A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma
Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.
No one believes me any more when I tell them that I’m really kind of shy at heart. I’m not much good with small talk; I dread gatherings where there are a lot of people I don’t know, and I have to find someone to sit with and maybe they don’t really want me there. I dislike walking into a room full of people and trying to figure out what to do next. There are plenty of times I’d rather just stay home.
That, however, is not my public persona. Somewhere around age 15 or so, I discovered that I can make people laugh. I aslo discovered a love of acting, and being in the spotlight didn’t bother me at all. Around the same time, I got involved in speech competition. I did very well in story telling and then, later, debate. I had found my voice, and I wasn’t afraid to use it.
Still not sure of myself, though, I didn’t do well in the mix and mingle kind of activities that some people love. I still don’t know what to do with my hands 🙂 People don’t know that, though, because I’ve learned some tricks and tips over the years. To most observers, I’m quite comfortable working a crowd. I’m not, really, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
Now and then, I’m invited to speak at a church women’s gathering. I love public speaking. It gives me the opportunity to ham it up a little bit, and to talk about things I love. I’m not a bit nervous. It’s just pure fun.
Later, though, when it’s time for lunch? If the host church hasn’t designated a place for me to sit, I’d really rather just disappear somewhere until it’s time to speak again. I don’t, though. I go find a place, invite myself to share that table, and then try to think of something to talk about with a group of women who have all known each other for a long time.
Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, they’ll carry on with whatever they were discussing before I interrupted them. Great. I can eat in silence, and they’re not expecting me to carry the conversation just because I’m the speaker.
And here’s a note to any of you who may be in charge of such a gathering: Don’t let the speaker fend for herself at lunch. She doesn’t know where she’s supposed to go. Sometimes there’s a head table, which is very nice. The hostess, the speaker, and maybe the planning committee are all designated to sit there, and the speaker doesn’t have to go wandering around looking for an empty seat. It’s very helpful if someone is designated to shepherd the speaker in these situations, to remember she’s a guest and isn’t familiar with the way your church does things.
I really don’t think I’m a “mystery wrapped in an enigma”. That sounds very hush-hush and secretive, and I’m pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person.