I’ve made a very conscious choice to wear faults and failings, as I do my triumphs and adventures, on my sleeve.
Sharing thoughts, experiences and feelings with the world; online and often, is commonplace for me.
At worst, it opens me up to judgment and scrutiny from strangers and haters. At best it opens up my heart and life (and message folder) to people who become great friends and allies in the altogether hectic, painful, beautiful, difficult and wonderful life.
Wow, I started in with the pithy pretty early in this blog.
Hang in there please, this should be good and useful stuff if you manage to shovel through the schmaltz and stick with me until I wrap this up.
So, why am I so open? Am I simply an insecure and needy exhibitionist type? Do I crave acceptance and absolution from strangers and friends and plead my case regularly and publicly in an attempt to win you all over? Am I so arrogant that I think an audience will benefit immeasurably from my experiences?
There’s almost certainly an element to all of these things.
Here’s the thing that I keep coming back to though:
Every person who lives and breaths is amazing, complex, beautiful and we all have some ugliness mixed in in varying degrees at various times.
I sincerely feel that the distance between each and every one of us decreases with candor and sharing. I also believe that the absolute shortest distance between people is shared laughter.
I share stories and very actively toil to add an element of humour when I share thoughts and experiences. Sometimes it is in the form of self-deprecation, sometimes the stories I share are absurd enough that they require no finessing to be funny.
Here’s the thing though; You and everyone else has absolute power to twist anything I share. You can throw confessions or thoughts back in my face. You can alter and contort any of my experiences or stories with simple additions, exclusions, amplifications or exaggerations as you see fit.
Once I share anything, it is no longer exclusively mine. By virtue of taking the time to read the words I write, you own a bit of real estate in my life, my heart and my head. I give it to you and anyone else who chooses to read my blog or anything I share freely.
Some people put a great deal of effort into building walls and feeding an identity that makes them feel safe or secure. Some people put their best face forward all the time and want to convince themselves and the world that they have their s*** together.
I have no hope of ever convincing anyone that I have my s*** together. I am a hot mess with a big heart and high-ideals. Being as deliciously different as I am means I am privy to hurts and helps far superior to anything I’d ever have imagined I’d feel or know. I feel like I have the freedom to be myself openly and honestly, and I feel like that makes me a better friend, role model to my children, and generally a happier freer person because I don’t have to worry about people finding out about the real me, as the real me is the me I get to be most of the time.
It also means I see greatness, brokenness, faults and fabulousness in everyone else I see and meet. There’s not as much distance between you and me and everyone else on this planet as some people perceive. We’re all fighting battles, and we’re all learning in varying degrees and with varying speed and success.
I am an observer and a participant in this life, as we all are.
Even after years, or decades, of living life out loud, I am still absolutely devastated when people interpret my kindness for weakness, my vulnerability for feebleness, my quirkiness for foolishness, or my earnest for naivety.
I share my learning with people, in the hopes that they will share theirs with me, and we’ll both be better off. My opinions and beliefs are changing all the time based on the stories and opinions people generously share with me.
The absolute best and worst part of my existence is people.
Being naked and vulnerable as I choose to be means there are people who don’t require much encouragement to decide that they are far superior to me in some or many ways. Sometimes, for whatever reason, people hurt other people in cowardly, backhanded or childish way. Sometimes our closest friends and staunchest allies break our hearts with words and actions, despite having the absolute best intentions. Because I choose to let people into my thoughts, and life so actively, people can hurt me without too much effort. I get that. And for the most part, I can take the good with the bad.
Because I openly and honestly share my struggles with ADD, depression, parenting, professional life, friendships, marriage, self-esteem, relationships, power struggles, pain, loss, Love, learning, travel, health, hope, happiness and sadness; some people dismiss me, or attack me, with my own words. Other people engage with me on a level of trust and Love and friendship that makes this whole life more manageable for both of us I think. It is a risk we all take when we share a bit or ourselves I suppose.
If you take the time to read or share any of this with me, you get to decide how you relate to me, and my journey. You get to decide if you find my choices and behaviours uplifting or abhorrent. You get to decide if you feel superior, equal, or comforted. You get to decide if you see some of yourself in my observations and experiences. You have total control over how you decide to pick up what I am throwing down as I share these (and any other) words with you.
So, thank you from the very bottom of my heart for sharing the journey with me occasionally, frequently, or closely. Please take it easy on me, and anyone else that has the courage to share a bit of themselves with you. And you can be as open or as guarded as you want with your life and experiences, and I will go ahead and keep living my life out loud and feeling elated and vulnerable at differing times and to differing degrees.
Guess that’s it for today.
Thank you, especially because this was a long one, for tuning in and sharing the journey with me.