You Don’t Have To Be Interesting

At least not always. Interest can be subjective (what’s interesting for one may not be interesting for another) and is often temporary (what’s interesting now may not be interesting next year, or even tomorrow).

You do, however, have to be passionate.

The Insecurity Unmasked

I’ve written a few times about my struggle with insecurity (like my post on disliking my “program” like Ralph of Wreck-It-Ralph and my struggle to accept my dystonia). Well, I’m writing about it again. Insecurity gets the best of me when I let my guard down–when I think too much about how people will think of me (and make them as a source of my joy) or wish I have the things and experiences others have. When I read blogs of famous people or slowly-becoming famous people, I see the cool people they meet, events they attend to, clothes they wear (especially them fashion bloggers, a.k.a. Imelda Marcos’ disciples) and creative juices they have. Then I look at my life: the people I meet (almost the same everyday), the events I attend to (right now I shift from school to house to church), clothes I wear (I’ve run out of mix and match combinations with my available choices), and my “creative juices” (last month I thought about having my room painted white and my desk yellow. How’s that for “creative?”). I see monotonous repetition and ordinariness. Whenever a blank blog post is in front of me, I ask myself: “What interesting things can I write about today?” If I’ll be completely honest with myself (and I will), what that question really asks is this: “How can I be like other bloggers and post interesting stuff about my life to get more people to visit my blog, like my posts, and give me attention?” Narcissism at its finest. That’s why I could not blog the past few weeks. If I ask myself the first question, I couldn’t write anything because nothing “interesting” happened to me (well except for the fact that we moved to a new townhouse after 18 years of living in a small apartment unit).

The Turning Point

If God called you to do something for Him and you don’t do it, He’ll bug you until you make a choice about it. The past few weeks, God kept bugging me to blog. He knew (and I knew in my heart, too) that I could use my gift and love of writing to encourage others, inspire other people with His awesomeness, and just give Him the glory He deserves. Truth is, I always had the intention to write about meaningful things. God has been speaking to me the past few weeks in ways He hasn’t spoken to me ever in my life. He reminded me that He loves me with or without my performance, and that I should exert all my energy on knowing Him, loving Him, and loving others. He opened my eyes into seeing the needs of others and prioritizing them above my own (although I still falter at this point…a lot). He always, always whispers in my ear: “I’m your Father. I love you very much. Stay close to Me. I will never let you go.” Who wouldn’t fall in love with a God like that? Unfortunately for me, I focused my eyes on what I thought mattered: the things, activities, celebrities, clothes, and philosophies of this world. I needed to repent, and repent I did.

By asking myself “what interesting things can I write about today,” I am limiting myself to subjects that only a few can relate to. What if the things I find interesting don’t interest you (which is most likely the case)? God called me to write beyond interesting; He called me to write about my passions: Him, His Word, communication, intentional living, relationships, among others. I have a calling and a desire to experience an extraordinary God in my ordinary day-to-day activities and write about them. Earlier today, I accompanied my brother Josh to the hospital for a consultation and lab procedures because of his hoarse and recurring cough. I don’t really like going to hospitals even if they look and smell good because I don’t like seeing sick people. However, if you love someone, you’ll put their good above your own. My brother needed me, so I went.

After “stethoscoping” my brother, our pediatrician told us to have Joshua’s chest x-rayed and a CBC to check if he had either pneumonia or dengue. 😦 When she wrote down those two diagnoses, I felt nervous. For a while I somehow felt what it was like to be a mom. After having our laboratory papers verified, we headed to the radiology department. The procedure went quickly and easily. The CBC was the hard part…at least for me. If there’s one thing I hate next to a cockroach, it is a needle penetrating my skin–or anyone else’s skin. God had me watch my brother get his blood extracted, and I’m glad He did. Not only did it make me strong, but it made me feel closer to my brother because I was there with him. I hope he feels the same way too. (Chos ang drama)

Whenever you include God in the scenes of your life, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The impossible becomes possible. That’s way more exciting to read about and learn from than “interesting things” like fashion updates, parties, concerts, and events. Now I’m not saying that those things are unimportant and not worth blogging about, nor am I criticizing bloggers in these fields. As a matter of fact, I patronize them! Most of them are really passionate about what they do. What I’m saying is that, even if you’re not involved in high-profile activities or wear the lastest fashion, you can tell a story that moves and inspires people simply because you are uniquely you and, if Jesus is in you, you are capable of doing the impossible. “Great and mighty things which you don’t know,” God says in Jeremiah 33:3, are within your reach.

The Challenge

I praise God for lifting me out of my insecurity. I had to make that choice, but He awakened me and gave me the strength to make that choice. He can help you do the same, too. Perhaps you are living in the shadow of the Interesting Things. You honestly think that your story, your idea, your song, your recipe, your choreography, your novel, your message, or whatever it is God called you to make, is not worth reading, knowing, listening, and enjoying because it’s not “interesting” enough. It won’t have too many downloads or hits on YouTube. The truth is, not everyone gets to have a chance on fame. Fame is not the goal. I learned my lesson the hard way. You see, I love attention. I received too much attention one weekend, that when the attention was gone the following week, I felt insecure. If we focus on our eyes on fame, we focus our eyes on people, and when we do, we are seeking to be disappointed because people disappoint us. However, if we focus our eyes on Jesus and work within His will–in the realm of the impossible–we find ourselves whole, fulfilled, and joyful. I also experience this. I am at my happiest state when I am right with Jesus, even if doing His will is uncomfortable at times.

Lately I’ve been reading a book entitled The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How To Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo. Gallo praises the late Apple founder’s enthusiasm, energy, and passion for all things Apple not simply because they are his invention, but because his products make people’s lives better. Steve Jobs found fulfillment in making the world a better place. Today, we appreciate him for that. The very device I use to type this blog and publish it for the world to see is a 15-inch Macbook Pro. His passion for seeing other people’s lives dramatically improve with great products reaped great consequences not only for him, but for millions of people all over the world who work for or are adherents of the Mac, iTunes, iPhone, iPod, iPad, and the rest of Job’s brainchildren.

Here’s the challenge I have taken on myself which I now pass on to you: What’s your passion? If you have discovered it, fan its flames! If you have yet to find out what it is, don’t give up! Keep searching. Ask. Experiment. Collaborate. Fail. Get back up! If you think your story is too ordinary to be useful for inspiration, encouragement, and even life transformation, ask God to use it for His glory. Sometimes we take for granted the little things God tells us to do when in fact they are the very experiences that can significantly impact a life more than ten entries on events and giveaways. Perhaps you were finally able to forgive that friend of yours after years of bitterness and anger. Tell your story! Help others overcome unforgiveness! If one day, when you were bored, you decided to make a scrapbook of your life and realized that you had so many wonderful memories and learned a lot on life & love, tell us! Make the world a better place by helping people make sense and find beauty in the mundane things of life. For me, that is where extraordinariness really lies.

The next time I find myself asking, “What interesting things can I write about today,” I will step back, look up, and ask myself, “How can I make a difference in my world today? What am I passionate about?” Then I’ll go out there and work in the realm of the impossible with the power God has given me.

Now that’s interesting! May you do the same. 🙂

Author: Jenny J. Talam

Storyteller who actually prefers to read and listen to stories. Food fan. Budding events host. Collector and avid user of colorful pens and stack-high notebooks. Media enthusiast. Learner. Adventurer. Introvert. Child and servant of the one true King. Forgiven and loved. Hello, my name is Jennifer Grace. You can call me Jenny. Welcome to my story of grace! :)

3 thoughts on “You Don’t Have To Be Interesting”

  1. Im so bless to have you as my niece.You are such a blessing to your family esp to your brothers. You are not only a sister to them but also a mon, yaya and tutor.
    Your topic is good and inspiring. Those who will read this will not only be inspired but will think about theit lives and what truly motivates them, their passion and what interest them.
    Keep up the good work. Love you Inieh ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s