Stand to Lose

Just-keep-breathing.

Those are the instructions I gave myself the entire time I watched the video. I stopped and started it half a dozen times before I finally made my way through the entire six minutes and twenty-eight seconds.  Several times I even covered my eyes and peered between the cracks of my fingers as if I were watching some gory horror flick that I could scarcely bear.  But this was no horror flick I was watching – it was me.  Me, a mic, and a podium – in front of a hundred people or so speaking of my own free will.  It was downright terrifying.

{Why is my face so frown-y?  Stop doing that, self.  Stop doing that now!  Do I naturally scowl?!  Could I just please bobby-pin that one bang up and out of your/my face?  Do I actually bear a resemblance to Sarah Palin with my hair up like that?!!  Yup, you should have gone with your instinct and left that cardigan unbuttoned.}  Just a few of the many thoughts one might encounter if one were ever forced to watch a video of themselves speaking.

You see for me, it has proved a far easier feat to write my stories down than it has been to speak them out loud.  When I write, I can re-read and revise and revisit: making sure that each word perfectly matches the ideas and intentions in my head.  But the problem with that is that life doesn’t actually occur in two-dimensions, does it?  Life doesn’t actually unfold in neatly crafted sentences and perfectly planned paragraphs and stay neatly placed on type-written pages.  No, real life cannot be contained or bound.  It insistently pours off the pages and into real time.  In real life there are misplaced commas, prolonged silences and certain words that remain just out of your reach.  Real life in real time is messy and imperfect – with fallen bangs, scowl-y faces and all. But for all its risks, real life is where you meet real people, hear real stories and have any chance of really changing.  So for everything I might stand to lose by stepping out from behind pen and paper – any illusion of grace and perfection that will surely be shattered, pummeled to pieces by stutters and mumbles and nervous gestures – for everything one stands to lose by stepping out into real life, it’s the only place that real life is really lived, and each of us is called to live it.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  Philippians 3:8

Listen to the other local writers who stepped out into real life at the Southeast Texas 2015 LTYM show here.

Read the unabridged version of Control Freak here.

Read more about the Listen to Your Mother experience here and here.

Connect with me on Facebook here!

2 thoughts on “Stand to Lose

  1. Summer, you spoke with eloquence, heart, and grace. I enjoyed watching and hearing you speak and I am so grateful I read and watched this post. You have a gift and I hope my humble comment affirms your passion. Keep going, it’s inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

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