1. Thank you, thank you for all the lovely wonderful support and encouragement you’ve sent my way for TexasNorth on etsy. I’ve had 6 months to play around with patterns and marketing and cards and bags and I only sewed my finger once. Now that the December shop is up, I am excited for the New Year and a little more focused creativity. All items except the wool pants will be removed come January 1st to make room for more embroidery, written art, and chickens. Thank you again. I really never thought I would even try it, but I am so very glad I did.
2. My child is screaming her head off in the next room- apparently angry at me for life. She was such a lovely child. I don’t know what happened.
::the rest of the story::
So, this is me. Just before I found out I was pregnant with above-screaming-child, Tracy did a photo shoot for Mars Hill’s new website. In a fit of self-indulgence, I have to say that this is one of my favorite pictures. I didn’t know she took it, and it was never used… and I hate pictures of myself. My nose is crooked and I’m a little mousy. But I really like this one. It’s me. I’m real.
I had a familiar moment of panic last Friday just before Trace’s van pulled in the driveway with a dear friend visiting from the Northern West Coast. She reads this space. We ‘know’ each other. But as Tracy parked, I wondered if Thya would be sad when the night was over.
Thya and I have had a fine relationship up to this point. She stalks this blog and only just came out for the recipe swap… so I know she was happy with me without even any contact from me. I was afraid that meeting me in person might change her mind. Where’s Kate? Where’s the Katie from the blog? Together and somewhat funny and has an adorable child? This child has snot running down her face and her clothes don’t match. This Kate is a bit melancholy and tends to interrupt. This Katie is not what I’d pictured.
Now, some of that is simply the err of the beholder. I mean, it’s the internet. You read what you want to read. But, some of that is my area, as well. And the question here is: Is this all real? Is this KatieKate really you? The question has come up a lot in the pats few months- from friends, from family, from husbands. “I feel like there’s a part of you on that blog that’s nowhere else.” has been said more than once. It’s a fair question.
The answer is Yes absolutely 100% this is me. Of course it’s me. It’s not all of me, by any means… but what’s here is real. No lies. No exaggerations. It’s censored… because this is a mostly happy place and I don’t want to fight about the war or health care here. It’s edited, because I like things to read well. It’s formatted to be visually acceptable… I love me some tabs and fonts! But it’s me. It’s the best version of me. I should maybe start writing terribly so that when we DO get together you’ll all be pleasantly surprised. Why have I not thought of this before?
I have always been good on paper. I love to write. Writing is concrete and forever. I cannot change what I said once I hand someone a letter. And, to an extent, it is the same here. It’s safe to write. I don’t have to worry about eye-contact when I write. It’s private… I can write when I want and put it out there and I don’t have to wait for someone to respond. You’ll do it in your own time.
The danger here is that I consider ‘this’ communication. I feel like I talk to all of you at least twice a week- usually more with all the comment bantering and emailing. But, as the Boy is quick to remind me, I need to be careful not to live in this teeny tiny little world. He’s right. I ‘talk’ to all of you all the time, but when was the last time I picked up my phone? I hate the phone. It’s not personal when I don’t call you back. I’m just terrified, is all. Holiday parties and small talk- I can do these with notice, but I’ll crawl to my bed exhausted that night reliving every moment and wondering what people thought. Sunday dinners you can usually find me in a corner flipping through a magazine- happy as a clam- IN the room, but on the edge. Always watching, hearing, paying close attention… but out on the edge. I like the edge. I’m fine out there.
I’m a hermit. I like to be at home. I like to write. I like to play with kids- they’re simple and honest and love to get dirty. I fear criticism and evaluations. I re-play conversations in my head long after they’ve been forgotten by the other person…editing, re-writing. I’m extremely private- slow to give details and tough to read in person. Here in blogland I say what want, when I want, and the way I want. It’s easier for me here. There’s less pressure here.
There are some major contradictions to my hermit life:
1. The aforementioned singing in front of large crowds… but this is not talking, and it’s scripted, and I am almost never alone.
2. I talk to my father on the phone about 3 times a day… but these conversations go like this:
You have that Curious George toy?
You have those AquaDot things?
You have that Bumbo seat?
I know- but that’s because people are dumb. I’m not taking it back. What are you eating for lunch?
‘K. Talk to you later.
3. Working for YoungLife/teaching kiddos in large groups… but this is me working. And then I go home and I make soup and I knit all night. Balance.
I’m real. I’m trying to be better about not being afraid. I do very very much want to have a two-sided relationship with all of you- one where you share and I share and then I share and you share again and it goes on for years until we’re old and grey and trying to remember how we met. Please forgive me if I’ve been a little hermit-ish lately in person. I’m really SO much better than I use to be… but I realize this means nothing if we’re only just meeting now. *sigh* I guess… what I’m saying is, YES- this is me. But this is only the best of me. Please love all of me.
I’m not going to edit this… re-work and re-word until it’s as lovely as I’d prefer. I’m just gonna throw it out there. I don’t even know if it’s finished. This may kill me. But I’m done for now. Except, thank you Thya and Trace and kids for a lovely evening Friday. I really truly had a lovely time and I am trying not to panic with worry about whether or not YOU had a good time.
And I love all of you very very much.
[Ok, so I edited 5 times… but that’s actually very very good.]