Thursday, June 28, 2012


I like to be liked.

I like to know that I'm in good company.
That I'm safe.
That I'm on the same page with the community I'm a part of.
I don't think this is an uncommon feeling.
We all like to feel that pleasant notion that we're appreciated.

I struggle when I know I am not liked.

I feel out-of-place.
That I'm unsafe. Paralyzed.
That I'm out-of-step and unwanted.
I don't think this is an uncommon feeling.
But I'm pretty sure that some people handle this better than I do.

I'm watching leadership happen here at camp. Nothing in my soul desires to be the director of a summer camp, especially the director of a camp that was handed over after two decades under a different (and dearly beloved) previous director. You can't win. Everything you do will come with opposition. All of your decisions make people uncomfortable. I struggle to watch my dear friend and husband lead at camp. There's no winning. I'm not even the head-honcho and I struggle knowing that these two people that I love dearly will make decisions that will upset people and it would be absolutely impossible for them to make everyone happy.

Since I was a little girl, people have joked that I should be the first female U.S. president. As a little kid, that seemed like a pretty fine idea: lead people, be on TV, solve the world's problems, travel. Sign me up. But now in my twenties, as I watch any political news channel, being a U.S. president seems like the most miserable job I can think of: the pressure, the lack of safety, the threats, the hatred, the arguments. No thank you.

Leadership is a tricky thing. We need leaders. We need people who will step up and do things. We need someone to say, "No, that's not okay," or "Yes, I will do that." We need brave people to be brace. And at the same time, leadership begs opposition. Because if you speak up loud enough or stand up tall enough, people will disagree, people will argue, you're suddenly an easy target. Ouch.

Ya know what makes you an easy target?
Being married to the new assistant director at camp.
Planning a wedding.
Being a student-teacher.
Writing a book.
Traveling outside your comfort zone.
Sharing a thought.
Just about everything.

My fear is that this dread of being unliked will keep me small. And tame. And quiet.
The exact opposite of everything I want to be.
The exact opposite of everything I am.


EMILY STAR said...

I love this blog. I want to see you! I am heading over to your Facebook right continue this conversation. :)