Thursday, August 18, 2011

Faux Pa-tty?

Last weekend was the Faithwriters conference and when I say that it was the best one yet for me, I mean it. In years past I was trapped so firmly in my shell that I couldn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to, but this year was different. This year I let the other side of myself out of the cave and I enjoyed being with people—something that is very unusual for me. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love people, it's interacting with people I don't know well that's difficult. In past years, I quickly reached my limit and went into people-overload, turning me into a jittery mass of nerves. This year was different, and I'm so very thankful.

What I learned at conference this year was not about writing, it was about myself and what I can do. I'm still amazed at how God's worked in my life—because it's God in me that's making the difference and helping me grow beyond the limits I set on myself.

Teaching at the conference, in spite of extreme nervousness.
This year I was able to teach two classes at the conference, Clearing the Blog Fog, about the benefits and basics of blogging, and Let it Shine, about platform and persona. The blog class was a re-run from last year and a class I teach online a few times a year (you can find more info about that class here) but the Let it Shine class was all new and was a challenge for me. That class encapsulated much of what I've learned in the past year-and-a-half, and am still learning, about pulling on my persona—much as an actor would on stage.

After that class, Di asked a great question, something that was really bothering her, and I know it bothers other people too. If I have a persona I step into at times, then who is the real Patty? Am I putting on a front and deceiving people? Am I being a fake, a fraud?

No, I'm not. Here's why...
After spending years being a wall-flower I realized that often (but not always) it was fear that was holding me back. I wanted to be involved, I wanted the freedom to talk with people, I wanted the freedom to goof around, but fear kept me in lock-down mode. Other times I just truly loved watching what was going on. I'm a people-watcher at heart and gladly spend hours watching them, so fear was not the only reason for staying on the fringe of things, watching.

Me and Di as we talked about my two sides.
But there's another side to me. An outrageous, goofy, bratty side. Family friends called me Bratty Jo (instead of Patty Jo) when I was younger. In fact, a couple years ago they reminded me that I'm still very much Bratty Jo with my family, and they're right. That side of me is often the peanut gallery and running commentary inside my head as I watch people. That side is more who I was in high school—Peej (which is PJ, slurred into one syllable). So when I needed help stepping out of the fearful, too-quiet Patty I had become, I drew Peej out of the cave and let her step forward.

Just as Peej helps Patty be able to teach (which would be terrifying for Patty) and talk with people, Patty helps Peej by refining her, softening the stupidity Peej often spouts.

The two sides both reside in me—the highly introverted Patty and slightly extroverted Peejers. Combined, they are the real me who lives inside my head and heart. So it's not that I'm being a fraud and that I'm not being true to myself when I step into my persona, it's simply pulling out the more outgoing side of me.

In the upcoming months I'll be posting occasionally about how I built this persona that has helped me become the person I feel God wants me to be—the person who is able to do the things it seems He is calling me to do—things far outside my comfort zone. My reason for these posts is that too many of us are kept from doing what God has for us to do because we feel we could never do those things. From experience I know we can, but often it means a lot of work on our part learning tricks and skills that will help us and free us to be and do what God has called us to do. My goal is to show you what has helped me and worked for me. If you'd like to join me for these posts, won't you follow my feed or better yet, sign up to receive them by email.

So tell me, what are the two sides to your nature?

*Pictures of me taken by Lynda Schab. Thank you, Lynda. LoL, I think.

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:40 PM

    Oh, Peej, I can
    SO relate to this!
    Thanks!

    Sunny

    ReplyDelete
  2. So THAT'S what you learned!! It was a fabulous conference, and this is going to help me TONS as well.

    I have two personalities too, I believe, and I think I'm often hiding my insecurities and fear of rejection (and quick temper) behind my "bubbles" of smiles and outgoing personality.

    I'd just never thought of it that way. I may need to work on letting at least some of that inside personality come out.

    I've been asked SO often, by SO many people if I'm ever in a bad mood. If I ever yell. If I ever lose my temper. Maybe they're not seeing my "real" side - just like those same people have a hard time believing you're a wallflower.

    We need to talk about this ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, THIS is what I learned. It has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with the work God is doing in me and what I'm able to do with HIS help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love meeting the whole YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a goofy side too. I'm glad we are all real people who love Jesus!

    Bless you!
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  6. Patty, Patty, Patty... are you sure your name is not Ginger? LOL

    You described ME so well, that I thought you were talking about me. This whole week God has been working in me to be ME. It started on Monday - read my blog if you haven't already - continued into Wednesday when our Pastor's dad did a service that spoke about being authentic and now you.

    I wonder how many times I will have to go around this mountain before I get it?

    Anyway, I am commenting for two reasons. Number one is above. Number two is that I am delighted to tell you that I have plopped on you the Leibster award. Come see my blog for more information.

    Thanks for being real and I look forward to reading more about the real you (and meeting you too).

    Ginger

    ReplyDelete
  7. LoL Amy, yes, you saw the whole me last weekend. Even the goofy and bratty side. *eye roll*

    Paula, isn't being real for Jesus great? Scary sometimes, but great! =]

    ROFL, Ginger. My name is Patty and I'm a genuine, certified wall-flower. If you ever see me goofing with people (or being bratty) you can be certain you're seeing the Peejers side of me. LoL

    Thank you so much for the award! =]
    Hugs all around!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love Peej and Patty, both sides are still terrifically you! But isn't it great that God helps and equips us to achieve what He calls us to do?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my, how frightening :-P

    One side of me is sweet, calm, collected, the other side is goofy, swings into sarcasm, and feels lost. God holds me together :-)

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Patty/Peej

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hate to step all over your revelations by saying it, but: "ME, TOO."

    Writing seems to be the outgrowth of what God is doing on the inside of the author so He can bless the and encourage the readers. (Nothing profound about that - it just seems to fit :)

    Anyway, thanks for all you do, Patty and for being you - so real in every way!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Wow, awesome, Patty! Thanks for the encouragement! God is Good. Looking forward to following posts!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oy, that picture is as real as it gets, eh? Gulp.

    Thanks so much for clarifying things, Peej. Your wisdom is a bounty of blessing for all of us. Really, really.

    And we're all a "work in progress," right? Striving, reaching and stretching out towards the person God wants us to be is an adventure.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I loved your class. You give me hope!

    Even blogspot agrees, at the bottom it says, "Choose an identity!"

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my goodness! I'm so glad I'm not the only one with split personnas. LOL!

    This is good stuff Peej and I definitely look forward to reading more.

    Thanks for letting me know both personnas.

    ReplyDelete

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