Walking the fine line

Today has been a serious study in the art of “walking the fine line” —  

— between who I am (as a result of my parents, my choices and my call) and what “people think”
— between what I prefer and what is kind
— between what is necessary and what I can give up
— between being particular and specific about what I think is best, and being labeled as, well, “a Gretchen.”

Let me clarify that I love the looks that Gretchen put together for the Project Runway Season 8 finale. But I also noted that it was not her design esthetic that got her labeled as much as her mouthing off and her deeply held opinions. I feel her dilemma.

Do you sit and tolerate being re-cast as someone you are not? Or do you expect only the best from yourself? Do you keep silent and compromise what you see and have come to understand as being wrong… even if it seems easier to not speak up?

I have pondered a lot today. And I don’t have the answers all that clearly defined, but I have come to some conclusions.

Mostly, I have re-examined some very personal and core values at the heart of how I listen and care for others, and how I have learned from my life’s journey. I am incredibly lucky to be supported by my family, encouraged by my friends, and have some amazing companions on this journey. It makes “walking the fine line” much, MUCH easier!

So if you find me mouthy – I’ll plead guilty. But if you listen, and I mean really listen to my words and watch me move through life, instead of thinking you “know” me from my Myers-Briggs or some “encounter game” then I think you will discover me. The person I am created to be is not going to gloss over what I see as so much — um — fertilizer. I will challenge. I will struggle. I will try to take everything you tell me and consider it, but I will reject the stuff that is “your” stuff and is not “mine.”

I tried forcing myself into a mold that is not “me” and it did not work. At. all. Instead, I am beginning to hit my stride, not in terms of getting it right, but having a vision of where I’m meant to be in this world. And it may not fit your picture of me, of chaplains, of pastors, or of women in general. 🙂

It reminds me a lot of learning how to conduct. Over and over, our professor told us, ‘sing the score. SING the score!’ He wanted us to know every nuance, every phrase, and then take our knowledge of it and make the combined melodies, rhythms, articulations, and phrases into our interpretation of the “new” whole. Ours.

He would also tell us that when we finally got it to where we loved it, there would be people who would hate our point of view. He told us to stand by what we saw — to feel, know, and live the score. And then it would be our work alone.

I’m still listening to the music, so to speak, in many places and venues of my life. But my intent is to remain true to my score – to the One who fashioned me, this Unfinished Symphony I live in. If you’re looking for Vivaldi in me and I’m coming across as Linkin Park, sorry.

I promise I’ll listen to you. And then? I might decide to listen and adjust my interpretation. But I just turn the page and move on.

~ Fine ~


    • Yes, I do know that poem. Choices, and the courage to make them when there are other voices… it is very much about leaning into the Call. Thanks for the reminder. (I went back to re-read it.) ❤


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