Today I started going through a book called The Daily Writer (by Fred White) – it’s a book filled with “prompts” and ideas for how to make writing a daily part of life.  I am looking forward to going through it. I opened up to the September 15 page, and today’s “inspiration” is to write down my thoughts.  Wait – let me rephrase – it’s to write down my most audacious thoughts.  In fact, it says “the more unacceptable you think they are, the better.”  It also says to do that for the next week or so.  Uh oh – we might be in trouble!  Without further ado, here I go.

The first thing I want to point out is the definition of the word “audacious.”  You see, I wasn’t exactly sure entirely what that meant.  I thought perhaps it meant “odd” or “weird” or “crazy” – you know stuff that would make some people wonder about my sanity.  What I found is that the “audacious” means:

  1. extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless
  2. extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas; highly inventive
  3. recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen
  4. lively; unrestrained; uninhibited

                                  –as found at Dictionary.Com

Well, if I decide to be bold, daring, reckless, and inventive, I might actually be right that people would wonder at my sanity.  But nonetheless, I shall attempt to be “audacious.”

Those who know me well might be surprised to find that I am actually a pretty shy person.  I don’t put myself out there in situations where I am uncertain or where I do not know anyone.  I go into a shell, and I only come out if someone draws me out or puts me in a situation where I am forced to reveal my personality.  See, once someone knows me, I tend to be talkative and open and I share more of me with them.  I have even been told I’m quite funny when I do so.  Some would think that might make me more likely to be outgoing and extroverted, but the opposite is true.

You might ask why that would be.  Simple answer – I seldom let anyone get to know me that well.  In fact, since my husband and I separated in 2008, I don’t think I have let a single person know me well enough that they get all of me, my full-blown personality.  I might let part of me out.  I might share a portion of who I am, but I don’t share all of me.  I hide the deepest part of me way down inside, so that she can’t get out.  I pretend to be someone I am not.  Deep down inside I am that extroverted, funny, full-of-life person.  I wish I knew how to get her to come out.

It’s not that I haven’t seen parts of her start to surface.  I have.  There are those rare moments when I let myself shine through, when I am the confident, bold, person I have always wanted to be.  But they are few and far between.  More often, I am the shy, quiet, insecure, shell-of-a-person that I let everyone see.  But what I want more than just about anything is to be me – to let people see me for who I am.  I want to be bold and courageous and let people know who I really am inside.  I want to be real.  I don’t want to be a shell.

So, let me introduce myself to you.  My name is Karen.  I like to read and write.  I love to sing.  I actually do like to dance – though I will probably never do it in person because it makes me feel like a spaz (and it really embarrasses my children).  I like to make jokes – though they tend to be lame, and I am the only one who finds them funny – but people laugh anyway because they are so lame that it’s ridiculous that anyone would have actually said it out loud.  Perhaps the delivery is funnier than the joke?

My favorite TV shows are things like Psych, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Covert Affairs, White Collar and Leverage.  (Notice any trends there?)  Now, for the funny one – my favorite all-time movie is Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”  Yes, I said it.  I have always loved all the different versions of this story, and this movie takes the cake – and no I don’t care that it’s animated or if it’s childish.  My favorite series of books is the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.  I have always wanted to be just like Anne.  I felt like her many times – unwanted, unloved, but full of passion.  The only difference is, she let hers overflow – and I learned to hide mine.

I will read everything I can get my hands on, though I have stopped reading books that have more cuss words than actual words in the first few pages.  I am a firm believer that if an author can’t find any other words to use that aren’t cuss words, then they should be finding a different profession.  Surely a good writer can find better words to use?

I am a Christian.  I believe that God created the world is 6 consecutive days and rested on the 7th.  I believe that Adam and Eve were the parents of all living humans today.  I believe that God sent His Son, part of the trinity, to die for our sins, and that that same Son rose again after 3 days, and is now sitting in heaven with His Father, waiting for us to confess that He is LORD.  I believe that He will come again someday.  And I believe that all those in heaven and on earth will one day recognize Him for who He is, and those who rejected Him will someday regret it.  I also believe that when we pray, God works.

I believe that I have a purpose here on earth, other than pleasure.  I believe that I am here to serve others, and that God has a unique job for me to do.  I believe that we are each given a specific talent and that if we don’t use that talent, someday it may be taken away from us.  I believe that God gave parents the job of raising their children to know Him and to follow His ways.

I am a mom.  I have two wonderful children who drive me to distraction at times.  They are teenagers now, and soon they will be moving out, and I often wonder if I am getting it right – and I often believe I haven’t gotten it right.  But more and more, I realize that I cannot do more than my best.  So, I do my best and then trust God to take care of the rest.

I believe that being honest is more important than whether or not I get in trouble.  So, if I make a mistake, I will own up to it.  I believe that hard work can give me what I dream about.  And I do believe that I can attain my dreams – if I am willing to put the work into it.

I get frustrated with people who say one thing and do another (and that includes myself).  I hate it when people talk badly about other people – especially when they only get half the truth.  I try to avoid gossip – though I cannot always say I succeed.  I try to be who I say I am – not just when I’m in front of others, but when I am out of their sight as well.  Again, I do not always succeed, but I do try.

I believe that good friends who will speak the truth in love, and are willing to accept the same in return are precious and hard to find.  I believe I met at least a few of them when I was in High School, and even today, I look back at those days with fondness – even if I rarely see or talk to those friends anymore.

So, if this is me, one might ask, why do I hide?  Because even though this is me, I have failed so often.  I have hurt so many people – including myself.  I have done wrong.  I have given in to temptation so many times.  I have let everyone down so often.  I am ashamed.  I am ashamed of who I became.  I am ashamed that I left all I believed.  I am so ashamed.  But I am so tired of being ashamed.  I am so sick of living in a shell.  I am so over being alone.

So, once I introduce myself, I can’t take it back, right?  So, here I am.  This is me.  Accept me.  Or don’t.  But I have to be who I am – and I have to strive to be the person God means me to be.

What about you?  What shells are you hiding behind?  Or are you the same person inside as you show outside?  What helps you break past your barriers and open up to others?

Until Next Time,

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Comments
  1. Amy says:

    Karen:
    I always find so many things you think that I am thinking in my mind as well! it is so easy to hide and make excuses. I am an expert! Thanks for what you wrote. It really made me think.

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