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.
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.