Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a do-it-all.
You know back in like 3rd grade there was always that one kid who, no matter what you said, even if it was a made up fact spoken in Klingon, knew it already? The know-it-all! They knew everything and they were proud of the fact that they did.
Well, I’m a do-it-all (and also a bit of know-it-all but that’s another story for another time). I like to do everything and I’m proud of the fact that I do.
I LOVE to do it all. Yes, I would love to lead SI for 330 kids, and work the biology prep-lab, and write lesson plans, and yeah I would love to come speak to your class and I’d be happy to speak at your church and yes, of course I want to be a captain for Team World Vision, and I’ll definitely run the half marathon and of course I’ll go to your game, and yeah, I’d be delighted to take you to the doctor and sure, I’ll take you grocery shopping and YAS LETS GET DINNER and brb I have to still pass my 17 credits of classes and hold on, I need to meet Jesus for a little bit but yes, let’s get coffee after, and yes let’s lift together and yes yes yes. Whatever it is, whenever it is, yes! I LOVE to do it all. I WANT to do it all. I NEED to do it all.
And that’s not an exaggeration. I’m not passive aggressively complaining about how much I have to do. I actually really love doing all of it.
I think this “do-it-all” characteristic comes from 3 primary traits of mine:
1. I have a disproportional amount of passion for such a tiny body. I don’t know how it developed or when, but I’m just really passionate about the things I do. I love learning and I love teaching and I love fundraising for Team World Vision and I love being a friend to as many people as I possibly can. I don’t know how to feel half-hearted. Trust me, I’ve tried not to care. It would be SO much easier if I could find a way not to care about people and things as much as I do. But I have had no luck. I just care a lot, ok?
And I always claim I’m allergic to feelings and I hate emotions but the truth is, I just have a lot of them and it can be overwhelming. I care a lot. So when you need me to take you to the doctor or to get groceries or you want to catch up over coffee or when you need someone to hold you while you cry yourself to sleep, I will be there. In a heartbeat. And if you need help with biology or want extra tutoring or need another worksheet to practice or need help with lesson plans, I gotchu, pal. And when babies need clean water Imma run and spam your Facebook until I’ve exhausted every muscle and every word and scraped up every penny. I can’t help it. Passion. I have too much of it. Take some, please.
2. I’m probably the most stubborn person you’ve ever met. No, I mean it. Really. No, I am. Did you hear me? I insist…
Lol at the number of times my parents have said “you are a stubborn cuss” to me on this trip. I’ve always been stubborn. I came out of the womb with both of my legs dislocated and learned to walk anyway because nothing and no one can tell me how to live my life. I have been known to say “don’t tell me what to do” once or twice in my life…. I’m just stubborn. It feeds right into thinking I can do it all. Couple passion with my stubbornness and you will find a small little hobbit who thinks she’s superwoman. In my own brain, I’m invincible. Shin splints and stress fractures, pshh I can still run. 2 and a half hours of sleep, that’s ample! I don’t care if I’m sick, I’m still going out with you guys tonight! Well yeah, I have a lot of homework, but I wouldn’t miss coffee with you for the world. My stubbornness, I fear, makes me slightly delusional.
3. I have serious FOMO (fear of missing out). And this is totally related to being passionate about everything. I just LOVE living life. This life is so so beautiful and I am determined to enjoy as much of it as possible. I don’t want to miss out on a second- I don’t care if it’s a second of Netflix and pizza with my roommates or traveling the world with my parents. I don’t want to miss anything. I can’t spare a single second in this beautiful world of ours. I can’t, I refuse to (lol noo, I’m not stubborn at all…)
And there we go, folks, I am a self-confessed do-it-all. I am a delusional, overly emotional hobbit-sized superwoman impersonator.
So naturally, I approached the Camino in such a fashion.
i.e. OH MY GOSH WE’RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!! IM SO EXCITED IM GOING TO SEE SO MANY THINGS AND MEET SO MANY PEOPLE AND FALL IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD AND THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!
^ an average conversation with Rach in the past six months.
So the Camino finally began. And I am on an adventure and I am seeing so many things and meeting so many people and falling in love with the world and it is SUCH a cool experience.
So cool that even when I got grossssss blisters, I didn’t care. Even when I broke my foot, I insisted on continuing on. Even now as I sit here typing this and my sunburn itches and I have 3 new blisters on top of blisters and my foot is swollen and throbbing and my knee is the size of a cantaloupe, I want to keep going. I’m superwoman, remember? I love this too much to not keep going, I CAN do this, and I WILL do this.
(Me in Burgos, ft. knee brace, footwrap, and my incomparable ferocity- the conversation went like this: Me: “Mom, tell me how fashionable I am!” Susan: “…..No….”)
Ok, but here’s the thing, passion in and of itself is really good. Passionate people change the freaking world. And stubbornness can be good. Positive synonyms include determined, resolved, go-getter, headstrong, and leader. It can be good. And what isn’t to love about life? Of course you shouldn’t want a second of it to pass you by.
But these 3 things all mixed together inside my beating little heart have turned me into a proud little lion cub.
Because the truth is, I can’t do it all. I’m not actually superwoman (but I am hobbit-sized- both of these facts are things I’m continuing to deal with on an emotional level- time and extensive journaling may lead to acceptance one day).
And that, my friends, is what the Camino is teaching me. It’s giving me a big ol’ slice of Spanish humble pie (which is probably delicious because it’s Spanish).
Real talk: If I broke every bone in my body, I would still find a way to drag myself to Santiago with my teeth. And I might be grimacing as I do it, but when you ask me, I’d tell you I was having the time of my life. That’s just who I am and what I do. I love things too much not to do them, and I’m too stubborn to know when enough is enough. I’m also too *insert adjective here- select from: passionate, naive, stupid, foolish, excitable* to realize that maybe if I didn’t wear myself out, the experience could be even more fun. I have a habit of believing un-fun things are fun, and not realizing that they could be even better… but I digress…
(This is a picture of me trying to smile because literally everything hurt. But I was doing it all by-George!)
I guess I’m just learning that Jesus has so much more in store for me than suffering through a torturously busy and overly committed life because I’m too emotionally invested in these worldly things, and too stubborn to stop and take care of myself, and too afraid that by stopping and caring for myself, I’ll have to say “no” to amazing experiences.
Part of me wants to launch into a rant about how society perpetuates this “always busy” obsession and you always need to do more and be more and try harder and get this on your resume and do that so they like you blah blah blah.
But I won’t. I suppose I’m just learning that there is beauty in slowing down and taking a breather.
It’s ironic because this whole trip was supposed to be about rest, and instead of resting, I’m quite literally destroying my body so I can keep up- so I can see all the things and meet all the people and fall in love with the world- so I don’t miss out.
So, if you’re like me and you have a hard time slowing down and finding rest- if you secretly find shame is resting, take a lesson from beat and battered Rach- IT’S OKAY TO REST.
I can’t do it all. You can’t do it all. None of us can because we’re not made to. We aren’t made to be superwoman hobbits (or whatever the analogy is supposed to be….I got lost in my fiction there…)- we’re just humans. And humans are flawed and incomplete and designed for community and boundaries and rest. Even God- the Creator Almighty- who can imagine galaxies into existence took a day to rest. A WHOLE DAY!!! Not like a cute 10 minute nap on the couch in between commitments but like a whole day (and when you think about how God isn’t constrained by time, a day to Him could’ve been like a whole century in human time. So really….just nap for the rest of your life is what I’m saying….just kidding…)
So this journey is, after all, about sabbath- about finding rest in new ways and rising to the challenge of sitting down and propping my broken, blistered, bruised and bleeding feet up, and just being still.
I’m learning that the best way to preserve my passion, make the most of my stubbornness, and continue to love life with all that I have is to take care of myself. That’s the best thing any of us can do. Take care of you! You are the only person in the universe that is just like you- and that’s pretty neat. You are important! (If we aren’t already, I’d love to be friend with you- see paragraph 6)
So maybe in this ever-busy world we live in, you’ll find at least a moment or two to slow down and to rest and take care of yourself.
As for me, I’m taking the day off tomorrow. Someone call me a taxi.
PS here is a picture of Spain being the insufferable show-off that it is