A Clockwise Girl in a Counter-Clockwise World


I heard on the radio the other day that people tend to walk counter-clockwise through stores. Also, that displays are set up to accommodate the counter-clockwise shopper, so if you want to buy fewer things you should deliberately walk through clockwise. I thought about the stores I go to regularly, and I was pretty sure that I walked through all of them clockwise, so I didn’t think much of this study.

Last week I was at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, going through the exhibit of First Ladies’ dresses. The room was really crowded and I kept bumping into people. Halfway through the exhibit I looked up and suddenly realized that while I was moving around the room clockwise, EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON was moving through it counter-clockwise.

Oddly enough, that experience reminded me of how I feel when I attempt to read spiritual books and articles aimed specifically at women. Sort of bumping along, and then suddenly realizing that I must move thorough life in a completely different way than most women, clockwise in a counter-clockwise world, if you will.

For instance, those kind of books often say things like this:

You hide your brokenness. You’re afraid that if you let people see the real you, they won’t accept you. They won’t love you, and all you want is to be loved.

I can’t read a paragraph like that smoothly. I keep bumping into certain phrases.

You hide your brokenness.

Do I hide my brokenness? I think about my past, searching for a time when I hid my brokenness. I guess I didn’t, like, tell all my friends how lazy I really am, so maybe that counts.

You want to fit in.

Um, no, I’ve never wanted to fit in. In fact I’ve done a lot of dumb stuff in an effort to stand out.

You want to be accepted.

I guess that’s true, though it’s not something that keeps me up at night.

They won’t love you, and all you want is to be loved.

True, I do want to be loved, but I’ve never really been afraid that people won’t love me. Maybe that a man will never romantically love me, but is that what the sentence is saying?

That’s when I look up and realize that every woman must be a counter-clockwise woman, while I’m a clockwise one.The bottom line is, I don’t relate to a lot of the stuff that other women relate to. When I read articles about womanhood, I walk away feeling like I’m not a real woman.

What bothers me most about these books and articles is that they assume that all women are the same way. That all women are hiding a part of themselves, have low self esteem, struggling to fit in, and lying awake at night with deep profound LONGINGS.

And for the ones that aren’t, well, I have never found a book aimed at women who like to get straight to the point with minimal drama, struggle with pride, enjoy attention too much, and want to become closer to God in practical ways. If there is such a book out there, please email me the link.

7 responses to “A Clockwise Girl in a Counter-Clockwise World

  1. And I’m thinking…I think I need to have a long chat with your Mom to see what she did to raise a lovely young woman who is confident about who she is and who is not afraid to stand out. As for book recommendations from one who enjoys a whole assortment of books and authors, I have a feeling Dr. Laura (hey, she has some good practical advise, in my opinion) and books by Elizabeth Elliot, maybe Catherine Marshall might be some that you would enjoy. And a word of advise…write one, a book for practical, confident women.


  2. I was thinking something along these lines this morning. Although I would have to pose that most people think they are the odd one out 🙂


  3. and when you find it or write it, let me know


  4. Are you left-handed?


  5. I have a sneaking suspicion that the description of “normal” women that you quoted might actually be the way these types of authors think women should be. It’s so much easier to infantilize and patronize and control people when they lack confidence and crave the approval of others.


  6. so even though both my thoughts on this have been posted, I’m gonna post anyway.
    Who are these authors and describe a “normal” woman in those terms?
    If you find that book (or write one- wish I had thought of that suggesstion) I’d like you to post it so others of us who are not “normal” could also read it.
    LaDonna’s comment: I agree that Dr. Laura has some real good common sense advice. I found Catherine Marshall less than inspiring and my have to look into Elizabeth Elliot.
    I know I’m “Abby Normal” but my mom and daughter are more like the “normal” description than I would like.


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