Tuesday, March 13, 2012

25 Things You Don't Know About Me

Occassionally I read 'US Weekly' magazine for some mind-numbing entertainment (don't judge me). Amidst the celebrity gossip and the latest news on 'The Bachelor' there is a section called '25 Things You Don't Know About Me' where someone famouse reveals their 25 things. I was reading one the other day and thought to myself, "could I come up with 25 things people don't know about ME?" I don't know that they exist. My life is pretty much an open book, and I consider myself to be fairly transparent. But am I? Or do I share selectively and hide the things I don't want people to know? Am I good at masking the secrets that make me vulnerable or are painful to reveal? As I contemplated, I realized that my husband knows everything there is to know about me, and some close friends/family know most things about me. And the rest only know what I choose to display. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Not everyone needs to know our deepest hurts, our biggest fears, or our most intimate details. I use discernment when I share myself, and all in all, I still think I'm pretty "knowable" (transparent).

I was still challenged by the thought of coming up with 25 things people don't know about me that I'd be willing to share... so I put pen to paper and began to think. This is what I came up with:

1. My parents divorced when I was 2 years old, and though I was very young, I still bear the scars of that seperation.

2. I gave my life to Jesus and was baptized at 8 years old, even though my parents did not know Jesus before that and my dad staged a protest of my baptism and tried to talk me out of it.

3. That same dad gave his life to Christ almost 30 years later (in his 50s) when I brought him to church. And now he convicts me with his discipline to study the Bible and tell others about Christ.

4. I went to a Catholic middle school and got an 'F' in religion because I argued with my teacher and refused to do work I disagreed with.

5. I was a cheerleader in school, but I got kicked off the team for bad grades.

6. I drove my mom crazy by being a poor student in all of grade school. I was more interested in my social life at school than studying.

7. I was such a bad student that my parents warned me often that I would never graduate or get a good job. Ironicaly, I became an excellent student in college and made the Dean's list many times. I graduated from the University of Florida with a 3.5 average (probably just to prove them wrong - I'm a bit stubborn, but everyone knows that about me).

8. At 15 years old, I told my mom I was going to a movie with a girlfriend and sleeping over at her house. I really went to a club in Miami Beach with some random guys I didn't know (and that girlfriend). We missed curfew that night, but we used the excuse we got caught at a long train. It was worth getting grounded for.

9. I was the world's biggest Pearl Jam fan in high school, and I came late to my step-grandmother's funeral so I could go to the Lalapalooza concert to see them.

10. I met and started dating my husband in high school at 16 years old.

11. I knew after 6 months of dating him that I was going to marry him.

12. I was a competitive gymnast as a young girl, and I quit gymnastics to take up dance (ballet, tap, and jazz). I continued dancing into my mid 20s.

13. My husband and I gad our first 'real' date at a restaurant called Lester's Diner. Six years later, he proposed to me by sending me on a scavenger hunt around town. One of the places I had to go to get my next clue was Lester's Diner.

14. I love to travel. I've been to 42 out of 50 states in the U.S. and also many other countries and continents (Africa, the Carribbean, Mexico, Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Austria, and more).

15. My husband and I took our 4 year-old son to spend two months in Uganda, Africa living at an orphanage. It was one of the most amazing, life-changing experiences I've ever had.

16. When I had my first child, I arrived at the hospital already 9 cm. dialated and delivered with no epidural. It was horrific.

17. When I had my second child, I arrived at the hospital before even my first contraction and got hooked up to the epidural right away. It was blissful.

18. I have a Bachelor's degree in Health Science Education, and I teach Reproductive Health (sex ed) part-time.

19. Right after college, I did outreach education for the health department in the ghettos of south Florida, where we walked the streets and taught prostitutes and drug addicts how to prevent STDs and HIV/AIDS. This sometimes included showing them how to use a condom.

20. I have a huge fear of rejection. I will avoid rejection at all cost, even if it means never going after something that is not a guarantee.

21. I have two recurring dreams - one is that I'm on a plane that crashes, and the other is that I show up for my final triginometry exam in college and because I never went to class all semester, I don't know the material and I fail. I wake up relieved that I did in fact graduate college... and I am deathly afraid of flying (although I fly all the time).

22. I have been to Disney World close to 100 times.

23. I have a passionate love affair with food. One of my favorite places to go on a date with my husband is the Melting Pot. I also love Thai food, Italian food, Mexican food, and... who am I kidding - ALL food. The only thing I won't eat is chicken livers.

24. I LOVE studying and teaching the Bible, and I have big dreams of writing books, speaking at conferences, and teaching God's word all over the country. But since I fear rejection and allow my insecurities to overwhelm me, I don't know how I'm going to make those dreams come true.

25. There are a lot of things I like about myself and a lot of things I don't like about myself. I am a work in progress, and I ask God to change me on a daily basis.

Wow, that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I think that once we start giving it some thought and peeling back the layers of our hearts, there is a lot more to us than we think. I desire to be a more transparent and genuine person who openly shares myself - good and bad - with others. It's not easy, but it's good.

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