11 March 2010
Life is interesting. As you meet people, forge relationships, co-exist on this planet: your life forms a rich tapestry made up of stories and experiences that are shared with other people. But sometimes, just because you SHARE an experience, doesn’t necessarily give you the right to SHARE the story. Some stories are just not yours to share, even if you were an active participant in the events. I am slowly finding out the truth of that.
About most things in my life, I am an open book. I figure if I went through it and overcame it, maybe telling of my struggle will help someone else going through the same, or even a similar trial and tribulation. Of course, there are some things in my life [covered by the blood of Jesus – can I get a “Hallelujah!! Amen!!”?] that are not for public consumption or gossip fodder. That is ONE reason you will never hear about me running for public office or pursuing my career as a celebrity figure. Some bones need to remain in the closets where they are buried. On the other hand, there are some stories that I really want to share, but out of respect for the other participants in the events, feel that I cannot.
How do you draw the line between giving your testimony – and outing a friend or relative who was along for the ride? After all, there are only so many times you can couch a story with the ambiguous “friend” as the sidekick. And most times, if people REALLY know you, they can figure out who the “friend” is anyway…or they will make their own suppositions and run with those. We are all guilty of it. If you ever read a book written by an author who has access to celebrity, you wonder: I wonder who s/he modeled this character after? (or maybe that’s just me) AND you also have to wonder (as you give your testimony), who within the audience hearing the testimony is judging you or otherwise changing an opinion they may have had of you. (again, that may just be me).
I weigh all these things when I write. Or give a testimony in church. Or tell a story to a friend going through a trial or tribulation. Sometimes, I have the PERFECT story to tell – but it might not be solely mine to tell. It’s a fine line to walk as a writer who is trying to be honest and express herself honestly. Pray for me as I strive to find the perfect balance.
© 2010 Kristina E. Smith
Thursday, March 11, 2010