Though I definitely share recipes, reviews, and the occasional household tip around here, at the heart of it, I am a story-telling blogger. This is evidenced by the joy I get from writing the “My Story…” series and the incredible response I get. Even when I’m not in story-telling mode around here, I’m still sharing these tid-bits, tales, and memoirs. If you enjoy that sort of thing and you’re not already hanging out with me on Facebook, you really should head over there– I share a ton of stories and experiences over on that page and we have fun talking about them.
Anyway, as I already said, I share a lot of stories here on the blog and also on Facebook. (I’m sure I share other places, too, but those two get the lion’s share.) Several people have made remarks like the following:
- “Man, you are surrounded by the crazies, JL!”
- “What the heck is going on in CT? Where do you find these nutjobs?”
- “You are a magnet to some weirdos!”
- “Wow, I wish I would see more of that.”
- “You live in such an inspirational place.”
- “I wish more people here were like the people you see.”
Soooo… what’s up with that? How is it that I am surrounded by both the incredibly strange (e.g. the lady who gave me a look of near-disgust as she asked “Why is your son so TALL?”) and the wildly inspirational (e.g. the child who gave up his sweatshirt without a word when he saw a kindergartener shivering)? Is Connecticut really just a bizarre dumping ground of all that is great and all that is strange?
The obvious answer is– no. Connecticut is not some alternate realm with exceptionally good and bad things.
What then? Am I just a magnet for the weird? Do I attract the completely crazy comments? I don’t really think so, to be honest.
Why, then, am I the one who hears and witnesses all these things?
I’ve thought long and hard about this now and I’ve come up with a few explanations.
I have exceptionally good hearing.
That might sound funny, but it’s true. It could be because I’ve never been to a rock concert or mowed a lawn even once in my life. It could be genetic. It could be luck of the draw. Who knows? Whatever the cause, I can hear things that a lot of people can’t. While my vision isn’t quite what it used to be– I actually use very weak reading glasses to thread needles now– my hearing remains remarkably sharp. There’s a good chance that I hear some stuff that others simply do not.
I might be a wee bit nosy.
You know how some people just love “people-watching”? They have an absolute blast just watching others’ lives unfold, visually, before them. Well, I’m kind of in love with “people-hearing.” I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say I’m activitely eaves-dropping, and I really do try to avoid listening in on private, intimate exchanges, but I do love to hear the conversations in the world around me. I’m willing to bet that I pay more attention to what everyone around me is saying than the average person. Whether this is a positive or a negative trait could be up for debate, but it’s the truth for whatever that’s worth.
I’m not a big multi-tasker.
I will just admit to you now– you know those people who are taking notes on their phone, paying a bill, reading on a Kindle, and checking out their groceries all at the same time? I am not one of those people. The odds are good that I have my phone, yes. And it’s fairly likely that I’ll check for emails, texts, and Facebook updates once I get in the car in the parking lot. But it would be a rare event to see me with my phone in hand while shopping, eating, or carrying on some other task. I honestly don’t have any problem with people on their phones in lines (as long as they’re not ignoring a cashier, waitress, teller, etc.), but it’s just not something I do. As a result, I’m guessing it’s easier for me to notice all the craziness and inspiration around me. After all, I don’t have much else to look at or listen to!
I’m highly sensitive and an overthinker.
Finally, I am very sensitive to tone, intent, and implication. I have almost no coping skills in the “shrug it off” department and, so, I replay experiences in my mind approximately 863 times. I have lots of opportunity to mull things over. This deep recollection, fixation, and analysis means that I don’t miss much. It also means that I very likely overthink some things and waste valuable time fretting or feeling bad. Nonetheless, this inability to avoid replaying events and conversations in my head makes me able to share very nuanced things– sometimes the most inspirational stories are very subtle and easy to miss. I’m not likely to miss them.
So there you go. I am neither a “crazy magnet” nor in a den of inspiring people. I’m just a nosy, sensitive, keen-eared lady who doesn’t really multi-task.
And the result is a whole lot of stories about nutjobs and awesome everyday people.