Transparencies

7:30 AM

Warning: This post will be a waste of your time. This post will not make much sense. This post will play around with many pretty turns of words and give you a strange and unprofitable idea to think about. It attempts to be coherent and moralizing, but do not let it lie to you. You take what you get and you get what you take. I am hereby, after this sentence, no longer liable for your impressions of either me or my writing. -- The Moderator

People have called me open. Open-minded. Big-hearted. Easy to talk to. The kind of girl you could tell anything to and have her bare all back -- without batting an eye. Up until now I took that as a compliment. Now, I'm not so sure.

The first time this became an issue was when two friends (on separate occasions) told me I was open-minded. Open-minded -- it reminds me a sieve, wide and open to all sorts of ideas, pretending to sift through them all, yet retaining nothing, not even the bad ideas.

The second time it was an issue was when a somewhat acquaintance, after spending a good while talking, told me I was "so open." Normally that's a compliment and I take it as such. It was given as a compliment, in this case, but I didn't take it as one. It felt like I was being violated, almost, with no self-respect or hiddenness about me: I was totally exposed and up for grabs to whoever would talk to me or listen to me, no discretion about it. Like I was a feel-good quick fix, a Quick Trip for real friendship, the Band-Aid instead of the surgery.

If you email me, I will sign off with "love." If you spend a day with me, you will get a hug good-bye. If you ask me my life story, you will hear everything. If you tell me your life story, I will listen (grown-ups especially love to vent their guilt and complaints about the world to me, perhaps more because I am naive than mature -- I haven't quite figured out how to respond to that).

Sometimes I think out loud: just talking through what's going through my head, through my heart, not intending to propagate a philosophy or deliver my set-in-stone opinion. (Like this post.) I live out loud. You can read me like a book if you like, or you can listen to me narrate it.

To a certain point, openness is good. If there were no openness, there would be no unity, no love, no change. We would be rigid and self-centered. But is it possible, I wonder, to be so open, so transparent, as some people would say, that there is nothing behind the openness? That you can keep walking through open door after open door until you're back where you started? That if you keep on "seeing through," so to speak, there is nothing left but -- nothing?

I'm not talking of brutally honest people, people who say it like it is. Those people have a room behind the open door and a picture behind the glass: they have an opinion and they say it. No, my form of openness would be called almost a lack of discretion and disdained were it not so popular: it gains many outer-circle friends, but it is too weak to sustain a deep-down friendship. This openness has to absorb something from someone -- his strength, her beliefs, his way of looking at things. It gives so much that it has to have a reserve to draw from -- and thus I realize why people both trust me to take on a job and worry about me spazzing out whenever hardship comes along. I'm like air: a motion without substnace. I'm like glass: strong and ready to shatter.

There is a curse to being open. Everything comes to the surface, everything sweats out the pores of one's soul, everything exposes itself to a world that is uncomfortable with imperfection. And there is lots of imperfection in imperfect people. I struggle with this, with knowing how obvious and public my mistakes are. Other girls hide it by not involving themselves in opinions or cracking their calm demeanors or putting themselves out in a way where they cannot privately cry if things go horribly wrong. Their beliefs, their hearts, their lives, are their own, hidden inside; but my heart is on my sleeve, and its beatings and batterings cannot stay hidden. (I wonder if that's why my dear hearts tell me I'm grumpy all the time -- whenever I'm quiet and pluck my heart off my sleeve and put it in my pocket to fix later, it is abnormal and they notice it. Or maybe I truly am grumpy. Do you think?)

All that to say -- but it seems I have come to the end of the blog post without a moral to the story. I guess what I have been learning is that there must be something behind the openness for the openness to mean anything. Openness for openness's sake does no good to anyone -- least of all myself. I cannot go snivelling about my problems openly, pretending I want them fixed, if I don't have the backbone to fix them. I cannot go spreading smiles around the world if I am not willing to back them up with love. I cannot live an open life with no expectation of changing, as if "being open" were good enough. There must be a reason for the openness, an end to the openness. Openness is only as good as that which is behind the door. And when people walk in, I want them to see Christ -- openly.

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7 impressions

  1. There most certainly WAS a moral to the story! Now we know much more of the girl behind the amazing words she writes at this blog. You make it sound like you have too many quirks, lol. They are the very things that make you such a unique and awesome young lady. And while others tuck things away, hiding things inside, YOU are true and shining with no hidden thoughts that might be considered secretive or deceitful. I tend to 'grump' up often, also. I think it is because we try so hard to be true that we grump if others fail to see our efforts, you think?
    Anyhoo, here is a really big {hug}from me to you and I wish you a wonderful 4th of July! Stay safe and cool!

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  2. Thanks for sharing Bailey... And no, I don't think you are grumpy. :)
    Be blessed!
    Mikailah
    P.S. What is your life story? :)
    You can email me at maidjust4him@gmail.com
    And my blog is www.maid4him.blogspot.com

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  3. What is substnace? :)

    Do you find that, when you are open, the conversation goes in a specific direction through every door immediately ahead? While you get very far into your deep thoughts and emotions, there are numerous other thoughts and emotions that were ignored to reach the where-ever-you-wind-up? That every door you didn't open also leads to other very deep thoughts and emotions?

    If you do, then do you ever think your open-ness is a sham, a fake, pretend open; because no one can know you very well? They only know the holes they have taken down into the bowels of your consciousness. They cannot know the things you sorted through with someone else. They will never see that. It evaporates away leaving only ideas as residue.

    I am not brutally honest. I am brutally unobservant.

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  4. ARE YOU SITING ON THE BATHROOM SINK/COUNTER!?

    Nice post..

    *love ya!*

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  5. Hello Bailey! Since I am not-quite-affectionately called "the clam" by my family because they never really know what I'm thinking ... I don't have much advice for you. :-P

    I have, however, tagged you for a fun quiz at my blog. ;-) Not to be un-serious. Come on over and take a look!

    Love in Christ,
    Vicki

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  6. I don't think you are shallow at all. You are very open, but there is a lot of deep thinking and seriousness behind it. I love reading your blog! (and I have very high standards about what is enjoyable an worth-while reading;)
    Keep it up, but at the same time, don't be afraid to take a break and live your own life in privacy. It is all about balance :)
    In love,
    Allison

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  7. Here's a thought; maybe, just maybe, your being open and welcoming people into your thoughts and heart is not such a bad thing. My observance from knowing you is that, no matter how long and deep of a conversation we have, there's always more to learn about you. The doors that lead into all that you're made of are unending because of the endless creativity of your creator. By your being open, you give people a glimpse of who God is, and then they're invited to find more about Him in order to discover and understand the deeper things that make up your heart (and conversely as well). Plus, when you're changed from glory to glory, that adds another factor to the equation! Don't worry, there's always more doors to open. :) -Lindsey

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Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)