Thursday, December 17, 2009

On Being an Open Book

I have been thinking about this post for quite a while now. Thinking about it, re-writing it, wondering if I can find the correct words to express what I want to say. Isn't that just so frustrating when you know what you want to say but you can't make the words move from your little gray cells down to your fingertips.

It is hard being an open book. It is hard, and it is fun, and it is freeing all at once. And there are many times when it is just beyond me to be so.

I guess that I had better begin at the beginning so to speak so that you know where I am coming from.

I have often been a mass of seething insecurities vying for a place at the table in my head. I struggled for many years with just feeling like I was someone that people could like. What if I wasn't wearing the correct thing. Was my makeup on correctly. Did I act the right way. Was I talking enough. It is exhausting to be so worried about those things. And so limiting. All you can think about is your performance anxieties, your insecurities. It takes up all the space in your head that could better be filled with ideas and thoughts and sleep and humor and laughter. But that was just me and had been me for so many years that I didn't really think that there was a different way to be. I was shy, insecure. A real mess.

I am sure that it was draining on HHBL. I haven't asked him that specific question but I know that I was a difficult person to live with......I am perfect now of course but difficult then.

Cough, cough....

Yes, so where were we. Oh, ummm, insecurities and shyness and being an open book. Only we hadn't gotten to the open book part yet. But we will soon.

I might have gone on like this, dragging my insecurities along like Jacob Marley's chains if I hadn't said yes one day. Yes to something that I had no idea how to do. Yes to an opportunity that I wasn't looking for and didn't see coming at me like a line drive. Didn't see it at all but probably that was good. Remember this post, when I mentioned that I had fallen on my knees and asked the Lord for a friend, just one friend.....well this whole being an open book was part of that.

My friend, Diana Keough, asked me if I could take over doing the registration for women's bible study and I said sure.

"It involves using Excell. Here are all the files that I have. Are you OK with that?"

"Oh yes, sure I am" all the while thinking, "What is Excell?"

Of course, I didn't let on that I had no idea what Excell was. If I told her that I was ignorant of this most marvelous of programs then she might rescind the asking and she might not like me and then.....I just couldn't fathom what would happen. So I said yes. I said yes and I about died trying to figure out what the HECK I was supposed to be doing but that is probably another post altogether. Perhaps I would title it "How to Spend 40 Hours Figuring Out Excell For a Job That Should Take 5 Hours". You get the picture.

I worked, my insecurities seethed, I didn't ask for help because that would clue people in that I didn't know what I was doing. You see, that is another thing that insecurities and being shut up inside yourself will do to you, they will stop you from asking for help because then people would know that you don't know what you are doing and they might not like you or they might think you are an idiot get the picture.

And I might have continued in this whirlpool of quivering insecurity and knee knocking fear. I might have been consumed by it and never been able to get over it had I not gone to the luncheon at Diana's house. Man that was a beautiful house with the coolest office over the garage and.......sorry, got distracted there. At any rate, Diana had us participate in this little exercise. And can I tell you how much I HATE anything that smacks of being a party game. Oh.My.Gosh I hate them. So you can just imagine how I felt about having her give me a lump of clay and then tell all of us that we needed to close our eyes and let our fingers just form what came into our heads. What did we want to be or something like that, I don't remember all of it. Let our fingers do the talking as it were.

" Oh great,I won't be able to form anything and then everyone will know that I am a fraud and they won't like me and.....".

But because I was a follower at that point I did as I was told and closed my eyes and poked at the dumb clay. But as I sat there and played with the clay a picture formed in my head and then flowed out of my gray cells, down my fingers and onto that clay. And I formed a book. I formed an open book. I didn't intend to do it but there it was. And I kid you not, I looked at what I had formed and I thought, "THAT is what I want to be!" I want to be an Open Book. I want to just be what I am, damn the torpedo's full speed ahead. It was as if lightening had struck me. The light bulb flickered on and then shined bright.

And from that point onwards that is what I have striven to be, an Open Book. For me that means that I am who I am. I love Jesus. I have a quirky sense of humor. I love Bluegrass Music as well as Opera and everything in between. I ask strange questions like "Do whales sleep?" I barely wear make up. I have multiple piercings in my ears. I wear toe rings (oh I love those!). I refuse to cover up my gray hair. I read 100+ books a year and yes I know that is a lot. I vote conservative and I love Sarah Palin. I think liverwurst and sweet pickle sandwiches with mayo are the food of the gods. I believe firmly that The Pioneer Woman's Pico de Gallo should be eaten for breakfast. I am a blogger who struggles to drum up readers but is still plugging away. I am what I am. If someone decides that they don't like me it won't send me into a tail spin. Those things happen.

And I defy anyone to drag me back into that dark hole that the Lord dragged me out of. I am an Open Book and I am going to stay that way!

Edit: I have atrocious spelling.....Excell is actually spelled EXCEL. But what do I know. And I am too lazy to change the entire post.


  1. my favorite people to be around are those that are open books! loved this post. loved your transparency. so many struggle with the pretending and putting on masks, unable to form real relationships.

    how great of God to use a "party game" to really speak to you. i guess it's even better that you listened! thanks for sharing this. (and i'm glad you are an open book)

  2. Oh, gosh, I've found another quirky one. I thought I was the only one. In our family we make jokes about our weird genes.

    I'm there with ya...been there...was that...still am.

    I can't imagine reading 100 books a year...wish I could, though.

    And, like you, the very best thing in my life is knowing that Christ's love extends deeper and wider than my own peculiarities could ever go. I am at last content with who I am. God made me. That settles it all for me. Psalm 139:13-16.

    Bless you.

    P.S. You are a brave soul. I would never have ventured forth into Excel.

  3. NOW you tell me you didn't know how to do Excel... Lol. And...thank you for sharing that the exercise Mary Stocking had us do in my family room had such a profound effect on you... I guess hearing about both 10 years (or is it even longer than that?) is better than never!

    Love you, Deb. Always have.

  4. Debbie, I love it that you're an open book. I too need to work on that. Gosh, as I read through this I thought, wow, this Debbie girl really rocks! Thanks for some good food for thought today. -Tammy

  5. I can't imagine you as anything but an open book and I love ya for it!!!!

  6. I totally want to be your best friend. I feel like I need to go off and do some self-evaluation.

    I just had liverwurst and sweet pickle sandwich for the first time and it was surprisingly good.

    I love your sense of humor and your sense of self. I would've never guessed you'd struggled with it before.

    I find that if I put it all out there its like its not a secret anymore and I feel like I don't have to hide it so its not so bad.

    Now 'm rambling. Great post!

  7. Well, I lova ya and think you're wickedly funny and dang smart to boot.

  8. LOVE your blog! I found you on Conversion Diary and I'm enjoying you even more than the Catholics I usually read. (That's some good blogging, by the way, when you're winning out over the Catholics. Even though I'm not Catholic myself. I just like their blogs...holy days and saints and things that are mysterious and interesting to a Protestant like me. I digress.) Keep up the great blogging!

  9. I omitted one thing from my first comment. About liverwurst...about the ingredients on the label that I read about 30 years ago...I've never eaten it since. I can't bear to write it here, so you will have to visit my blog to read about it there. Or maybe not, if you wish to continue eating liverwurst which I agree totally is a wonderful yummy thing.

  10. Great, great post. And if you're making pic de gallo, I'll come over for breakfast any day of the week! And we can talk books. (Do you read romance novels? 'Cause I'm afraid I'm a bit of a sucker for them. But that's just me. Being an open book.)

  11. I've been struggling with a lot of insecurities this weekend. It's so nice to know that I'm not alone, and that I don't have to hold onto all of these insecurities forever.


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