Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guest Post: Aunt Virginia

I first met Rachel, The Lazy Christian, at the Indiana Statehouse event I was invited to a few months back.  There wasn't a lot of time for chatting at the event but we started to get to know each other through our blogs afterwards and it turns out we have a lot in common (one of the biggest being that we both Give a Damn and Love God, Too).  Here's what I've come to learn about Rachel- she is down to earth, totally Real about Faith and God, and she has a fantastically witty sense of humor!

My great aunt died this week.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Oh, super. A bummer of a post from someone who Liz told us was so funny." First, I'm sure Liz only told you I'm funny because I wrote it in this post and she felt like she had to set up this joke for me. (Thanks for setting this joke up for me, Liz!) Second, it's not going to be a total bummer. Promise!

I didn't actually know this aunt very well. I was just never around her much, and when I was around, her it wasn't like "Get to Know Aunt Virginia Time." It was "Family Dinner and Talk to Everyone You Can Time."

I'm sure you have those gatherings. You don't really have time to talk to any one person for very long, so you don't get to know everyone the way you'd like to. It's not super, especially since those people are usually family members who I like and want to know better, but I only see them once or twice a year. There just isn't time!

So, in thinking about this, I've gone into my usual Rachel is the Center of the Universe mode: Do people know me very well?

Am I hard to get to know? I don't think so. As evidenced by my blog, I'm a pretty open book with facts and information about my life. So I guess the question is, does anyone take the time to get to know me?

I've always been a generally happy person. Always smiling. Actually, I think I look weird when I'm not smiling. Those non-smiling senior pictures did not turn out well. When I got my first job out of college, I did customer service at a plastics company. You know, because I'm happy and smiley. I did really well with the customers and my coworkers.

Then a day came where I was not so happy and smiley. My life actually had a problem. I wasn't smiley and happy.

My coworkers didn't know what to do. They'd never seen me unhappy or unsmiley*.

It took being around these people eight hours a day, seven days a week, for almost a year for them to see the real me. For them to know what was actually going on with me and for me to drop my happy façade.

The happy was really an act. Something I did because I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to be a complex person with feelings and stuff. Blecch. I wanted to be happy and supportive of others.

Kind of like a puppy.

So that was my act. It's been almost eight years since I realized that I even had an act. Sometimes I put that façade back on, just to keep things easy for other people. Doesn't make things easier for me, though. Maybe that makes me hard to know. Maybe my friends and family would have to be around me for eight hours a day, seven days a week, for almost a year to figure out who I really am.

Not good.

So now I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of how well people know me. How do they get to know me? How can I foster get-to-know-you-ness? And how can I make sure I'm truly getting to know the people I care about, as well?

Any suggestions? And while you're at it, why don't you tell me what your act is so I don't feel so alone in my acting.

And, Aunt Virginia, I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better.

(*Unsmiley isn't a word. You know, for when you go to use it in a research paper or something. Trust me, I'm an English major.)


Rachel A. Snyder
The Lazy Christian

See? Don't you love her?  She's totally real and I'm betting you were nodding your head in understanding as you read along.  It's funny- her topic kind of goes along well with a sermon I'm writing.  You'll find out why when I eventually share that sermon with you!  Rachel- thank you for this post.  Please show Rachel some love and appreciation with comments and by swinging over to her blog and giving her a Follow!



Karen M. Peterson said...

I pride myself on being an open book while, paradoxically, not letting people get close enough to get a really good look at who I am. I'll tell anyone anything they want to know, but revealing I have feelings? Not so much.

Really good guest post! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz

I know I get too heated to quickly so I tend to back off as soon as I smell steam! Well, sometimes anyway, otherwise I'll cause too much damage. I admit to being moody and when I am I hide away, so people think I'm being snobbish but I'm actually protecting them from me!
I like your blog so if you dont mind I'll be following you.
God bless

Katrina said...

Oh Rachel how I wait for your posts, which is why I stopped by today, my new "Comment on Blogs every Tuesday" day, haha!

Anyways...great post, again I love your openness and honesty. If I had to say what my "act" was it would have to be acting like I never have a problem in my relationship with my SO. When I was married, I struggled with letting anyone know what was going on behind closed doors, especially when I wanted to talk to someone about it. Now that I am in a new relationship I have the same problem...everyone who see's us together must think "they are just perfect for each other, always getting along, so happy together." We are just not like they think, we fight, disagree, but I don't like anyone to see it.

As for the get to know you thing...I think you are already doing that! You are so open and honest that we don't have to really ask questions or try to figure you out, you do it for us. As for others, if they don't tell you what you want to know, ask them, they will either tell you or tell you off, haha! Really though, just trust that people will let you in when they feel comfortable and I don't think people around you have a hard time with that.