a little lizzie in us all

Dress (Marshalls), Shoes (Kate Spade), Hat (Kohl's), Necklace (J Crew)

I like to think that there's a little Lizzie McGuire in the best of us. You know, that little animated voice in our heads (circa 2003) that somehow says exactly what we're thinking in the best comical way possible? She dances a little crazier, has the best witty comebacks, and also calmly makes a fool of herself on the daily? If you don't know what I mean, I'm equal parts jealous of and sorry for you. I also would recommend reading this, so you can get the full effect of what I mean (you're welcome).

My personal inner-Lizzie was in full on swing last weekend, at my first doctoral residency. This was a formal gathering - where timeliness and professional attire was the rule. And of course, most attendees are dressed in suits, well into their careers with tons of experience on their resumes, and a little older than me. So... obviously, I show up in my teacher sweater, looking like I'm twelve, a good 45 minutes late, thanks to my superb directional skills. As I'm peering through the windows, waiting for a break in the speech this nice director is giving, so I can go in quietly, I make friends with a very kind man who is working for the evening. And then it happens. In an effort to help me rip the band-aid, he SWINGS open the door and practically pushes me in to this great big room full of people!! I guess he thought the people inside were clapping because the speech was over. Spoiler alert: it wasn't. With all eyes on me and my lateness, I slide around from table to table, trying to find my spot, while my little animated voice was yammering a mile a minute all sorts of awkward and enviously comical one-liners. Throughout the terribly awkward dinner, I spilled my guts and dissertation plans to someone I wasn't even sure was my advisor and tried really hard to pretend I knew what "standards aligned system" was.

But at the end of the terribly awkward dinner, that kind man who pushed me into the room full of sharks came up to me. Honestly, I didn't know whether to kiss him or just really arm wrestle him. He threw me into a situation I wasn't ready for. And despite all of my preparation for that moment, I looked like a complete fool. But as this guy smiled and shared jokes as he cleaned our table, I realized that I'm pretty thankful he was there. Who knows? If he didn't push me, maybe I would have stood outside that door for the entire evening. If I wasn't thrown into this wild thing I was so clearly unready for, I wouldn't have embraced my inner awkward self, met the people I'll be growing with over the next three years, or found out what that "standards aligned system" was.

Ultimately, we have to go with it - whatever we're thrown into, whether we feel ready or not. And I really like to think that there's a little Lizzie McGuire in us all; waiting for the right time to break out dancing into the unknown.

Ready or not, here we come!

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