The walls are made of windows in the building where I work, so one of my favorite pastimes when clients aren’t coming in is to people watch as students rush by, hurrying to their next class. This is what I was doing early this morning before we opened. I saw this girl walk by, and I was instantly captivated by her personhood. She had long, blonde/pink hair, a Pinterest perfect fall outfit, a hipster beanie, and a super cute backpack. I turned to my friend Lucy and said, “she is the personification of everything I strive to be.” But the more I think about that statement, the less I believe myself. I know nothing of that girl’s spiritual life, academic achievement, campus and community involvement, dedication to friendship, or anything else that truly matters. There is no denying that whoever she is, the girl has style, but when I evaluate my goals, that is not what I strive to have.
I strive for spiritual maturity in my walk with Christ. I strive to graduate with a 4.0 gpa and be accepted into a top graduate program. I strive to make a difference in the lives of the students around me. I strive to be a source of unconditional love for my friends and family.
Looking cute is fun, and it might gain me followers on Instagram and WordPress, but allowing God to use me by investing in the lives of the youth in my church will help me grow and mature spiritually. Being the last person in the library parking lot will help me achieve my academic goals. Spending quality time with my friends will deepen and strengthen our relationships. Sometimes I think I need a reminder that my external appearance is one itty bitty fraction of who I am as a person. That’s part of the reason I love the ODP so much; the depth of emotions that comes from wearing the same dress every single day for an entire month is what brings me back to this project each year. Creatively pairing articles of clothing into outfits I’d never dream of wearing in any other month is exciting, but the yearly mental reset into an attitude of thankfulness and contentment is the real treasure of the ODP.
Dear Pinterest-perfect hipster girl,
You are adorable, and someday I hope to ask you where you got your backpack. I think we could be great friends, and I’m always down for more friends. But you are not everything I strive to be, because I strive to be more like Jesus.
The writing consultant who was creeping on you through the window
Ps: let’s get coffee sometime, because I’m serious about the backpack thing.