Rachel in Real Life

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Today I head to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend the Festival of Faith and Writing. This is my first trip to the city, which is home to several major Christian publishing houses including my publisher Zondervan. One of the perks is that I get to meet a lot of my “digital” friends in person—editors, fellow bloggers, favorite authors, even some of my readers. 

As I enter this stage of the publishing process—the one where I crawl out from the privacy and security of my home office into the “real world” of book signings, speaking gigs, interviews, and appearances—I’m super excited, but also a little nervous.  There’s always the chance that I’m cooler on paper than in person, that people will like the tweeting/blogging/authoring version of me better than the live and unedited speaking/living/breathing version of me. 

I keep reminding myself of what my mom always said when she sensed I was feeling insecure: “Remember, everyone’s too busy worrying about themselves to worry about you. Focus on putting other people at ease and you will make friends.”

So since we’re all in this together, I thought I’d get all “radically authentic” (a thoroughly spiritual thing to do these days) and let you know ahead of time that, in real life…

  • My hair frizzes like crazy when it rains.
  • I laugh at my own jokes. 
  • I’m really bad with names. 
  • I eat when I’m nervous and I get nervous in large groups, so at parties you’ll find me by the hors devours shoveling down tiny quiche like there’s no tomorrow. 
  • I love hearing people tell their stories. 
  • I’m terribly easy to read. 
  • My Southern accent shows up when I’m excited, mad, or surprised. 
  • I suck at small talk.
  • I’m intimidated by really attractive people. 
  • I like talking about politics and religion even when I’m not supposed to. 
  • I’m short and stout, but I run every day…so please don’t look surprised when I tell you I’m heading for the gym.  
  • I use the words “like” and “um” way more than I should.  
  • I have an unhealthy fear of silence, so…um…I may try to fill it with a lame joke or boring story.
  • I get attached to one pair of shoes and wear them long after they’ve gone out of style.  
  • When someone asks, “Are you familiar with…[insert theologian, writer, or artist]” I sometimes pretend like I know what they are talking about when I don’t.
  • I love having long, unhurried conversations with thoughtful friends.
  • I spill things…often.

So, what are YOU like in real life? Give us a glimpse into your non-digital world!

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