A Wish Come Clear

Choosing Love, Losing Fear, & Finding Home

Getting to Know You (& What You Didn’t Know About Me)

Dear readers,

I’d like to get to know you better. I’ve been posting here for nearly three years now (!), and I love writing to you. So I’d like to say thank you, and hear more about you. Would you leave a comment on this post, or send me an email? Just something simple. Your name, how you came to be here, why you read A Wish Come Clear.

If you want to go deeper: what’s going on in your life? What weighs on your heart? What do you dream about? What do you wish you could talk about, but feel too afraid to say aloud? 

I’m here. I’ll listen. And I’ll start by answering those questions myself.

In fact, answering these questions inspired me to start a 30-day Courage Challenge on our Facebook page. Every day, I’ll be facing down a specific fear and sharing the story with you. Of course, you’re welcome to join in — feel free to post stories and pictures of your own Courage Challenge moments!

Day 1 was yesterday, and I … drumroll … checked out the novels pictured from the library, though they’re not ‘dignified’ reading material, and I knew the friendly librarian would comment. It felt great!

I learned that once I am confident in my choices, it doesn’t matter if someone else comments on them. Rather than duck my head, I smiled. In fact, the librarian and I joked about the books. Revolutionary.

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. What weighs on my heart: the fact that I used to believe in a God of judgment. I was taught that some people were ‘in’ and some were ‘out,’ and I am so sorry for thinking that I had all the ‘right’ answers. Nowadays, I believe that, to paraphrase Martha Beck, one thing I know for sure is that I might be wrong. 

2. I am very good at forgetting that I’ve left the oven on. I also put (cooled) pans into the fridge rather than putting the food into another container. It’s just too much. I’d rather be reading.

My Mom believes it is important to not only put food into containers, but also to transfer food a second time if some is consumed and a smaller container is available. Remarkably, we love one another despite these differences.

3. My (INTP) husband once received this fortune: “Hugs are life’s rainbows.” I, an INFJ, received this: “Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.”

4. What I wish I could talk about, but feel too afraid to say aloud: I was raised in a cult called The Worldwide Church of God. I’m afraid to even call it a cult (though it was) because that word is so loaded, so misunderstood.

You see, I had a wonderful childhood. I have an amazing family. My experience was such that it took me years to consider that I was in a cult. (This post features an excellent definition of the term.)

Anyway. Growing up, I was taught to avoid things like Halloween costumes and Christmas trees. Christmas trees have ‘pagan’ origins, so we couldn’t have them. (The modern calendar has ‘pagan’ origins too, but we got to keep our calendars.) This year, I plan to dress up and deck the halls.

5. I went to summer camp in Scotland every year for 9 years. As such, I know the words to classics such as “Country Roads” and “Waltzing Matilda.” I remain loyal to Loch Lomond as the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I used to want to live in a cottage there. Wait … I still do.

6. What I dream about: I dream of seeing our community grow, of sharing stories with more people.

7. My favorite movies are Strictly Ballroom, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Proof, and Good Will Hunting. I’m not sure why 2 out of 4 are about math geniuses, since being a math genius is not something I can relate to at all

8. I went through a Laura Ingalls Wilder phase that my childhood friends won’t let me forget. They weave it in to every other conversation: “Remember your sunbonnet?” And all I can say is, “Yup.” It’s tough being a literary geek sometimes.

9. I used to figure skate competitively. Whenever I mention this, people always nod, as if to say, That explains a lot.

Even so, it took me years to figure out that I am competitive, because I also love the idea that when one succeeds, we all succeed. The best description of these dichotomies I’ve seen was on a t-shirt that read: I will kick your ass at yoga. Namaste.

10. I am afraid of becoming someone who posts endless pictures of their significant others, babies, or pets. I pretend like I’m above that, but it takes a lot of effort for me NOT to put up tons of photos of my handsome husband and adorable cat. And some days, I fail. Like today.

Anyway, I’d better go … I just remembered that I left the oven on.

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Your turn – what’s going on with you? Join the conversation in the comments!

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About Caroline McGraw

I'm a would-be childhood paleontologist and recovering perfectionist turned full-time writer, digging for treasure in people and uncovering sacred stories in ordinary days. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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24 Replies

  1. Olga Jendrek

    My husband and I watched Strictly Ballroom and loved it. Thanks for the recommendation.
    I started reading because I know you and I enjoy reading the posts. I don’t always get to do it right away. I love to see pictures of you, your husband and adorable cat and I also enjoy the pictures of my family and others I know.

    1. Auntie Olga, I’m so glad you loved Strictly Ballroom too!! And I’m happy to know that you enjoy the photos too. :) Love & hugs & hope to see you soon!

  2. rachel

    Love you! I knew a lot of these about you, but never heard you talk about #4 that way (though when I learned that you were forbidden from watching Friends as a child, I had an idea something was up). <3

    1. I bet! In the first draft of this post, which was monumentally too long, I had a short vignette about life in Room 208 included as well… ;) And yeah, it wasn’t until this year that the light dawned r.e. #4. It’s funny that you mentioned Friends, as I was just thinking of re-watching my favorite episode of the ones I’ve seen (the trivia one: “The TV guide comes to Miss Chanandler Bong”). Love you, RCZ.

  3. Melissa Javier-Barry

    fun post to read! I hear you are coming here…hope to see you!
    melissa

    1. Thank you MJB!! And yes, we are coming — I will email you the dates today. <3

  4. Love your list. Love Loch Lomond. Love Strictly Ballroom (‘the Paso Doble…?’) Congrats on three years! Keep writing, lady. (And you know, every now and again, we all need a good cat picture for entertainment purposes.)

    1. Yes! “SHOW! SHOW me your Paso Doble!” Thank you, Brenda — your comment made me laugh. And I concur about the cat picture — doesn’t she look like a queen in a bubble wrap robe?!

      1. I MUST watch that movie again soon. So good for the soul. (And yes, she absolutely looks like a queen… she even has the head tilt just right.)

        1. Here’s to that! :) “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.” (And you’re so right about the head tilt. She really does think she’s royalty…)

  5. I read because you regularly touch my heart with yours. I love your storytelling and I love your tender heart; you reach deep and tell the truth. One day, sweet Caroline, I hope we meet!

    1. Thank you Greg — that’s certainly what I aspire to do!

  6. Julie

    My mom does #2 also. I don’t get it…at all. It’s a waste of a clean dish and good time that I could be doing lots of things besides dishes.

    1. Haha, we’re similar then. My mom makes a good point that having less oxygen surrounding the food makes for slower deterioration. To which I reply that she has a dishwasher, and I/we don’t. ;)

  7. rachael

    I read your blog because I am a current L’Arche assistant, and it’s nice to meet others out in the world who understand this part of my life. ;) Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you Rachael! That’s wonderful to hear. Congratulations on being an assistant — it is, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered, one of the hardest and best jobs there is. ;) Blessings right back!

  8. Chris

    I noticed that one of the books you checked out fro the library in that pic is “Catching Fire”, the second novel in “The Hunger Games” book trilogy! I own all three books myself! Have you read the first book yet and seen the film adaptation of “The Hunger Games” yet, Caroline?

    1. You bet… and I’m looking forward to the release of the second film in November. :)

  9. Vicki Goldsto

    Ice skating?!! Tap dancer here, but never competitive. Always competing with myself — not good enough, not smart enough, pretty enough, blah, blah, blah. Today it’s about feeling I’m not living up to my potential. Not enough work, no man, no jazz. Been in this maize of fear, but I do SEE myself. I’m breaking through.

    I sure do appreciate you.

    1. Sending you a big (virtual) hug and hope to offer one in person soon! You are one of the bravest people I know. xo

  10. Renee

    Wow, you and I have quite a bit in common, lol. Love your list! I can identify with #1, 2, 3 (I am also an INFJ), 4 (insofar as paganism), 6, 8, 9, with regards to competition, and 10.

    1. Thank you, Renee ~ that’s lovely to hear! Were you the other girl in the sunbonnet?! Glad to know I wasn’t alone. ;)