them define me. But they weren’t really what was defining me. Its what I labeled myself and allowed others to see me as. But my life, my worth, my value, is not defined by those things. Its who I strive to be. And who God made me to be. I don’t get the pleasure of defining myself. And if I think about it, I don’t want it!

When life majorly sucks, remember that you are not defined by that. That moment will pass, new ones will come. Everyday is a new day. Allow those experiences to grow and push you to be even more awesome. But they do not define you.

Remember: You’re a kick-butt, one-of-a-kind person. We’re all jacked up here.



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