Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Telling Secrets....

Does anyone remember when this whole ‘blog-world’ erupted? I mean, once upon a time there were no blogs, then in a blink of an eye, there were ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND MILLION blogs. As someone who has a love of writing, of course, I LOVED BLOGS from the beginning. It’s like peeking in someone’s window at night and seeing a sneak peak of their life.  Only in a non-criminal, non-creepy way. Well, sometimes it’s creepy.

I remember when I started my blog. My friend who at the time was stationed in England had one and all of a sudden, here was someone I hadn’t spoken with in a few years, and suddenly I was submerged in her life. Her pregnancy, her photos, her fish, her dog, her military life. WOW. Her blog was awesome. The creepy part is where she didn't really know when I was reading, or what I was thinking…unless I left a comment! What?! IYes. it’s like making a journal entry then asking for people to validate it with a comment. More Awesome.
A blog? Surely I MUST have one.
What type of blog should I create? A family blog? The kind where your name is attached and everyone knows it’s yours. What about an anonymous blog? The kind where we can just post random articles and essays about the secret to life or frustration over a friend.  I’ve read all kinds of blogs from cooking blogs to family blogs, and then all of a sudden people started to get nervous with posting their lives/pictures on the WWW. This whole scary intranet stalking thing happened and friends went private. They put their toes in the water with blogging and then realized it was too cold to submerge. I have never put my blog on private status. Truth be told, I’m living in the world where I’m really NOT that awesome, and clearly not awesome enough for someone to stalk me or care what I’m posting.
 I think I have a ‘jack of all trades blog’. I’ve posted some personal posts, funny posts, family posts, cooking posts, mostly just picture posts. etc. I don’t really think I need or am looking for validation of my life in my little blog. It is fun to think people think I’m interesting enough to read my thoughts or keep up to date on the Green Adventures. I really do love to write, so much in fact, my dream part time job would be to freelance for a magazine or newspaper or some online social media site. That way I could post life-shattering articles, and still maintain a low commitment level that writing a book doesn’t really offer AND with the possibility of getting paid! GASP! 
All of these thoughts have occurred to me at one point or another, and these thoughts came at a time when Blogs were cool and people posted weekly. Some of my friends still blog, not many. As you can see from my side panel, some blogs have gone YEARS with no post. I surely don’t post as much as I used too. I check in every now and then with a thought provoking post. (Ok, humble is not one of my virtues) I surely didn’t stop blogging because I’ve lost the luster, more so just lost the time and busy with my actual life.
There are a few popular blogs I still follow and really enjoy the articles I read there. I enjoy them because of the honesty and because it’s nice to know not every mom is perfect. And sometimes, after reading these inspiring bloggers, I get the inkling to search for my real writing roots and post truthful, awe inspiring posts about how even though I put on a good show, I’m really at best - a full time working, hopefully up and coming woman in my company – on the brink of failure mother – non-confident woman/wife trying to make it in this world.
That would be scary to share my truth. Really scary, but maybe, also a bit excitinglife shattering- chance to share and grow type thing. I think our biggest fear is being judged by those we love and those we don’t know. So much time is spent posting on FB and blogs about the awesome day we had with our families, awesome lives we lead and how great we were in the moment. Then we post those moments on FB, or blogs and wait for the world to validate our awesome-ness. In a world of social media, I think there are few who post the raw truths that make up a large percentage of our lives. Mostly we post the few and far between moments. Not many post on the truths that make up our non-perfect lives.
This has become more apparent to me as I read fellow bloggers who share their secrets. Bloggers that are brave and who share. They share so those that are reading don’t validate, but maybe more so relate. They share so people know that they aren’t perfect, but they aren’t alone either. Non-Perfect Women UNITE!
Recently, I attended a ‘women in business’ conference. In one of the breakout sessions, a speaker asked me to do a scary thing. She asked me to turn my chair around and face the stranger in the row behind me. This wasn’t the scary part – I look at strangers all day long.
No, the scary part came when she said our task was to sit about 2 ft. away from this stranger and sit in silence while staring in their eyes. NO talking. Just sit and hold eye contact. For 2 minutes. Did you know 2 minutes could feel like an eternity? It can, and it did. But like other hard things in my life, I did it. I didn’t even know her name, but I gazed into her eyes for 2 minutes and it was very uncomfortable. But the curious thing, I could sense SHE was uncomfortable too…and we totally bonded in our moment of scary quietness. Women have this amazing power to emphasize with each other. 
The next scary thing we were asked to do? We had to turn to our partner and confess something about ourselves, remove our masks of perfection. The sentence started out with ‘If you really knew me, you’d know (insert confession).’
I’m not sure if it was the power of sharing a statement so bold with a stranger or if it was the fact that we were saying a confession out loud. I’ve never been Catholic, but maybe this is what people feel like right before confession? Only, I’m sure she wasn’t a priest and there wasn’t a big wall up between us.
By the look on her face I could tell she was as scared as was I, so with my incredible ability as a woman to empathize, I offered to go first. Big, deep breath.
‘If you really knew me, you’d know that I spend my entire day job counseling and helping people with their finances and I’m a complete loser at my own finances.’
Wow! I did it and I survived and she didn’t run away screaming
‘She’s a fake!’
‘This lady is a total life scam artist!’
She simply smiled and replied with her statement.
‘If you really knew me, you’d know that I spend my entire day telling my kids how THEY should do things and how to be perfect when I don’t do any of those things myself.’
I wanted to tell her, isn’t that what all Mom’s do? But I didn’t and I could tell, to her, it WAS a big confession.
All of these are random thoughts in what might possibly be the longest blog post I’ve ever written…I promise there is a point and we're getting close. These thoughts lead me to believe there are so many of us who keep things inside and think that everyone else’s life is perfect. The perfect Mom, the perfect Wife, the perfect Sister, the perfect (insert title here). The truth is, if we were all being honest, and if all of our blogs were titled ‘If you really knew me, you’d know…’ we’d find that no one is really perfect. And it’s not really fair to hold ourselves to someone else’s’ standards.
So. I’m going to do more of the truth telling blog posts. Maybe it will help someone see that not everyone is perfect, nor is the appearance ever quite the truth. Or maybe it will just confirm what someone already thinks they know about me or give another opportunity to judge.
It will be scary, and that’s ok. At the end of the day, people will judge, make false assumptions or just plain be hurtful. The great thing is I hold ALL the power over all those negative feelings. I can choose how much they impact me, move me, change me, and silence me.
I have lots of secrets to share.


Shauna said...

A couple things for you: I still read your blog, (and love the honesty of it) I also try to keep up on my blog for far away friends like you to read. And, give yourself a little more credit in the mothering department. Your kids are adorable, happy and love you like crazy. Keep blogging!

Ashley said...

I have never nor would I ever think that you are not fully honest about the things you tell. I love your stories because often times I see myself in them. I DO miss that you don’t blog as much as you use to but I don’t blog as much either. I don’t FB because my only experience in FB world depressed me and I felt like a loser. The blogging didn’t make me feel like I needed validation but that I could talk to a mystery person and that is validation enough.

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