You know those quizzes you can take that ask you to answer “what would your friends say was your strongest quality”, or some such thing? I never know how to answer those, because I can tell you what I think my strongest quality is, but who knows if my friends think I’m more playful, serene, honest, or intelligent? How would I even find that out, short of polling them? And does my answer say more about what my friends think of me, what I think my friends think of me, or what I think of me?
Last night was our ward Halloween party, and I went out of my comfort zone and made a new friend. (Go me!) As we were talking, it came out that she had heard about me (I’m assuming it’s because book club is at my house), and in an attempt to figure out who I was, came to the conclusion that my friend, Kim, was “Maryanne Snell”. I totally didn’t mind, our ward is HUGE and it’s easy to get people confused. But it got me thinking – what was it that she heard about me, and what is it that my friend and I have in common that made us confusable? It certainly couldn’t have been appearance, my friend is a gorgeous 6 foot tall Amazon, and I… am not. It probably had more to do with us both being near the YW room than anything else, but it’s just interesting to think about.
I assume y’all know that I don’t mean any of this in a “oooh, look at me, I’m so cool, people are talking about me” kind of way, I just know what it’s like when I’m trying to describe someone to someone else, and I just wonder about how I’m described.
It’s also interesting to realize how little I actually think about what people think about me. It always catches me by surprise when people tell me that they heard something about me or that I came up in conversation. I think about the YW who are in high school and are constantly concerned about what everyone thinks about them, even (especially?) people they don’t like, and I totally remember being in that space. Everything was about me, everyone cared what I did, everyone was watching and judging. And now I know, no, everyone was worried about themselves and what they were doing. I mean, we were teenagers, and teenagers can be jerks, so I’m sure some of the time they were judging, I know I was, but I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as much as I thought. And even if it was, so what?
I just finished reading the lesson for RS today (yes, in the middle of typing this post, I got a little distracted), and it’s all about this. (Coincidentally?) The biggest point that I got out of it is that the more we stop paying attention to ourselves and concentrate on serving other people, the more effective we are at serving, and the more we develop as the people we should be. Conversely, the more we concentrate on ourselves, the less effective we are at serving, and the less we develop as the people we should be.
Anyway, I don’t know that any of this makes sense, it’s just what I’m thinking about this morning.
And as a special bonus, cute girls in Halloween costumes! (click on the pictures to slightly bigger versions)