Do You Know?

March 10, 2008

Yesterday in church, one of the speakers (who recently moved to this area) mentioned what a coincidence it was to find Bart living here since they had gone to the same high school on the other side of the country and played in a band together.

I wondered how many of the congregation were surprised to hear that Bart was musical. (My suspicions were confirmed when one of Bart’s friends approached him afterwards and said his first thought was “OUR Bart?”).

It made me think about how strange it is when you move somewhere new or join a new group of people that they only know parts about you and have no idea that you have talents or hobbies or experiences that once were defining characteristics.

How many of my friends here know that I was a full-on theater geek in high school, playing the title role in The Little Prince, doing a big dance number in State Fair, or winning district recognition for a few short performances?

Who would guess that I was a serious speech and debater my senior year in high school? Would they ever guess I was the alternate for the national competition in Dramatic Interpretation or that I crushed opponents on both sides of an issue in Lincoln-Douglas debate?

How many know I can sew pleats, add an invisible zipper, or line any number of clothing articles?

Would they guess that my best friend and I were the first ones to finish the weekly 1.5 mile run each week in P.E.? (No. . . I’m now the world’s worst runner).

Who knows that I played the violin for five years? And piano for another three?

All of those are parts of my past – things I mention only occasionally – that defined me for years.

I was reminded again of this phenomenon a few weeks ago when we were hanging out with the Lauritzens and the topic of homeschooling came up. Until Bart told them, they had no idea I’d been homeschooled for eleven years. Why would they have known?

And who knows what I don’t know about the people I feel like I know well?

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  • Reply Katherine March 10, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I definitely feel this way about my musical past in particular. It also surprises people to learn that I’ve done musical theater and that I can sew (my sewing machine has been in my car for the last few days and I’ve gotten the funniest reactions).

  • Reply Edge March 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I think we really don’t get to know people as well as we used to.

    I play in my church band. I’ve played my guitar for 27 years but never in a band. People, except for my closest friends and family were shocked.


  • Reply Jess March 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve thought about this topic a lot as activities and interests have changed the last few years (especially after having kids). I danced up until 9th grade (including ballet, jazz, tap, and pointe), played the violin until 8th grade, was seriously into white-water rafting and rock climbing just before I got married. People are shocked…it’s kind of fun to see those reactions though.

  • Reply LeAnne March 10, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    You are very right. We sometimes know very little about hobbies/other “little” traits that our friends enjoy or have enjoyed.

    It shocks many to know that I too was homeschooled for a number of years. (I am happy to learn of another wonderful fellow homeschooler!) It also shocks many that I was raised somewhere on the oppisite side of the country and that I once was musically talented. (Violin and piano…so regret stopping.)

    The things we find out…

  • Reply heidikins March 10, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Fellow theatre geek here; currently wrapped up in three different productions, although it is no longer as defining as it once was.


  • Reply RA March 10, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Yes, the music/theater days of my past are not exactly forefront anymore, but that’s okay with me. I miss singing, but I don’t miss the preparation.

    I also think it’s strange to know that some people have never known me outside of being someone’s wife, with my old last name. Or that people can’t imagine my husband or me without the other.

  • Reply chelon:) March 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    love it! what great info 🙂 you are a talented girl! i am so grateful to have gotten to know you even better. thanks for sharing. xoxo

  • Reply LONICA March 10, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about defining parts of your life becoming completly obsolete. I too did Speech and Debate in high school (although I continued to coach my high school’s team last year and even took them to Harvard for competition), but now everyone could care less. I’ve played the piano and sung in choir for years, but have absolutely nothing to do with either now. It’s interesting the way things change…

  • Reply David Grover March 11, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Five words: My dog is a nightmare. That’s how I met Bart.

  • Reply Chelsea March 11, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Ha! I knew almost all of that! Of course it probably helps that I’ve known you your whole life. All except the running part. Very impressive for such a tiny person!

  • Reply Whitney March 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve never actually realized that a lot of people we know have so many talents that we had no clue about! It kinda makes you look at all of your friends now and wonder what tricks they’re hiding up their sleeves 🙂
    This was a fun post, all of those things that you’ve done, make you who you are! It’s important we remember those things too 😀

  • Reply Virginia March 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    You are so right! I’ve moved so much in my life that there are very few people who know everything about me. And so many who know very little. Even my husband and I find that we can still surprise each other with a story or memory the other doesn’t know – and we’ve been daily companions for 19 years.

  • Reply Amber March 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    you know what is interesting – I was acutally thinking about this recently.

    I find it interesting how much I am learning about people all the time!

    oh yes – and I thought about you the other day in reguards to homeschooling. My mom mentioned a new law they are trying to pass that you have to have teaching credentials to homeschool your kids — I was wondering what you thought about that? just curious

  • Reply Jess March 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    It is funny when you move on from stuff you used to do and your new people don’t know that side of you. On a much more shallow level, when I moved to Senegal my hair was really long for the first time in years. So all the people I met in Senegal thought of me as having long hair. And all my friends at home still thought of me as having short hair. So when I cut it all off my local friends barely noticed whereas my Senegalese friends were shocked and appalled.

    A weird comparison, but I think it’s similar. It’s about what people associate with you and what they don’t.

  • Reply Terri B. March 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I’m gonna let my age show here and mention that you can really really shock people (especially the little people) in your life with the things that used to define you. You should have seen the HUGE smile on my granddaughters face when she saw pictures of me in high school twirling a fire baton, with my gymnastics team holding our trophies, etc. Astonishing that an “old lady” once did some of the very things she currently admires. Great post idea!

  • Reply Ashley March 11, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I knew all that stuff…I WIN! Or do I not count 🙁

  • Reply Beck Family March 13, 2008 at 3:56 am

    This is an interesting point. It’s so true! I was happy to see that I knew a lot of those things about you. Although, I didn’t know you sew, but I’m not surprised with Landon being your sister.

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