A week ago, I wrote a post about how I've been holding back here on the blog. I explained that I have been dealing with some stuff that I've been hesitant to explore publicly. Every word I wrote was true. I hit publish and felt good. Better. Lighter. Just admitting to struggle, to vulnerability, is freeing. But I was cryptic and some of you were worried. This surprised me, but perhaps shouldn't have. Truth is, I was, and am, fine. Just dealing, juggling, wondering. All pretty par for the ADR course. But my words were vague. And so. A flurry of texts, emails, conversations.
Is everything okay? Please know that I am here.
I was quick to respond to this flurry. I am totally okay! I shouldn't have been so mysterious! Thank you! But don't worry! I was dismissive of the attention because it made me feel even more vulnerable, more cracked open. I was, and am, willing to duck behind the screen, to allude to hardship, but when real people (read: you guys) reached out, my instinct was, is often, to deflect, dismiss, deny.
This is interesting to me. Depending on the day, I am willing to be quite raw here. I am willing to say: I do not have it all together. Sometimes, I am sad. Sometimes, I am struggling. But then. Then when these topics come up in my real, breathing life, I find myself running for cover, apologizing for taking up space, for currying concern, for calling attention to myself.
I'd like to stop doing this. I'd like to be honest.
Right here, in this odd ether.
Out there, in the big, bad, beautiful world.
This will take effort. Effort because I, like so many of you, am A+ at mask-wearing and facade-buffing. We live in a world that whispers words in our ears: Fake it to make it. Be strong. Hold it all together. Suffer in silence or not at all. These words are fine. I have respect for words, particularly those with great purchase on the landscape of our lives. But suddenly (or not suddenly, but again), I am interested in different words: Be real. Do not even try to hold it all together. Be honest about the aspects of your suffering that interest you and might help others. Tell the truth.
I am not for one minute pretending these words are easy, that these exhortations are simple in hue. Being real and open and honest and raw and telling the truth are things that take commitment and humility. But doing these things? At this point in time, they feel very important to me.
That's what I'll do.
On my own time.
In my own way.
(Stay tuned for posts on alcohol, family, privilege, writing and more, okay?)
Thank you so much for reading, for checking in, for being so thoughtful and kind and keeping me on my bloggity toes. I am one lucky chickadee. Speaking of which, check out the photo above of a lovely lone Egret on our family's property in South Carolina. Husband took this picture and I think he is quite talented. We are going to frame this baby and hang it in our home.