“But it’s best not to ask her, she has such a rage for explaining.” Adam referring to Eve in The Diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain
I love explaining things. When my son asks about the afterlife, he gets a 20 minute oration on the many ways we, as humans, imagine the eschaton. When my husband asks about whether he can chop down a weed in the yard, I take him around and describe all the good and bad qualities of every plant in the yard, when I planted it or when it took over what I planted. And heaven help the poor call center operator when I try to succinctly explain why there is an erroneous charge on my statement. She now knows I’m gluten intolerant.
I love telling stories. I can spend an entire evening weaving a tale of terror and triumph from a quick trip to the grocery store. I’ve been this way since I can remember. But soon I came to realize that not everyone appreciates such talent. For instance, when I was a child, my aunt would interrupt my stories with, “Terry. Is this a long story or a short story?” I thought they were short – in comparison with a State of the Union Address, and a lot more entertaining. My family did not agree. I was shushed often.
Still, you can’t keep a woman with something to say quiet. Nor should you, for your own health and safety.
So let me explain about me: I’m an actor. I’m a minister. I’m a mother. I’m a foodie who likes to cook & garden. I’ve worked as an engineer. I’ve been an administrator. I’ve directed a high school youth program. I’ve been a human resources specialist. I can sing. I can edit. I can design. I write scripts. I write sermons. I write poetry. And I’ve been known to write a song – but that’s a story for another time.
Artsy people think I’m logical. Logical people think I’m artsy.
Some folks would say I’m scattered. I choose to see myself as multi-talented – with the audacity to believe that I can do most anything I set my mind to.
“The Little Engine That Could” was one of my favorite stories as a child. (We are, after all, the stories we tell ourselves. Why not pick a great story?)
However in 2011, the economy finally caught up with my family, so I began looking for a steady job to supplement my acting career. I discovered it was more of a challenge than I imagined. Not only was the market flooded with applicants, but my varied and multi-faceted resume was more of a hindrance than a help in the corporate world. After about six months of putting myself out there with the best “can-do” attitude I could muster, I realized I had to come up with something else.
I remembered performing in college as Eve in “The Diary of Adam and Eve” by Mark Twain. A friend was running lines with me and nearly died laughing when he read a line Adam spoke in reference to Eve: “But it’s best not to ask her, she has such a rage for explaining.” He was laughing at me. I would have been hurt, if I hadn’t been laughing too.
I’ll be talking anyway, so why not widen the conversation? Why not use my “gift of gab” to create something new and fun and maybe make a living at it? Why not use all of my talents to develop a blog that is much more than one note – but a symphony of stories, recipes, and God-talk?
So here I am, trying something new – again. Thank heaven I’ve been in this place before. Time to breathe and repeat my mantra, “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!”
(Terry Menefee Gau is an accomplished actress with film, television, and stage credits. She is also an ordained minister, specializing in narrative theology, with her Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, now known as Union Presbyterian Seminary.)