I love when life throws you unexpected lessons or reminders when you need them the most.
Even if they have to come from some grasshoppers.
I was at a wedding this weekend (yes, another one), and it was outside at a peaceful ranch beyond the metroplex. The ceremony was outside, so obviously one can expect that there might be a few bugs in the area, but I don’t think everyone was anticipating the incredible amount of grasshoppers that were present on this particular evening. I’m talking plague numbers here. To be honest, they weren’t bothering me too much, but there was a collective paranoia in the air from most of the guests that the grasshoppers were going to land in unwanted places, and some people were even asking those around them to watch their backs (literally) in case any of the over-hyper insects went for the sneak attack.
As far as I know–though I have not done extensive research on this topic–grasshoppers aren’t actually directly harmful to humans. Sure, they can ruin people’s crops and can cost people a great deal of money by ruining the grazing lands, but I didn’t see any farmers at the wedding, so I’m fairly certain that was not the concern the attendees had on their minds as we waited for the wedding to get started. I think it’s mainly because the creatures are so gross-looking and can unpredictably hop anywhere at a moment’s notice. (Interesting side note: I read that if humans could jump like grasshoppers, it would be the equivalent of leaping the length of a football field. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a rather significant distance.) Simply put, the grasshoppers were scoffed at and unwanted.
But the thing I found most admirable is that the grasshoppers just didn’t care–they wanted to be at that wedding and with those people, and they were not going to let a few hand swats scare them away.
There are many times in life when we let the way people perceive us determine our actions. I remember when I was in the sixth grade, I purposely got multiple detentions, because I had a crush on a guy who spent pretty much every afternoon in the detention room. First of all, I am not a troublemaker and was probably considered more of a goody-goody, so it was silly of me to change who I was all so I could try to impress a guy. Secondly, I honestly have no explanation as to why I was so interested in someone who was always in trouble. Obviously that one didn’t work out, and I can’t say I’m sad about it.
I was not a grasshopper in those days, but over the years I became more comfortable being me, even if it means people will think I am weird.
I’d rather be strange than a stranger.
As most people who know me know, I’ve never dated anyone, so that leads many experts to give me advice whenever they see fit. I’ve had people suggest to me that I should wear makeup or set aside some of my quirks when I’m in public. I always carry Wheat Thins in my purse and eat them with my food at restaurants, and I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “You know you can’t do that on a first date, right?” False. I can, and I will. If I didn’t, I would be acting like someone who would try to get a detention to impress a guy. It’s just not who I am.
Each person in this world is uniquely made. God made you the way you are for a special reason, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to act like you in any given situation. If you want to go groove to the music when the dance floor is empty, go and get the party started; if you need to go to the grocery store but look like you don’t own a brush because you’ve been cleaning all day, walk through those doors with confidence like you are the queen of produce; if you trip in the parking lot and fall flat on your face, stand up and keep walking, because everyone is going to fall at some point in life; if you want to order a Shirley Temple and a bowl of cherries at a nice restaurant, don’t hesitate; if you feel the need to sport an outfit with “clashing” colors, well, anything matches if you wear it with confidence; if you want to apply for a job or school you think would never accept you, give it a try–sometimes rejection happens, but sometimes it doesn’t; if you fall in love, tell that person–I have to quote Michelle Branch here: “It’s all so overrated not saying how you feel, so you end up watching chances fade and wondering what’s real”; if you want to be anyone in this world, you are your best option.
You will never know how many football fields you can leap if you don’t first boldly launch yourself into the air.
Go for it, young grasshopper.