My Name is Whimzie and……I Always Wanted to Be Famous

When I was little, I used to practice how I’d walk from behind The Tonight Show curtain to the couches by Johnny Carson’s desk after Ed McMahon called my name. (And yes, I realize I just dated myself.) I was always a little fuzzy on exactly why Johnny would be having me on his show because I wasn’t exactly sure why I was going to be famous…I just knew that I wanted to be.

At first I thought maybe I’d be a singer. Unfortunately, I hate to hear myself sing which would make life as a vocalist irritating at best. For a while, I wanted to be an actress. But almost every famous actress story I heard began with the leading lady working as a waitress as she struggled to break into the business. Someone whose family sarcastically nicknamed her “Grace” has no business carrying trays of breakables over the heads of unsuspecting restaurant patrons. I figured my claim to fame would find me eventually. In the meantime, I practiced my signature for the autographs I felt sure people would request of me someday. I practiced making my “A” look like the “A” in Amy Grant’s signature because it looked kind of like a star–the star I hoped I would be someday.

I didn’t want to be famous because I wanted to be a diva. In fact, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would be a gracious celebrity, always volunteering my time and giving money to charities. I didn’t want to be famous so I could have lots of money, have my face on the front of magazines, and always be able to get a table at the fanciest restaurants. I just wanted everyone to love me. Like the people on “Cheers,” I wanted to go where everybody knew my name.

I’m the oldest child so I was pre-wired with a touch of “Firstborn Need to Succeed” syndrome. That disorder’s not in the DSM, so don’t waste a Google. I made it up. I also grew up with two incredibly supportive parents who told me I could be anything I wanted to be. In addition to supportive parents, I have a highly competitive nature so somewhere along the way I merged the two and decided that I needed to be the best at everything I did. And if I couldn’t be the best, I just wouldn’t try.

I achieved honors through the years. I was the president of the student council. I was voted Best All-Around and Most Likely to Succeed. But instead of enjoying each success, I found myself wondering, “What can I do next to top that?” Then I graduated from high school and went to college…with all the other Most Likely to Succeeds and presidents of the student councils and Best All-Arounds with a few head cheerleaders and homecoming queens thrown in for good measure. I felt a little lost and unsure of what I was supposed to do next.

At some point, I decided what I really needed was to be famous for God. I had to do big things for Him. Maybe I needed to become a missionary so I could lead the natives to Jesus. I wanted a huge collection of crowns to lay at Jesus’s feet one day. I wanted to be one of His shining stars in Heaven. I wanted Him to see what I’d done for Him and be proud. I wanted to hear, “Well done, Amy, my good and faithful servant!”

Each stage of my life I’ve looked for the next big thing that would finally lead to my greatest life’s work–the something that would cause God and everyone else to fall head over heels in love with me. Some times I’ve been more conscious than others that this desire was at work in my life. At times, I felt like everything must surely be on hold because I was in a stage of life that prohibited me from doing really big and really important stuff. I felt like I was in some kind of waiting room, sitting tight until it was time for my big debut.

Then I started this blog. I’ve always been a writer in my head. By that, I mean I have a continuous stream of words bouncing off the walls off my brain. They very rarely stop. Sometimes the words are thoughts about life stuff. Sometimes they’re stories about people who don’t exist anywhere except in my head. Most of the time they stay in my brain, but every now and then, I take the words out and put them in black and white and let other people see them. This blog gave the words a chance to get out more often and made more room for even more words to play in my head.

I love when something I write makes sense to someone else. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too ? I thought I was the only one.” Every day that I posted something here I’d anxiously wait for messages in my inbox that alerted me to a new comment on my blog.  Sometimes I would write something that made me feel exposed or vulnerable and I always felt a huge sigh of relief when someone would comment that they felt the same way, too. I’m so grateful for the community of friends that I’ve found because of this little blog.

But then my competitive nature reared her ugly head and I decided that if I was going to be a blogger, I needed to be the best blogger I could be. I started tracking statistics and worrying about why one post had more comments on it than another. I didn’t want to be unkind to anyone who had taken the time to read my blog so I spent a lot of time sending emails and reading other blogs and leaving comments. It didn’t take long before I had an overflowing inbox, a ridiculously unmanageable Google Reader, and a blog that felt more like a full-time job than a place to put my thoughts. And it didn’t really matter because there was always a better blogger and a better writer. And for that matter I could always find a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend. I just didn’t seem to be the best at anything and I didn’t feel like I was doing big things for God.

Over the last few weeks I’ve made some changes. I took the statistic monitors off of my blog. I started turning my computer off on Fridays. I stopped obsessing over how many times a week I was able to write a blog post. I started ignoring my Google Reader. Then this past weekend on the way home from Florida I read a book that’s been on my Want to Read list for several years.

I hesitate to tell you what I read because I’m pretty sure that I’m one blog post away from having Phil Vischer’s people issue a temporary restraining order on his behalf. But the book I read was Me, Myself, and Bob:  A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables. It’s Phil Vischer’s story and once again, God used Phil’s words to speak to my heart.

Want to know what God said to me through this book?

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “My Name is Whimzie and……I Always Wanted to Be Famous

  1. It’s kinda weird that you put that C.S. Lewis quote in this post because the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking ME TOO, ME TOO!
    Yes, please. I would like to know what God said to you through the Vischer book. I’ll wait patiently.

  2. a cliffhanger? really?

    I’ve been feeling the same way about my blog actually . . . (doesn’t that make you feel better?) 🙂 but seriously – I need more face-time with my daughter and with Jesus than I spend with my lap top!

  3. That book is great. I just returned it to the church library (overdue, of course).

    And, amen, amen, amen on the “First Born Perfection Syndrome”.

    I call it the “paralysis of perfection”.

    And yes, a “me too” on the obsessing over the blog. It gets so bad for me sometimes that I just don’t write. And that is sad, especially since the sole and intensive purpose of my blog is to share stories, pictures, and ideas with friends and family. Everything else is just cake.

    Oh, and my reader is out of control. It’s ridiculous.

  4. Amy

    Oh, good! Now I can read all of your old stuff without looking like a stalker on your stats!

    I’m a firstborn, too. I understand.

  5. Ha, I’m a first-born, too. A first-born with words inside her head. A first-born who wants to do “something big” for God. And I recently realized a lot of little Faithful adds up to one Big. That’s peaceful.

  6. That is so not fair! I really want to sleep tonight and now I am going to have to read that book before I do and figure out what you learned.
    You. are. a. stinker.

  7. Me too!!!

    I have to guard myself against the comparison monster that lurks behind stats.

    I need to blog, just for the joy of it, without pressure. I’ve backed off the # of posts and was afraid I would lose readers. (I need to be a mom and wife 1st.) The best part? I’m okay with it!

  8. carpoolqueen

    Am I going to have to put another book on my Whimzie Told Me To Read list?

    Can’t wait to see what you have to say –

    Love ya’,
    Sus

    P.S. You’re #1 with me. You just couldn’t be any better.

  9. Feeling the same way, friend.

    Glad we’re all in this boat together. Wouldn’t want any other shipmates.

  10. You are so right, my SnoodleFriend. So.Right. Famous for Jesus! I heard a friend say one time that she “didn’t want ANY cubic zirconias in her crowns..she wanted the REAL DEAL”! (how hilarious is that) but so true in authenticity!

    I cannot wait to hear what’s next, my dear.

  11. Yes, please share more 🙂

    I’m with you…or should I say “me too, me too!”. Growth is good and God even uses blogs to grow us. For me, He used blogging to purge some insecurities…still purging, hopefully still growing.

    I love how you share your heart, thank you!

  12. Yes, please tell us what you learned from this book!

    And just remember that we all feel inadequate at one time or another. The only thing that has helped me is to not compare myself to all those wonderful friends; I just remember to be grateful to KNOW those good examples. You are one of those wonderful examples to me and many other people!

  13. Betty Boop

    Just guessin…….that He made you special and formed you Himself!! He gave you the gift of writing and storytelling and He knew you would excel at both!!! Aren’t we glad that He doesn’t see us as we see ourselves……Beauty instead of ashes!!!

  14. Kay

    And i quote with absolute, emphatic, heartfelt conviction, “What! You too ? I thought I was the only one.” Obviously I’ll need to read the book…

  15. Wow. This just hits so close to home. All except the Phil Vischer book. But alas, now that you’re unplugging on Fridays, does this mean I have to wait 3 days?

    Been so feeling the “shoulds” rather than the joys of blogging, lately, so that’s why I’ve backed off, too. I have to tell myself to remember it’s a hobby. But when a hobby brings a friend like Whimzie it’s more than that, y’know?

  16. Lydia Stevenson

    Me too, except that I am a middle child. I have been asked to write a blog of our life over here, and I can’t bring myself to do it ,for this exact reason. PS can’t wait to hear more about the book, it is on my Kindle wish list. PS your blog speaks to me, it makes me wish that we could have gotten to know each other more in those college days. Thanks for keeping it real.

  17. Love this. I can so relate, and I absolutely cracked up when you talked about pretending to be on Johnny Carson. I did the same thing…well into my teens actually. How sad is that?!!
    And this: One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too ? I thought I was the only one.”
    Best. Quote. Evah.

  18. Thank you, for calling me up and telling me I’m not alone. (figuratively speaking, of course.)

    Even though I’ve backed away from posting so often for awhile now, I still have those ugly “look at me” feelings. Was JUST feeling that way this morning about the comments on my last post. And it’s funny the blogeeps I look to and think “why can’t I be as funny or eloquent w/ words or say things in just the right way like them or make those friend connections that everyone else seems to be making?”, well those same peeps seem to feel the same way. Weird. Sometimes I ask myself why I’m being thirteen years old too…

    And what it comes down to is I’ve always felt so average. Average in looks, in talents, friendships, my roles as mom, wife, etc etc etc. Not bad just not that special. But all I really need to be worrying about is what I do for God and HOW I do it and HE views me, His beautiful, precious daughter who loves and thinks is VERY special. Thanks for the reminder.:)

    And yes, adding one more book to my Ordered by Whimzie to Read List.:)

  19. Clives was right. I get you, Whimz. And I’m so happy to be your friend.

    And I looooove the changes you’ve made. It takes too much energy to be the best. I just want to love Jesus, love my peeps, love the world and love life.

    You rock.

  20. What perfectly timed words for me! Don’t leave us hangin’ too long.

    Love ya Sister Cousin

  21. Jennifer Gregory

    I want to know what you learned because I have actually read that book, you’re the first person I have met that has also! Isn’t it really good? I thought so and I learned so much from it. Tell us! 🙂

  22. Pingback: Hello, My Name is Whimzie…..And I Want to Be Obedient « Snoodlings

  23. Pingback: Phil, Myself and Bob | Notes from the Trail

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