Taking My Cape Off

Long have I been putting this off. And after so many months and rewriting, I now know what to write about.

Let me share with you how this post would have been, what it was supposed to be if it wasn’t for tonight.

This post would have been a ranting on the similarities between Superman and I. It would have been how we both have great responsibilities to carry and expectations to fulfill. It would have been how we both want to take risks and make mistakes without others looking down on us. That our power (or authority) has given us the image of someone who can never fail, someone set apart from others. And yet what we both want to be is like others, to belong, to not be seen as another.

The heck this guy is talking about?

Long story short, I’m talking about my leadership.

I’ve been struggling in it for a very long time. But I’ve done nothing significant to tackle the problem but pray, pray and pray. (For the record, I’m a religious youth group member. And a life of hypocrisy and dishonesty has mainly contributed to my struggle.) I’ve come to a point where I couldn’t lead anymore, that the group needed someone more competent than me.

But behind it all, I merely wanted to be a member again, to sit and listen to someone I think I can trust. I couldn’t see myself in that ‘someone’ anymore. Because I couldn’t trust myself.

But here’s the amazing thing that happened to me. And this is what this post is now all about.

God answered my prayer.

Three weeks ago, my sister and I decided to man up and attend one of the parish youth meetings. It was recently re-initiated by some of the parish youths and the newly ordained priest. It has a pretty decent number of members but I wasn’t expecting much from it.

I expected it to be all fun and games with little substance, people gathered in their own mini-groups, reluctant to contribute in any discussions or sharing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t work out in the end, like the previous youth group.

But the desire to be like others stuck. Tonight, it was my second meeting with the parish youths and I can happily say that… you know… I might be wrong about all that. Sure, they might be a bit too restless and noisy for a youth group, but they do have an enthusiasm and willingness to share that is admirable. They might contribute to discussions with simple answers and naivety, but I was completely humbled when they fearlessly open their hearts and shared their stories.

But what I’m more happy about is that I felt that I was part of all that, that I wasn’t facilitating the discussions or supervising the members. The things I’ve said weren’t treated differently from others. Yeah sure, I still feel out of place and left out but isn’t that the beauty of being a member?

Uncertainty is expected, not avoided, which very well takes the burden of needing to know and plan everything off my shoulder. Everyone has yet to make a solid impression of you. I am given the chance to trust someone else. I don’t have to rely on my resources and talents. Because I now have my leader.

At the same time, I would have someone to be on equal grounds with. I would be sharing experiences in leadership with the parish youth leaders. Though I would rather prefer to stay as a member in the group, I would like to be accountable for each other. I would like them to feel that leadership is not a one-man’s job. Superman has his Justice League.

However, I reckon this is only just a part of God’s majestic plan. Maybe. Maybe not. Like how Superman was on a hiatus from his usual hero job by sleeping in the sun, I too feel like I’m taking my cape off for a while to better prepare myself for a bigger calling.

And what could that calling might be, I wonder.

God bless.

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JV

It was fiesta night, with dance music playing from the disco at the basketball court. I was walking in the dark to JV’s house with him and a mutual friend after getting his unanticipated invitation to see his house. JV has visited me in my grandfather’s house, where I stayed for the time being, quite a number of times already and I felt that it was my turn to see his house. I did wait in front of his house once while he ran in to get some stuff, but I never got the chance to go in. So, I was very excited to see how it was like inside.

We stop by a house along the way and JV called out for someone inside. Two girls came out to meet and talk with him for a while and I took a few steps back to give them their own space.

Before we continued our way to his house, JV asked me teasingly,

“Do you think she’s pretty?”

“Who?”

“Her”, while nudging his head back to the house.

As usual, trying to avoid hurting anyone and questions like this, I raised my shoulder slowly while frowning my face as if to say “Maaaayyybbbeeee?”

This wasn’t the first time he asked me this. Neither was he the only person who bothered me with these questions! I swear everyone is trying to hook me up with someone while I was there, but that is understandable since a 20-something who never had a girlfriend is quite perplexing.