A wallflower is usually defined as a person who is shy. In a social setting, he or she “holds up” the wall at social function, standing on the sidelines watching everyone else dance the night away. Wallflowers are rarely asked to dance unless it is because of a bet made by some jocks in a teen rom-com movie. For the most part they live a solitary life watching the crowd pass them by because the crowd doesn’t think they are cool enough to become a part of it. This. Is. My. Life.
To be clear, socially I am not a wallflower, I’m a butterfly and that comes easily to me. But intellectually, I am a wallflower. I write this as a 30-something who is two-month’s away from finishing a Master in Divinity at one of the best theology schools in the country. I have almost three years of rigorous academic work under my belt, having engaged the work of Kant and Kierkegaard, Karl Barth and James Cone, Julian of Norwich and Toni Morrison, the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern texts, and many others. I’ve written more than I can account for, some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it indifferent; but all of it has touched me in ways that I am not always able to explain to crowds larger than a party of one or two at most. I’m shy about all of this too and, I confess, insecure about it. I am shy about my intellectual capacity and insecure about whether my opinions in or outside a classroom are valid because I don’t have a particularly sophisticated way of articulating them–not without a lot of “I think”, “I believe”, “It’s like”, and plenty of verbal pauses. I don’t think I am generally who people think of when it comes to someone having massive intellectual insight BUT–and there is always a “but”–left to my own devices or in an intimate exchange among friends, I start to blossom. In this blossoming I begin to realize that I know and understand more than I believe or give myself credit for, I just need the proper environment. So that is what this blog is going to be–I hope–a proper environment for this intellectual wallflower to blossom.
It is my hope that not only I will blossom but other intellectual wallflowers will find this a space to grow as well. I also hope that intellectual butterflies will stop by and drink from us and find some sort of beauty and benefit in us and us in them. I’ll be writing about a variety of topics as it pertains to my particular interest in–ethics and sexuality–and my general interest in society, its products and problems. As it pertains to this space being a “proper environment”, it is proper in that it is one where people want to engage in healthy discourse on a range of topics, and are able to share, not assault, people with their knowledge and understanding. Disagreements are welcome, but disrespect is not. If you are interested in this kind of space, you are welcome here.
With all of that being said, let me finally say, “Welcome to the Intellectual Wallflower!” I hope you’ll consider stopping by often, leaving a comment, a “like” or doing something that will lead to this intellectual wallflower and others getting off the wall.