Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweetness liberation

If I were to dig out my old yearbooks from junior high and high school, even notes of affirmation written to me from classmates in college, I would find a common consensus. I'm "sweet." Since I was a little girl, I remember being called sweet. I never really minded it - it's not a bad thing to be known as. However, in the time since I lost my Dad, I've been experiencing a liberation from sweetness. I still get that word thrown at me, but more often, it's followed at some point by an expression of surprise that I'm not the sweet and quiet soul someone thought I was. There's more to me than sweetness, thank God.

I'm certain my store manager had that impression of me when he first came to the store and took over the position of manager. He's a very sarcastic individual and seems to express that to people he believes can handle it. From the beginning, when he saw me reading my Bible on my lunch break and commented, he must have formed some impression of my personality. He was rarely sarcastic with me. For months I was simply sweet and quiet around him, but one day, I just decided I needed to be myself. To show him bits of who I am. I started throwing my dry humor at him. His jaw dropped open the first time, and he stood speechless, literally sputtering, saying he never expected this from Amber. My coworker and dear friend, Laura, chuckled and said he didn't know me very well. I just smiled sweetly. This has happened several times since, and he continues to be flabbergasted by the fact that I possess a wry sense of humor, quick wit and propensity for being direct.

It's not that I have anything against being sweet, per se. I desire gentleness, kindness and compassion in my life, and I deeply hope people experience those characteristics in my life. But I also desire authenticity. And sometimes sweetness is in conflict with that authenticity. I would rather be known as someone who is real.

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