As much I love being a nobody, can I say this? I also love doing things in secret. It doesn't matter to me if you know that I did this or that. I'd be content to write if you never knew my name. I'd be content to build if you couldn't identify my handiwork. I'd be content to design if you never saw it. It's not important to me to build my name.
It's just important to do what I do.
Most of the time, I'm up to something. It's true. I've got this or that secret project going behind the scenes, this or that little gift I'm polishing up, this or that task I'm completing behind the scenes, with one eye open to make sure you don't catch me.
It used to be a matter of my ego, or lack thereof. It used to spawn from these lingering questions I had about whether I was worthy enough to do anything, whether I was good enough to try, whether you might be disappointed if you saw that I was doing something. It used to be my insecurities that kept me living in secret.
Now, it's just love. It's just the way my heart works. I love to give, and I don't want to make a big deal out of it. Which is why if you mention to me that you need this or that, it's likely to just show up. If you ask me if I know how to _____, and I do, then you might not have to ask again. You'll just notice it's taken care of. I've gone from being an Anonymous Note Leaver, secretly trying to get you to notice me, to an Anonymous Love Leaver, hoping you never figure out who's behind that mysterious good thing. (I hope they are good things; I aim for them to be.)
And on the off chance you catch me, as more than a few have done, your gut reaction will probably be, "What do you think you're doing?" And I will look up at you with the most sheepish, cheesy grin I can muster and say, "Trying not to get caught. How'm I doing?"
(I'm not sure if I blogged this or not, but a few years ago while going through some old papers, I found the "daily schedule" I had made for myself as a young child. Right there, 7 p.m., was the key to my future loving - "Ninja practice." All that stealth pays off on these days when all I want to do is sneak a little love in there. ...Maybe I should have practiced harder.)
It happens far too often that someone catches me.
But that's ok, too. As much as I enjoy leaving secret love behind, it's cool sometimes to get caught, too. It brings about these moments with people that I don't think would happen any other way. It opens these opportunities to really talk to a person because somehow, all the sneaking around and the good work and the quiet ways is just an invitation. It makes a moment just a moment - not a duty or a task or a job or schedule. It's just a moment because neither one of you really expected it. Especially not you.
Some of my best conversations have come right after I've been caught. Some of my best moments have been just after I've been spotted. When someone walks out their front door and catches me, when we've both chuckled off my sheepish smile about getting caught, when we're just shooting the breeze and there's no obligation and no pretense and no anything because nobody knew, it's great. It's so much fun. It's one of the few situations in life where I really feel like I connect with people.
A few months ago on a secret mission, I escaped detection by ducking down behind the steering wheel when a friend started backing out of her driveway just as I pulled up. I pretended to be a lost, lonely driver making a u-turn in the side street, and she didn't really notice. But she knew who'd left that present on her doorstep anyway. (hmph) Yesterday, I was out making mischief wearing mostly bright pink. Major caught.
But caught can be cool, and so can known. As long as you can laugh about it and then just take the moment for whatever it is. I think it matters, too, that you have some measure of confidence in yourself, that you're not embarrassed to be caught and not even disappointed. It's just a hazard of the lovin' and you embrace that. You embrace that someday, someone somewhere is going to walk out their front door and catch you loving them...and you're prepared to love them face-to-face, too.
I take that attitude into my writing. I write because I love to write, because I hope that the words God loans me will be love to somebody. I build and design and create because I love to do so, and because I hope that the gift God has given me will be a gift to someone somewhere. It doesn't matter if you know my name, if you could pick me out of a lineup, if you would know me if I told you. It's a lot of fun to do what I do.
There are days, though, where it's fun, too, to be caught. It's fun to be found out, to be known, to be called on it. It's nice to meet someone new who knows my name. It catches me off guard, but as a product of my lovin', I'm learning to embrace the possibility that someday, somebody somewhere is going to catch me. They're going to know who I am and what I do. And I'm ready for that moment, whatever it might bring, because those moments are pretty cool. Pretty really cool.