Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Suddenly Anonymous

If I were suddenly anonymous, what would I do?  When I started to stew on this post a couple of weeks ago, I made some notes in my little notebook.  Then I started to string them together a bit.  Then I went back to them a few days later and realized that this was starting to read a bit like the Red Hatter's credo..."When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple..."    That really wasn't my intention, and it made me laugh, but on further consideration, I realized that the theme of the "red hat" poem and of my own thoughts for this post were not altogether different.  They're both about a woman growing into herself...shedding concerns about appearances and social propriety in favor of the liberty that comes with truth.  They're about a woman discovering what's most important, discovering what defines her, and letting the chips fall where they may for the rest.  I am not old (unless you ask my children), I don't have much purple in my wardrobe, and I look ridiculous in hats.  I do, however, have red socks...

I don't really get much time alone.  In a busy household, there's always something going on close by, even if I'm not directly involved in it.  Because of the constant noise and activity, I find my mind meandering at strange times - in the shower, at the grocery store, folding laundry - and moments of insight pop up wen they might be least expected.   On a recent intellectual stroll, I started to imagine how I might be different if I were to be suddenly anonymous.  After all, when you're anonymous, there are no expectations.  There is no novelty in new behaviors, attire, habits, etc., because there is no history of anything else.  So, then, what would I do?  How would I be different than I am every day of my life now?  And perhaps more importantly, if there would be some significant difference, what's holding me back now?

The first thing on my 'anonymous list' would be a covered head in church.  I already do this when I travel, but there are valid reasons to refrain in my own parish for now.  This has been an area of conviction for me for years, and I am growing into it slowly but surely.

Next up, I’d like to think I’d hold my tongue more if I were anonymous.  I’m very quick to open my mouth, even when wisdom would advise silence.  Smart girl that nobody knows keeps her mouth shut unless her input is solicited!

This item may seem to contradict the previous one, but it’s just the other side of the coin.  When wisdom says speak, I’d like to think that I could speak more freely and opt for directness over diplomacy.  If I were anonymous.  Hand-in-hand with this directness, I’d like to exercise more freedom in the words I choose about my faith and religion.  Somewhere between the “Praise the Lord, I think I broke my foot” of my childhood and disdain for “wearing my religion on my sleeve” is an honest, free expression of the faith I try to live.  I’m learning to breathe freely in this area again, but right or wrong, I’m hesitant to be different to those I’m with every day.  I don’t want the open discussion about what is, for me, a very private journey.  It’s hard to talk about it while I’m in the midst of it.

There are other things that have floated on and off of this list in the last few weeks.  Some are whimsical, some very serious, some passing and some convicting.  All of them, however, have challenged me to seek God, seek His call in my life, and seek His direction to answer it here, where I am known.  Anonymity has its fleeting freedoms, but freedom sought and embraced in the midst of the familiar is true, lasting liberty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post. Much to think about. Some days I wish I could be annonymous too. I'm not sure what I would do, but need to ponder it now. Also like your comment about the personal journey, although I did enjoy sharing my journey with you. You helped me to grow in many ways. I need to find someone like you here. No luck so far.