As I Am

I’ve found myself in a state of reflection, yet again. Yes. I know. Do I ever move forward? We’ll see.

Usually.

It appears, that so much of what I read resinates and helps me consider or evidently reconsider what I believe to be true of myself.

Anyway, here I was smoothly reading through new posts today when one made me consider who I am, as a writer, but more so it made me question my ability to converse.

First, we need to get technical about the thought process behind my follow-up post here, its what was written on her photo that enchanted me, and then her response to my comment which birthed this process.

The quote said:

“I’m always pretending that I’m sitting across from somebody. I’m telling them a story, and I don’t want them to get up until it’s finished.”

If she only knew how many times I’ve screamed this in my head as of late. Doesn’t work, FYI. My head still doesn’t allow me not to screw up.

This should have helped me, but it didn’t, well not in the way it was intended. What I realized while reading her post is that I cannot benefit from the advice given, yet.

Why?

Easy. I don’t like talking.

Not much at all, and yes, really.

This stems from years of being walked past and expected to follow/do what’s best for the family. At a very young age.

Mostly though, I’m not great at conversing. I can retell a story and give it just the umph it needs to make people laugh, maybe think, even cry, but to sit with someone over coffee and make small talk is story telling, and I usually screw it up.

Some would argue I’m crap at writing stories, too, but I’m not allowing new information to fester at this time. I don’t want to have too much of a “reality chat” with myself.

When in an intimate setting I find I do a few things over and over again.

1. I always seem to stutter over words and it makes me uncomfortable. When I’ve researched this problem, what I’ve found is my brain works faster than my mouth. Okay, is that code for “I’m brilliant?” No, I don’t think so, I believe I stutter through a few words because I lack the confidence to deliver what I’m talking about: my voice’s relevance to the topic. Silliness, as it doesn’t matter, they’re my friends. And I’ve found I’m often referred to in their follow up points, so I know I’m not stupid.

2. I can’t seem to place the story telling in time with our conversation, as well. This is because I envision what I hear, so my mind goes away somewhere else. (Walter Mitty makes me feel normal. I adore the movie. It was like finding my person when I watched that movie.)

I begin living in the story.

Ever heard crickets after telling someone something that you find humorous? Yeah, well for me, it’s because I don’t think through the timing or the appropriateness of the topic within the conversation. I tend to blurt it out as they say. Many find it cute, however, they know me well and adore me. Thankful for them.

3. I’d much rather listen than tell. I am good at listening to someone else’s story. I tend to find they have so much more to chat about than I, so I prefer to sit back and enjoy their experience. (See #2. I see how contradictory this appears, but I assure you I am hearing while I listen.) I add in comments here and there and offer my full attention, it’s what I do.

So with these three issues at hand, I feel obligated to consider if I’m fit to write. Possibly, I’m just here on this earth to ramble and encourage others via print and as a spectator, which I find very enjoyable. We have some pretty amazing writers in the world, maybe I’m not supposed to tell/write a story.

All this honestly leaves me to believe that I don’t like story telling.

But then in our replies back and forth, she and I discussed the idea that writing is telling a story to someone. Just without my actual voice. She has a point.

To be clear it isn’t that I didn’t know this, its more I was caught up in a thought process so thick that I couldn’t see clearly. What’s that slogan about not seeing the forest for all the trees…yeah, its like that.

I began writing a post about being a rotten story-teller after reading her quote. One which left me to believe I wasn’t cut out for creative writing because we have to be able to communicate.

Then she reminded me we’re all story tellers, no matter the delivery we chose to use.

And what I’ve come to realize through our written conversation is that, more than anything, I don’t talk face to face well. I usually fall over my words, screw up any chance of getting my point across and leave looking like a fool or more importantly like an uneducated baboon.

(OR I just feel like one.)

Bridget Jones comes to mind….

What these conversating (I’m pretty sure I just made up a word.) qualities, that I hold, do for me is remind me of how amazing and grace-filled my non-cyber friends truly are, they put up with my quirky behavior in person. Also thrilled to have chatty friends here who see value in me and go out of their way to show me I’m okay.

My epiphany.

27 thoughts on “As I Am

  1. Audrey, reading your words I kept nodding “yes” – as I so often feel the same way. Inadequate. However I see you as a gifted, sensitive writer/poet/storyteller! It’s hard to be objective about ourselves, thus the doubts. But take it from me and everyone else, you must keep telling your stories, your self-truths. It’s always so good to read your posts, to “hear” your voice. 🙂❤️

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  2. Miss A., you’re a brave soul for posting something so personal and heartfelt here. I think ALL creative people — whether writers, artists, musicians, or others — have self-doubts (and occasional self-loathing!). I guess it’s part of the creative process. We don’t see surgeons or financiers doubting their abilities or worth in the world. Perhaps if we simply accept that we’re different (NOT strange, not weird, but special) then we can accept the gift we’ve been given and use it for the betterment of the world! After all, if the Good God above gave us our abilities, then surely He expects us to do something with them, right?!

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  3. Audrey, I’m always a bit nervous when you disappear but most of us bloggers disappear at times, and I’ve learned to hold my breath and be patient. So you finally return and it’s this. I’m completely stunned by what you’ve written. Not that it’s out of character but that it’s so in character. I feel like I’ve failed you as a friend, not recognizing the frustration, yearning, and sorrow I sense you’ve struggled with.

    Yet I think this is what most writers struggle with, most artists in any form. We have a deep, intuitive, private persona that wants to hide in the darkest, loneliest corner and just create. Create without pause or judgment, create without our clothes on, create without an audience.

    Then we want the complete opposite. After all that effort, the study and practice of our craft, whether dancing, music, painting, or writing, we want to show the world – look what I’ve done! I haven’t been wasting my time and if you read/watch/immerse yourself in my creation, you won’t be wasting yours.
    And we clutch at going public, climbing out of the dark space where we’ve flourished. Doubt crouches on our back, its claws deep in our skin – is it good enough, is it original, what do I know, will anyone else care?

    Telling stories is one of the first and most important aspects of being human. It’s natural to people but doesn’t exist in other animals. You tell great stories, Audrey. Go back and re-read what you just wrote – an amazing and inspiring story. I’m cheering for you.

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  4. First off, it’s always sucha good feeling when I see your name in my inbox – Yay Audrey posted something! Seriously, it’s the sign of a good day.

    Second, I understand what you are saying. I used to be able to make presentations and speak in front of a group, but I had problems with idividuals and small groups. I kept working at that (sorry to those coworkers I was boring) and it has gotten better. I can speak to a crowd and individuals, but I still screw up with small groups.

    Third, a small bit of advice. Use the fact that you are a good listener to your advantage. When you write, tell your story to yourself. Don’t let up until you like your story. If you like it, I’m sure we will.

    One last thought. As someone whose mouth often works faster than his brain, I can tell you, your situation should be easier to overcome 😉

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Audrey!

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  5. Closely carefully watching what happens in your mind and feelings when you’re about to talk to the other(s) is the first step, and you seem to be doing that already.

    “ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS

    Always always always these four stages:

    – 1. Confront that which is “before” “me”.

    – 2. Acknowledge that “I” “perceive”.

    – 3. Release both.

    – 4. Relax.

    Uncertainty is (y)our only certainty.

    For who is it who relaxes?

    And why exactly?”

    – From The Book Of Guff.

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  6. Us introverts are a sea of emotions waiting for the world to explore the goodness. Yet mostly others passby ignoring our depth of feelings. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful post! According to your convenience please do read some of my writings would love to know what you think about them. 😊

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