Thursday, November 3, 2011

All About Me

Do I ever write posts with substance anymore?  No.  Sadly.

I might detail to you the months/days/hours/minutes I have left of grad school, but that would sound whiny   Instead,  I will simply nonchalantly allude to them.  Onward...

So, thanks to the encouragement of our friends Kacy and Mikey, we joined them in a 'small group' they were a part of through their church.  It's basically a group of couples all in the same-ish life stage (we have 5 couples in our group) who meet once a week at someone's house and talk about stuff. :)  Well, that's the simple definition.

But anyway, as part of the whole getting-to-know-you process, each person gets a chance to tell their story.  So, literally, the story of their life, from start to present.

I don't know about you, but I have never had the occasion to actually sit down and tell someone all about myself - my entire life - in one sitting.  Of course, it's not every little thing about yourself, since you can only go over the highlights in a roughly one-hour session, but still.  It took me quite a while to actually write up my 'outline' (I did an outline so I wouldn't freeze when it came time to talk!).  

Where do you start?  What do you include?  What's fluff and what has actually helped shape who you are?  I was nervous to do it at first, but it was quite an enlightening exercise.

It's funny how when you condense your life down to the moments that really matter, patterns emerge, connections can be made, and you can actually learn a little something about yourself that you somehow never realized before.

I found myself typing out past events that seemed fairly trivial.  I added the highs and lows of different times in my life.  And then I read back through it all in order and realized how frequently I could connect my actions and attitudes later in life to my emotional reactions to events that happened in the past.  Undoubtedly, other factors came into play as well, as years and forgetfulness intervened between events.  Yet I could still draw connections, fragile though they may be, throughout the story.

I told (most) of my story to the group last night (before we ran out of time), and it is such a weird yet somehow extremely satisfying sensation to talk unabashedly about yourself for an hour straight.  The best part?  Everyone wants to hear you talk about yourself.

We all come from so many different places, both physically and emotionally, spiritually and experientially.   Yet just as I was able to draw those tentative webs of connection within my own life, so too are we able to all find bits and pieces of connection within each others'.  

Connecting to yourself and to others -- powerful stuff.    


  1. What an interesting exercise! I like it!

  2. I so long to do this, talk to a stranger about my life and where I've been; where I want to go. Totally unbiased and true. I believe you would uncover more then you realized once you dug down that far. Even though I'm your sister, I would looove to read what you told them, even if I know some of the bullet points in your outline :)I'm excited for you two to start this venture especially with such good friends. FYI you were born to be a teacher. Who outlines a discussion about who they are?! Love you Claire, your more inspiring then you'll ever know!

    PS its about time for a post that has some substance to it!!

  3. Your life really is interesting and it's such a fast way to learn a lot about you. I look forward to hearing the rest next week!

  4. Isn't it strange how infrequently we actually look back, in a big picture way to see where we came from? We remember little flashes of time, but it's not very often that we look at our lives in an intricate, yet big picture way that totally makes you connect the dots of why you are the way you are.

    I never really realized this until I started doing some counseling, and my counselor asked me to talk about my life, different moments and so forth. I suddenly realized that I had SO much to say. So many little pieces. And, I never quite realized that other people ARE interested in all those little stories along the way.

    It's a strange thing. And I bet in your situation it's so fun to get to know an hour's worth of details about all your small group friends.

    So much of life gets glossed over and summarized. Good for you for going back into it and remembering all those pieces! :)

  5. How cool that you had a chance to connect with this group of friends on such a deep and personal level. I am not good at chit-chatting but I tend to stay away from getting too deep (which is my natural inclination), so as not to scare everyone off ;). {well aware that not all enjoy treading deep waters} ... and what a great opportunity for you to pause and reflect on your own 'life story' in a way that you can make connections, see parallels, etc.

    And- I like your sister's comment :).


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