There’s a game going around facebook where you are a assigned a number and are supposed to tell that many facts about yourself – facts people might not know. I really didn’t want to play. Silly as it is, even at almost 50, I care who responds to my posts. Well, a childhood friend I haven’t seen in at least 35 years assigned me the number 10!
Part of me wanted to play. At least she had asked me to join in! I appreciated that. It’s that idea that you want to be invited to the party that you don’t want to go to, because you want to be wanted! You would think I had outgrown that by now. And you would think I would not have much to say about a silly facebook game. But when I reread my post, I realized how superficial and factual I was about myself — careful NOT to reveal anything controversial, unflattering or deep. I was truthful, but not all that “real.”
It doesn’t matter. It’s just facebook, truly! Not the forum to bare one’s soul. I want to get off social media, but I am also drawn to it. Facebook serves a purpose I am sure. But for me, it is often a pathetic counterfeit for real relationship. After the initial reconnecting with old friends, I am at a loss. I “like” their photos and comments. Make a comment here and there — usually sincere. But, why just facebook? Why not plan a reunion and really get together? With those in town, it seems we talk less and type more. Deep inside, being on facebook for me feels sort of “bad.” Like I should shut it down and get out there engaged with real people.
But this post isn’t about facebook per se. I want to make my game post more real. Below my post is copied. The bold is my attempt to really share a little of who I am.
1. I had a 12.1 lb. / 24″ baby. Healthy and beautiful “little” boy. He wore a 3-month size from birth! He was beautiful! I was fairly sick. He was 3 weeks overdue and I had toxemia and was slow to recover. HIV Aids was rampant, and my doctors were prolonging ordering a blood transfusion. Finally, it was necessary, but I improved while we waited on the blood… the risks of bad blood outweighed my need. I was in the hospital 5 days before I brought him home, so my mom had to leave. I felt very vulnerable and alone, as I wasn’t supposed to pick up 12 pounds, yet. But how could I not!? (Thanks be to God!)
2. I was on the Vanderbilt Inaugural Women’s golf team in 1986 — they had to field a team in order to recruit for the next season (Title 9). I could juggle golf balls, but had to borrow my Mom’s clubs to “play” on the nicest courses in Nashville! This is a fun story to tell! I still am not a good golfer. At that time, I didn’t even know how to grip a club! I am an athlete and a competitor in other sports. Maybe too much so… My memory is that the coach needed some of us to go to the SEC tournament. I refused. I was too competitive to make a fool of myself with real golfers. I don’t remember who went. I was on the team, but I never played in a real tournament.
3. I was an aunt when I was 6. My nephew, Todd Ellefson, is really my only brother! All true. Also, I was the youngest of 5 girls. I felt a little insignificant. I always wanted, not a necessarily brother, but someone, anyone younger that I could dominate! I even told my mother once, that I wanted a younger sibling, or at least a retarded one! Oh my! (Thank you, God, for my precious nephew-brother.)
4. I was chased by a bull elephant in Africa… I guess I got a little close for my photo op. Again, a great story to tell. There was a fairly deep ravine between me and the elephant, who was only about twenty yards away. Our safari guide thought if I got close enough, the ravine would “disappear” and the illusion would be that I was standing next to the elephant. We got too close, he bellowed (or whatever you call that noise), flared his ears and began to gallop (elephants kill by trampling). I ran, the photographer ran, and my then-husband, who was videoing the whole thing, ran. The story actually broke my heart. Neither of the men showed any concern for me. Both were ahead of me, and just turned to run away. It added hurt to a pain deep in my soul, but I never acknowledged it — until now. (Thank you, God! For keeping me safe and always loving and pursuing me – even when I felt alone and abandoned, You were there.)
5. I was struck by lightning in the Publix parking lot — one guy saw it. It blew the METAL tip off my umbrella. My arm was numb for about 12 hours. Not much to add here, except I sort of took it in stride — meaning, I didn’t feel incredibly grateful that I wasn’t dead. (Glad God is teaching me gratitude!) I didn’t tell many people. I just finished shopping and went home. There’s a sad and repeated message in that. “Don’t feel, don’t think too much, don’t cause waves or require care.” At that time, I was shut off from my emotions to survive, Today, I still have to override that tendency. (Thank you, God!)
6. Not about me, but my grandmother lived to be 107.5! She was so loving and central in my life, even though she was already 70 when I was born.
7. I have always wanted to write books… my journals stacked would be taller than I am…but no book! Fear of failure? Fear of exposure? I don’t know. That’s part of what I’m exploring in this blog.
8. I was an Engineering major for my first 1.5 years. A love for literature and writing (inspired by my English teachers, Ann Larson and Libby Atwell — I’m eternally thankful for you both!) caused me to switch to English via Math — I took my first college English class in the 2nd semester of my Jr year! I graduated with an English major and “related work” in Business and Communications with all my electives in Engineering! Can you say undecided? That’s it. I’ve never quite found my niche… what God created me for.
9. I went to Italy alone for 10 days… AWESOME! True, really awesome AFTER I collapsed into a teary mess when I arrived. Sobbed for hours. Called a friend at home. Timidly went into a square in Florence for dinner alone. Then slept, and slept, and slept. Backing up a day, I had to rush my departure by a day because a hurricane was bearing down on Tallahassee. I flew to Atlanta, and spent the night with a sister. We “just happened” to have dinner with friends of hers, who gave me the name of a guide in Italy who was awesome. She of course was booked 6-12 months in advance. When I woke up, I received a last minute call from Lucia. A cancellation for the next day! Knowing there was someone out there I would be meeting gave me courage and hope. Lucia was a God send in the true meaning of the word (see gratitude post). The trip became what I wanted. A line of dermarcation. I was in the middle of a divorce, when my husband got cancer. Everything had to go on hold. I needed to face a lot of fears (I had never been to Europe, so this trip was representative of all things new). I needed to prove to myself that I would be ok. I could take care of myself. I’m a very experiential learner. The trip was a gift and a blessing in many ways. And writing this has reminded me that it’s never too late to praise God with heartfelt thanksgiving!
10. Driving back to college in the rain, I spun in 3 complete circles and stopped, facing the correct way, on the shoulder… of !-75 north of Atlanta! I believe in guardian angels. Again, not sure how grateful I was. Not sure I told many people… just took it in stride. I learned early to be resilient, strong, independent, and self sufficient — at least on the outside. Now I’m trusting God to change me — I’m surrendering daily, except when I forget. I want to be grateful in ALL things, dependent on Him alone, to see God for Who He is, and let HIm live through me. My words sounds like a distant echo, even to my ears… because I’m not there, yet. I’m impatient with myself and how slowly I am dying to self. I want to reflect Christ, not live in struggle. (And more prayers of thanks today!)