December 15, 2006

What I Do/Don't Want You To Know About Me

As a writer, I like to think that my life is an open book; I tell people there's not much I haven't revealed in articles and essays that have been published to wide readership.

However, when I really sit with this question—is there anything I haven't told and don't want to tell?—I see that I can come up with a few missing pieces...oh, okay, a few dozen!

My friend Mona Grayson recently tagged me in a game of "Blog Tag" that's making the rounds. Now that I'm "It," I'm challenged to write five things about myself that others might not know about me...and in turn, to tag five other bloggers, inviting them to do the same in their weblogs.

This is a wonderful opportunity to stretch. An inquiry exercise I love is to admit to something you don't want others to know about you and then to turn it around ("I do want you to know..."). Confession is good for the soul, especially if you let yourself off the hook for being human.

So...deep breath...what I don't want you to know about me is:

1. I didn't lose my virginity until I was well into my 24th year. I'm not sure why this is still so sticky for me; some might consider it rather sweet, because I was holding out for love. The truth is, I was terrified of being used, abandoned and impregnated...so I held out until I became tired of holding out and found someone who I considered "safe." (He was; in spite of my not loving him, we stayed together for four years.)

2. I lie. I say I'll call or visit people with whom I really don't want to be that close, then I just conveniently "forget" or "something comes up." I fudge with the truth when I feel that telling the truth will make you like me less. I exaggerate or don't tell the whole truth...for example, on my website I say that I have worked with hundreds of people. I have, in workshop and volunteer capacities, but someone reading this might think I've had hundreds of private paying clients, when in truth, as of this writing I've only had a couple dozen at most since 2002!

3. Bad vision is not the main reason I don't drive; it's my convenient excuse and it's a good one because I don't have good depth perception and perhaps shouldn't be behind the wheel, ideally. But the main reason I don't drive is that in spite of spending a lot of money on driving lessons, I failed eight road tests before the age of 23, had a couple of minor but scary accidents more recently and am easily demoralized by failure...as well as frightened by machinery and traffic. I actually have nightmares about driving a car and being out of control. (Not that I've ever died or hurt anyone or totalled a car even in dreams. Hmm.)


Now I will turn these around. What I do want you to know about me is...

1. I didn't lose my virginity until I was well into my 24th year. I was a sensitive young woman and this was a way for me to be kind and gentle to myself.

2. I lie. I want you to know this because I'm not a very good liar...and if I'm setting myself up as perfect, it's going to be hard for clients to relate to me. I like to let people know that I'm just like them, not some enlightened master. I am still doing my work and very likely always will. I believe that this levels the playing field and therefore brings us closer.

3. I am scared to take driving lessons again. I don't want fail again and I don't really want the responsibility of driving either. I want you to know this because I am tired of making excuses about it; and I'm working on my fear.


I feel better now!

Here are two more things about me that you might not know:

I am a wickedly good mimic. My favorite impressions are of Julie Andrews, Mae West, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and...Byron Katie! I can do a little smidgen of Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Ethel Merman, Dionne Warwicke, Shirley Temple and Diana Ross too...as well as Lionel Barrymore and my seventh grade math teacher. While this can be seen as poking fun at people, I can only do impressions of people I love.

I have a left-right learning disability that makes travelling with me an adventure that is not for the squeamish. "Turn left here...no, right, right, I meant right!" (Swerve!) (Another good excuse for not driving!)

Now that you've learned a bit more about me, you might enjoy visiting the blogs of these five friends and colleagues:

Annie Newman: The often hilarious as well as thoughtful "Annie's Day" blog features, by her own account, "Life, as played by a middle-aged woman with a vivid imagination."

Jody, whose guru-busting blog Guruphiliac will disillusion you in betweem guffaws.

Dawud Miracle, who blogs about marketing, customer service and the integration of life and work on his website. (He's my miraculous web designer and that's his real name.)

Jamie Reynolds is just following the Simple Directions.

Lisa Biskup: "Thoughts appear—and I put them here."

You may also like to subscribe to my newsletter, Transformational Inquiry, in which I tell on myself quite often, while tying my experience to the process of The Work of Byron Katie.

©2006 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.

1 comment:

Mona said...

Ya know, I didn't lose my virginity with a man until I was 22 or 23 maybe? It was so non-eventful that I didn't even pay attention to when it happened. Ha!

What I'm finding really interesting about reading the different lists people are writing on their blogs, especially the people who are writing these kind of "don't want you to know" lists, is that some of the things on their lists I believe I would feel bad about too. And other things on their list I don't think I would feel bad about.

So what I'm seeing around these lists (which actually translates outside of the lists of course) is that it's so much about the story we tell about the event in our life that determines whether we feel good or bad about it. The event itself is nothing one way or the other. It's just what it is.

Thanks for playing tag with me, girl!