After receiving a comment posted by an old friend on my last blog, I got to thinking… When I first started this blog, I meant for it to be a collection of my random musings on day to day things – a place to vent and share some of my “wit and wisdom” – and engage in what I love to do more than anything, which is writing. Initially, I’d started two blogs: one as a personal blog (Nan’s Rants) and the other as a Christian blog, which some of you might remember. As the year took some unexpected changes, it became very hard to divide myself up. Why did I want to pretend to be something I wasn’t by excluding who I really am from what I put out there for the world (or whoever happens to end up here) to see? Why was I willing to compromise? Who really cared if my blog exposed me for the believer, the hypocrite, the sentimental fool that I am?
Apparently, there were some people who did.
When I became a Christian – or shall I say, when I left my Catholic roots behind and understood completely what it meant to be saved – I lost a lot of so-called friends. Though they’d always known I loved God – based on whatever understanding I then had of Him – they decided that what I’d become was tantamount to having joined some cult or having been brain-washed. This was also the case when it came to my Italian family, who believed that I could not change my religion anymore than I could change my nationality. It was a little heart wrenching. I was still the same person. I still had my sensibilities and sense of humor in tact – or at least I liked to think so – I wasn’t harassing people on trains or holding signs in the street or doing anything out of character. I was simply sharing my walk with Christ. That was a little too much for a lot of people in my life to understand.
And so they gradually disappeared from the ranks of my friends and the true friends, who all along knew me as a person and understood my heart, stuck by my side. This is not to say that all my friends are Christians or conservatives or even (gasp) Republicans. I have had a lot of libs and dems and even atheists for friends. I have never based my idea of friendship on whether or not they support one party or another or oppose abortion or hate President Bush. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I reasoned. I refused to be intolerant – not even of the people who became intolerant of me.
I spent a lot of time managing two blogs thinking I had to be two people – thinking I had to please those people who didn’t share my faith. Thinking I couldn’t maintain my sense of humor or self if I included my reliance on God or prayer. I was wrong for doing so. For whatever it’s worth, this is who I am and it’s always been who I am. And I’ve been fortunate to enter into a community of bloggers who I can be real with, regardless of the judgment or criticism that often trickles in.
I’m not going to apologize for who I am and what I believe to anyone anymore. I’ve never asked anyone else to. I’m not going to close my mouth and refuse to speak what I know is true to keep anyone from judging me or challenging my beliefs. If that’s not the tough persistent – albeit sometimes argumentative - Brooklyn girl who swore to never compromise coming out, I don’t know what is.
This has always been me. And I’m not sorry.