Paintball, Popularity, and Perfectionism
|| "'For we are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'(Ephesians 2:10) Our English word poem comes from the same Greek word (for masterpiece)." -Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways ||
Getting shot in the thumb is not a fun experience.
Not even if it's just paintball.
When I went to the paintball place with my friends from speech and debate, not prepared to play. But when I got there, after a little bit of convincing and the gathering of funds, I ended up playing.
And I discovered that paintball is not my thing.
The fields were incredibly muddy, and I was wearing my good converse and jeans (remember, I did not come prepared to play). I walked through the mud (and by 'walk' I mean tried not to sink down into the pit), my breath fogging my mask, trying not to accidentally shoot myself in the foot, and wishing someone had put me on camera duty instead.
First round I got shot in the leg, but the paintball didn't break, which I later learned meant I wasn't really out. Second round, I got shot on top of the head (???) and it didn't break then either, but it hurt so I got off the field. Third round, we moved to a different field, one that was under cover and less muddy. I lasted a long time behind a stack of tires. It was a great hiding spot. If I got hit, I'd probably get hit in the mask, which doesn't hurt.
I'm still not sure who hit me, but that thing popped and and it popped on my thumb and I looked down and I could've sworn there was orange blood all over my hand.
I made my way off the field, trying not to get annoyed with the people asking if I was okay. A couple of other girls came off the field, both of them with neck shots, which probably hurt worse than thumb shots. They were all fine and smiling like, 'no pain no gain' and I, hardly able to hold my gun, was crying and thanking God for waterproof mascara.
I decided to stop playing after that. The mud and pain and my poor sneakers weren't worth the thrill of getting shot with bright orange paint.
That night, when we were hanging out at one of the families's house, the other girls who had been at paintball were casually talking about getting shot in the back, in the neck, shooting other people and I was like "I don't like pain" and they were like "no pain no gain."
I like wearing skirts and heels and sparkly eyeshadow and curling my hair. The other girls like those things too, but they prefer getting up to their knees in mud and wearing Nike shorts and t-shirts whenever the opportunity presents itself. That's not a bad thing at all, but it's just not me.
But when I see my friends like that, I sometimes wish it were.
Maybe if I didn't mind getting shot with paint, maybe if I didn't cry when feeling anything but 'okay', maybe if I were different, if I were more like then, they'd like me better.
But I cry easily, and I don't like getting shot, and I prefer skater skirts to athletic shorts, and I feel really weird sometimes. Sometimes I want to be what I think is normal.
This is really just perfectionism. Wanting to be different or more than I am to please other people. To fit in. To look good.
Sometimes being different feels like a curse, But what if it's actually a gift?
Maybe being more emotional means I can empathize with other people better. Maybe seeing deepness in everything means I can connect to more lives. Maybe being different isn't a bad thing.
Maybe the same is true for you.
Maybe you have words your afraid to say because someone might think you're weird. Maybe you're afraid others won't like you for who you are. Maybe you don't want to lose popularity. Maybe you just want people to think you have it all together.
You are different for a reason.
It may not make you popular or perfect, but it makes you who God made you to be.
So be brave, and be who you are created to be, whether or not you like paintball.