When I was a high school senior, I wanted to do something memorable, something special that I could be remembered for. One morning that fall, I was reading the announcements over the school-wide intercom as part of my first period office aid job, and I discovered my opportunity. I was asked to read the rules for the homecoming queen election. These guidelines stated that to be eligible to run for homecoming queen, you had to be a senior, have at least a C average, and you had to have gone to the school for the entire semester. (Apparently, they were afraid that a student would be HC queen at one school and then controversially transfer to another school and get it again.) It also said that to run, you would have to get 100 signatures, within the next five days, of people who would consider voting for you (to weed out those who didn’t have a chance, I guess).
After reading this to the student body, I quickly realized that it never said that you had to be a female to run for our school’s homecoming queen. It was in that moment that I declared my candidacy for homecoming queen of my high school. Even though I was given five days to get 100 signatures, I got over 300 between second and third period. By lunch I had a campaign manager, and before the end of the day, I had a creative director who was going to draw up a design for posters and T-shirts. Before school was over on that Monday, I proudly turned in my form, four days early, proving that a good homecoming “queen” was also punctual.
The next morning, the principle asked to have a word with me. I didn’t know what he wanted to talk about, at first, until I saw my signature sheet on his desk. Needless to say, he didn’t look very happy with me. He shut his door, which was never a good sign, and just stared at me for a moment almost wondering how to begin. After an ultra-awkward amount of silence, he simply asked, “Who do you think you are?” Not sure if the question was rhetorical or not, I began to answer, but he didn’t want to hear it (which confirmed to me that it was truly rhetorical). He explained to me that he couldn’t allow me to run for homecoming queen. I pleaded with him, attempting to paint a picture of the half-time ceremony: there I would be, center field …with my mom! But he told me that he would not let me run for two reasons: one, because he said that he was afraid that I would win (can anyone say moral victory?) and, two, because, as he put it, that wasn’t who I was.
I left the principal’s office that morning with my head hung low, knowing that my dreams and aspirations of becoming the homecoming queen were spoiled (a reality that I got over before the end of the school day). The more I thought about it, the more I knew that my principal was right. That wasn’t who I was. As a matter of fact, it would have been pretty stupid. Was that really how I wanted to be remembered? And also, was I willing to rob a deserving friend of such an honor as homecoming queen just because I wanted to get a laugh? So often we lose sight of who we are, and we try to be something else. Whatever the reason might be, we forfeit our pursuit of who we really are to become something that we truly don’t want to be. When we do this, we move further away from who God made us to be and closer to someone that we don’t recognize. p. 35-37
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