There are certain things you have to do, like if you don’t do them you’re going to bust. A secret you have to bite your tongue not to tell. A purchase you’re itching to make. A deal you stay up late dreaming about closing. For me it was this. I needed to talk. That’s crazy, right? I talk to 1000s of people every day and I still have things to say?!
I have realized that even though I am on the radio I don’t do radio. I am a square peg in the radio hole.
It all came vividly clear to me June 15, 2014.
News came out radio legend Casey Kasem had passed away. I was sad to hear of his passing- knowing as most about his impact through the countdown American Top 40 and his role as Shaggy in Scooby-Doo. Colleague after colleague changed social media profile pictures to Casey’s and used his best-known quote, “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars” as their status for the day. I heard story after story of Christians in the industry who got into radio because of Casey or pretended to be Casey up in the tree house with Walkmans when they were kids. Some even said they hoped to be the next Casey or leave an impact in the world similar to his.
I sat back as an observer taking in the truth that I am nothing like them… the industry types with a simple fascination with radio.
Why would someone want to use radio for something so small? It goes against everything in me to consider playing music and giving music history, even if I had a smooth baritone voice and could garner rapt attention for hours on end.
What’s the point?
Rabbit trail for a moment… You very likely have taken one of those Meyers Briggs Personality tests. I highly recommend the test and in-depth presentation of each personality type you’ll find at http://www.16personalities.com. Anyway, there I discovered why I care so much.
I learned I am an INFJ, the rarest of all personality types, “INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.”
People with the same personality types: Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa. (If Mother Theresa had a radio show she wouldn’t give a lick about anything but how she could inspire change!)
It’s no wonder I don’t care two cents for being a radio legend but care EVERYTHING about what life changing message can be conveyed to thousands of people all at once.
“I know you!” No, you really don’t.
I started radio back in 1997 with a crash course on running the board and an open mic. I was 23 and said whatever came to my mind. I was scared, but raw and authentic. Years of training and critiques later I am a soothing voice over a :15 intro… and people think they know me.
It never fails how often I will walk up to a friend and ask all sorts of questions about her life. We’ll have one-sided connection. One-sided depth.
I listen and find I have lost myself in another’s pain. Sometimes I even absorb another’s pain so deeply it might as well be my own.
Me: “I want to connect.”
Friend: “Oh, I feel like I already know what’s happening with you because you’re in my car.”
I have woefully lamented to my husband, “Why don’t they return the favor?”
“Because they don’t know how. You are so good at encouraging others to open up and work through issues with them… Most people aren’t like you. They don’t think like you. They don’t know how to do what you do. You have a gift.”
More than anything what I’ve learned blogging over the last year is that this is the space where I can be me. I can talk through my doubts and wonderings. (And in my mind I picture you listening intently, pulled up with a cup of coffee. A judgment-free zone of two sinners trying to figure it all out.)
No mini-celebrity Christian or voice for hire.
My faith questions are sometimes socially unacceptable and politically incorrect, but Grace allows for questioning. Grace encourages depth. It allows for tangents without graceless pat answers.
This is where I share my side of the story. This is me. I long to inspire and like all other humans I long to be known…