Monday, April 30, 2012

Where Did She Come From?

It's true. I'm a bona fide, certified wall-flower. Enough so that many times at church people think I'm aloof or stuck-up. That always makes me cringe because I'm not. I'm usually scared silly, rarely know what to say to people and have been known to make some embarrassing tongue-tangles.

Thankfully, I've not been sentenced to aloofdom. Over the course of time I've learned a few tricks that have changed my life and how people perceive me. This journey started when I finally surrenedered to God and started writing. I found my way to Faithwriters and discovered I needed a screen name to get on the forum boards. Since I was clueless, I looked around. One name I saw several times was itsjoanne. I liked that her screen name was still part of her so I played with my name. That got me to thinking about who I really was. Throughout my life I've been three different people, at least...
3rd grade, wearing my favorite shirt.


Bratty Jo is what close family friends called me when I was just a little girl. For some reason they thought it fit me, but I'm still lost as to why. Hehe.



Peej is who I was as a teen in Ecuador because there was another Patty in the dorm I lived in and it was confusing to have two Pattys. Patty Jo quickly became PJ which, when slurred is Peej. Most of my friends called me Peej and in my mind was synonymous with the more outgoing side of my nature.


High School graduation.

Patty is who I grew up to be. Leaving Peej behind, I settled into Patty, the very quiet, shy woman with five homeschooled kids. It's the only side of me people around here had ever seen, but it wasn't who I was, not really. I knew Peej was still in there, constantly yacking in my ear.

Since that's who I am, I chose impeej (I'm Peej) as my Faithwriter screen name, never guessing the life it would trigger. And it's good I didn't know because the knowledge would have been too much for me. The more comfortable I became on the boards, the more Peej stepped forward and assumed control of my online presence. Once again I became more outgoing, more confident, and less restricted within myself. It was truly freeing.

About then I went to a big convention with my two oldest children. They attended sessions while I was volunteer help and was assigned to work in the “Diamond Lounge”. The place was well named. Everyone wore not just one diamond, but a whole impressive collection of diamonds. There I was, a homeschool mom, in the midst of America's upper crust and I was lost. Some of the other volunteers noticed how lost I was and with their help I made it through that long weekend.

One key thing I learned to do was to pull Peej off the Faithwriter forums and hide behind her. I noticed that as Peej presented herself with a friendly smile and confidence, others responded accordingly and treated me like a helpful peer, despite my lack diamonds. They had no idea I was smiling out of amazement at how well Peej was working for me. As Peej I was able to relax some and interact with people whereas Patty had been in lock-down mode.

Not only did I pull Peej into service, but as I wished my older sister were with me, I realized I could borrow from her. I knew how she acted in these situations. I knew the smile she used and her mannerisms, and because we're so alike I was able to try Cheryl on. From past experience I knew I could pull off acting like Cheryl, after all, I had once convinced our mom I was her, so I set to work and between Peej and Cheryl I was even able to feel somewhat comfortable.

Choosing to try my sister's techniques and to let the Peej side of me take over was a lifesaver and a lesson I've not forgotten.

4 comments:

  1. I love seeing the photos of you through the years.

    The cycle is interesting because now I find myself navigating in the blogging world thinking, "What would Patty do?" And I borrow from you in this zone outside of my comfort. You are beautiful, inspiring and wonderfully you.

    “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
    -Dr. Seuss

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  2. You KNOW i find this fascinating. And I LOVE that you figured out your board name from mine. I guess we were destined to share a brain ;)

    ALSO love the pix.

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  3. That sounds familiar to me too, but my screen name, JSfantome, didn't help. Fantome WAS a 248 foot sailing cruise ship, and it represented my interest in/ desire to sail around the Caribbean when retired. In 1998 Fantome was cornered by hurricane Mitch and was never seen again. To be honest, I'm really not too sure what to think about that.

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  4. LoL Cheryl, glad to return the favor finally. =] LOVE that Dr. Suess quote. =]

    Joanne, isn't that cool that it was YOUR screen name that helped me start this journey?!! Thank you, my friend.

    Joe, I think sailing around the Caribbean is a great idea--just maybe not during a busy hurricane season. I wondered what your screen name meant--I've noticed it several times. Maybe now I'll be able to remember it. ;-)

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