If you say anything with enough conviction people will believe you. Or at the very least they'll cede the point to prevent a confrontation. This comes in handy when I'm surveying the jobsite of a construction foreman who's "been doin' this since before you were born, Missy." (The Missy is usually implied.)
I've learned catchphrases for the roofing industry, abbreviations common to electrical workers, and the vernacular swims out in a twangy accent that startles even me sometimes. Might-could, done-been, and other Siamese words work their way into my speech pattern.
It helps. At the end of the day, more often than not, the supers and foremen I talk with answer my questions and listen to my recommendations...or at least they pretend to.
I am a twenty-eight year old professional with a whopping four years of experience. It's much better than when I had one year, but I still have to earn my share of respect. Be one of the guys. Be tough and smart, but not too smart, and friendly, but not too mushy. Be an intimidator who likes people.
Which makes me so grateful that God can handle me just being me. Scared. Overwhelmed. Goofy. Shy. I can be afraid of heights and he won't think less of me. I can want to be taken care of and He jumps at the chance. I can be weak and He isn't just strong, He's the strongest in those moments. When I mess up, I'm not "that girl who messed up." I'm His daughter. Beloved. Safe. I can't outrun His reach. I can't need Him too much or be too clingy or ask for more than He wants to give of Himself. I can't be a cliche because He doesn't create those. The God of stars, moons, raindrops, epochs....that God is far too big to be confused by me. Far too wise to be disappointed. In a world where being too strong is almost as bad as being too weak--and I often find myself wobbling down the line with a toe in each category--God knows my heart. Even the parts I don't understand myself.
Thank you, God, for being big enough--nay, bigger than enough--for me.