What My 20s Taught Me: I Was Made This Way

Me, during my ballerina phase. Not even phased by the fact that I'd never had a ballet lesson at this point.

You know those people who’ve known what they wanted to do since they were kids?  Are you one of those people?  A doctor, a lawyer, a teacher?  I envy those people.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist and a ballerina and a cowgirl (which, by the way, I thought meant I got to ride cows).  As a college student, not much changed.  I wanted to be a poet, a counselor, an actress, a chef.

In my 20s, it was the same problem: a journalist, a photographer…a mom.

My ambitions changed on a regular basis.  One day I wanted to study massage therapy.  Another, I wanted to open a pie shop.

I love so many things, and find as much joy in capturing the love between a mother and her son with my camera as I do kneading a batch of sourdough bread that will make my husband happy.  But I thought this was a fault.  That there was something wrong with me.  And I’ve always thought there was some kind of defect in my personality.  A short-circuit that made me indecisive and unable to stick to one thing.  And so I beat myself up for changing my mind so often, and wondered why I couldn’t be like my friends who’d always known what they wanted to be when they grew up, and had never strayed from the paths they knew would take them there.

Last Summer, after having Adlai and taking time off from working to be his mama and only his mama, I found myself content in mothering him, and writing, and wrapping my brain around using my camera effectively.  These were still three things, though, and again I felt the pressure to choose my path.

One night at a friend’s house, while meeting with our small group, we took some time at the end to pray for each other.  A few moments in, my friend Kezia turned to me and said, in her beautiful Scottish accent, “Faith, I feel like God wants me to tell you you were never meant to be gray.”

I just kind of stared at her for a moment, not sure what she meant.

“He made you colorful, and not gray, and he wants you to know He made you that way.  Like a chameleon.  You change.  And you were made that way.”

Now, this may not make a lot of sense to you, but on that night last July, something changed in me.  For the first time in my life, I felt sure that I am exactly as God created me to be.  My varying interests and myriad creative pursuits are not an inability on my part to commit, but an intentional decision made by my Father, who gives me permission by His very design to pursue the things that bring me the greatest joy.

So, okay, not all of my entrepreneurial ideas are meant to be undertaken.  (For instance, my combination pizza/ice cream/movie delivery business is probably best left to someone else.) But I can be Adlai’s mama.  And I can write.  And I can capture light and emotion with my camera.

Because I was never meant to be gray.

And neither were you.


Read previous What My 20s Taught Me posts.

Author: Faith

Faith Dwight is a photographer and a writer. She is a Southern American girl living just north of London with her British husband, Simon and their two halfling sons.

18 thoughts

  1. Your post made me cry, I swear this is exactly how I have felt my entire life. I know I am meant to be more and definitely not gray. Thank you for sharing, love your writing.

  2. This post reallly reallly blesses my heart! Thank you. I have always felt this way & also have thought there was something wrong with me. I have a million passions but I have problems committing! Then the problem though is that I get so frantic & usually end up doing none of them, & the self-loathing cycle starts over. Thank God that He created us this way & knows we are passionate & idea-driven & thoughtful & at the heart of things, love SO much that He has made, we get overwhelmed! I am working on taking things one day at a time & setting goals. But I love that you & I have so much in common. Here is a quote I love:
    “I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”
    -Sylvia Plath

  3. this is exactly me & I m also going through the same situations lots of ideas but still can’t figuring out what I really wanted to be in life i’m at my 20’s I feel so scared sometimes depressed
    I loved this post after reading dis I felt happy I love this post thank you!

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