It’s Braver to be Clark Kent Than it is to be Superman
(**I drive an hour every week to visit this little coffee shop to study, write in my journal, and talk about life, love, and everything in between with my beautiful friend Krista that took this photo—if you live in the DMV area go check our Jireh it’s the best!**)
It’s braver to be Clark Kent than it is to be Superman. A conversation with a friend of mine sparked this thought that has been echoing in my mind all day. He’s going through a tough time in his life and commented that he used to be Superman but now he feels like Clark Kent–defeated, tired, ordinary, etc.
I don’t know about all of you but hitting rock bottom has been the loneliest place I’ve ever been but was also completely necessary to help me find myself. When we’re at our lowest and our shield is down and our facade has vanished it is so incredibly humbling. Because it’s truth. It’s not glamorous and we can’t hide from it and we’re too tired to keep running from it. And from my experience I have found that humility and discipleship are inseparably connected.
Every time I get ready to share something personal on this blog I have this freak-out moment where I am like, “Uh I can’t share this with people I barely know this is way too personal” which is normally an indicator that I need to share that thing. The whole point of this blog was to get me out of my comfort zone and by doing so help someone else who looks like they have it all together on the outside but may be actually going through hell. So I hope my late night thoughts can help you too if you are struggling.
Something some people may not know about me is that my brothers and I grew up really fast. We were blessed with an amazing mother but when you grow up with divorced parents I think you are often put in situations where you need to understand adult things and are exposed to realities that make you a little more guarded and weary of people’s intentions at an early age. I wish that every kid who grew up with divorce understood just because someone doesn’t care about you does not mean you are not worth caring about. But rather, if they can’t love you fully it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. I was not a confident person growing up and any confidence that I have now is the result of a lot of hard work which I now try to share freely and openly with others.
When I was younger I think I made a devastating mistake early on of putting a huge shield up. I remember distinctly telling myself that if I was superwoman then no one would actually get to know the real me. Meaning that no one would hurt me because even if they tried they would be hurting the person I was pretending to be–not the real me. A number of experiences that I won’t get into on this particular post shaped this way of thinking and I made a huge mistake when I developed that mindset.
“We can either be shiny and admired or real and loved” -Glennon Doyle Melton
For way too long I wanted to be perceived as invincible–not someone who wears my heart on my sleeve. I wanted to be perceived as superwoman, not Audrey. Pageants were actually quite easy for me because then I was Miss Teen Nevada, not Audrey. I am definitely not saying they are this way for everyone (all I have to go off of are my own experiences and offer my personal perspective–my truth does not need to be your truth) but for me it was another way of hiding. I was filtered and polished and shiny and admired but also so very lonely.
I don’t want to be shiny and admired anymore. I want to be real and loved. I very very much want to be Audrey–awkward, snarky, loving, too often says the wrong thing but really means well, loyal Audrey.
I have spent the last few years reading several books written by people who I deeply admire (email me if you want some recommendations!), listening to podcasts, seeking mentors, and doing everything I can to break down my shield. I have prayed over and over again that God would help me be unafraid to show people who I am because I was tired of pretending. I want other people to know that it is okay to come out of hiding and to be unafraid to show people who they are–with their whole heart. I think everyone who has ever been hurt before has a shield up to an extent. For some people it is sarcasm (guilty!!), for others it is smiling and pretending everyday is the happiest day of their life. For others it may be that “I don’t care what you think of me it doesn’t affect me tough guy” persona. I know how excruciatingly painful it can be to take off your mask and let your shield down and show people the real you, but I promise that as you do so, you will find how incredibly valuable that person is. People will flow into your life that love you for you and people will leave your life that were meant to leave. Your true superpowers are your ability to be kind and act with integrity when no one is around to see. Your true superpower is that no matter how low you feel, you are a son or daughter of God with incredible gifts and talents that are unique to you. Your true super power lies in the fact that you are flawed and that is human and what is so great about you–so why keep fighting it?
So remember the next time you want to throw that shield up…it is so much braver to be Clark Kent than Superman. You can do it. You’ve got this. Were all int it together.
And for the record, I like him better anyway.
The Anti-Cover Girl.