Living Life Out Loud and Feeling a Bit Exposed…

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.

Why do We Gossip?


Gossipy Gerties… They’re everywhere, in every demographic, age group, country, class and creed. So why do we gossip?

Why do people talk about people? We all do it. Even those who are the sweetest, smartest and strongest in character and conviction have a vent about someone or something now and again. There does seem to be a fairly strong and interesting correlation between clever and content people NOT engaging in gossip or smack talk, and rather building others up even in their absence. We all ought to engage more in the building and less in the tearing down.

Excellent observation!

Excellent observation!

So where was I going with this?

Oh yes.

It is no secret that I can be pretty judgmental, in positive and negative lights. I form very strong ideas, feelings, and opinions about people and things. I do not suffer fools and if I feel wronged by someone or disagree with their actions they’ll almost certainly know about it. Perhaps that’s why I am not often surprised when it gets back to me that people have been saying vile or mean things behind my back.


What goes around comes around I guess. And frankly, the chances are, I probably earned some of the smack talk. Then, again, I’ve been handed back some pretty malicious and cruel words and thoughts from the mouths and hearts of people who I thought were friends, or at least on my side as I was on theirs. Those instances hurt. But the sting is softened by the army of advocates who speak kindly of me as I do of them. Kind and true words make everyone feel better and stronger. Being a jerk about someone behind their backs is just going to make the person dishing out the negativity look bad in the long run.

The truth also comes out in the wash. People will believe the lies and embellishments of fools or meanies for a time, but the truth and a person’s character will shine through.

True douchebags can be well admired and supported for a time as well, but again, the general talk about them will change when the truth about their dark dealings, dubious decisions or distinct douchebaggery finally comes to light.

Mean spirited or nasty people may be admired and spoken well of for a time, but the way they treat others and the way they act  will be noticed and one day their reign of BS will end. No need to speak ill of them, they will seal their own fate.

Mean spirited or nasty people may be admired and spoken well of for a time, but the way they treat others and the way they act will be noticed and one day their reign of BS will end. No need to speak ill of them, they will seal their own fate.

So why do people talk about others? Why do haters hate and spend precious time and energy dragging other people’s reputations through the mud by saying mean or hurtful things behind their backs?

Well, in my 30 odd years of passive research on this matter, I’d say it could be owing to a number of things. Here’s some of them:

  • Jealousy
  • Insecurity
  • Boredom
  • They are just mean
  • You did something gossip worthy, out of character or dumb, and people talk about it because it makes them feel better
  • They just do not like you.

I’m aiming to keep my thoughts a bit more brief and succinct, so I shan’t unpack each of these points too much.

Perhaps the vast majority of gossip is just entertainment. But none of us find it very entertaining when we are the subject of other people’s chatter. So think about that before or as you engage in mean or hurtful gossip. Also think about what the person dishing dirt to you may be saying while you are absent.

So I shall endeavor in earnest to speak kindly of others and not engage in mindless or inane gossip about people I do or do not know. I’ll try and get back to you on how it goes. I am guessing it should pan out rather positively, for me and the people I am either not talking about, or speaking fondly of.

Have a great rest of the week.

Thanks for reading!

Delusions and Dissonance

I know exactly what kind of douche bag I do not want to be. 


I don’t want to be a “don’t you know who I am?!” kind of douche, lacking in humility or the ability to give every single new person I meet a fair shake before passing judgments or deciding I don’t like them.  I don’t want to be the kind of person who places my needs above the needs of others, and I don’t want to be the kind of person who thinks the world revolves around them and them alone.  I don’t want to be blissfully blind to the fact that everyone is fighting a hard battle, or the world around me is full of complex and pressing social, political and environmental issues.  Definitely don’t want to be a name-dropping hipster douche, and very keen not to be a backstabbing-false-friend-kind-of-jerk either. 


Probably my BIGGEST concern in the personal douche level department is being a deluded douche.  You know, the kind of person who has character flaws the size of the Grand Canyon and builds layer after layer of cognitive dissonance padding between them and the reality of the issues that cause them to be their own worst enemy.  I’d much rather face the stuff head-on I don’t like about myself or need to work on, and try to be a better person. 

As far as I can tell, I am doing a passable job of trying to avoid many of the aforementioned pitfalls, however, it turns out the upshot of that is that I sometimes excel at being another kind of jerk completely.  I’m a pushy, steaming hot mess of hard-to-handle, and some people find me absolutely appalling, vulgar, and quite enjoy nursing a healthy dislike for me and voice that quite openly.  Not everyone appreciates my honesty or willingness to share my opinions.  Some people, even people that I would call my friends, seem to relish pointing out how annoying I am and how lucky I am to have anyone tolerate my deep and varied failings. On the surface this doesn’t seem particularly kind or constructive, but if it makes them feel better, go for it I guess.  As long as you season it with some respect, kindness and concern as well.


Being at least moderately aware of the many and ever-evolving ways in which I suck is not absolution from the dumb, hurtful, or destructive things I do and say.  It just makes it ever so slightly easier to handle the venom that people spit at me, because I can honestly think or say: “Yes, I know that I suck, and your observation of this is undeniable, but oh my giddy aunt I am working on being a better person!”

Recently, I have had cause to ask Grumpy weekly, if not daily, if we are as deluded as most other people seem to be.  He’s pretty confident that due to our entrenched lack of self-esteem, and zero investment in appearing “cool” or keeping up with the Joneses, that we do a pretty good job of dealing with reality most of the time.  We are also armed with the Love and respect of some pretty harsh critics and very clever people who don’t suffer fools.  Sharing a common need to try and be decent human being ties us all together as our strongest social, and perhaps spiritual bond.

He also pointed out that if you didn’t have a few delusions about your own worth and importance, you’d quickly become suicidal, because the harsh reality of our insignificance and inadequacy would probably cause anyone to get pretty darned depressed… And none of us are actually insignificant or inadequate, as long as we are tied to other people in a positive way – we are significant beyond measure and our actions and influence are infinite and echo through the ages.  If, however, we go through life seeking nothing but self gratification or building a false façade, it won’t take long for the cracks in our lives to start showing and things to start crashing down around us. 

You know that saying: “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.”  Well, that is the essence of what I am trying to get across today.  So many of us battle terrible demons and try and fill a cosmic emptiness with all sorts of distractions, obsessions and messed up priorities.  If, like me, you keep running into the same problems over and over again in life – take a step back, and look REALLY look at what it is you are doing and why you do it, and how that keeps affecting you.

I was going to go into a long and convoluted rant about something I struggle with and have since I was very young indeed, but I’ve deleted that and I will give you the short version:


I am a desperately needy and undeniably annoying person.  I do not inherently believe that anyone could or would like me just as I am.  So for as long as I can remember I have felt compelled to do things for people or “buy friendship” through actions or favours.  That makes me a target, and also stops people from wanting to get close to me because it can be mighty awkward indeed, and I eventually snap and freak out and have a “what’s in this relationship for ME!” moment, quite often out of the blue or at inopportune times that actually don’t have a lot to do with the person I am lashing out at.

It is really REALLY hard to admit that


But I am working on it.  And I am building boundaries, and I am learning to say no to people.  All of these things are a bit of an uphill battle.  I used to make excuses, and convince myself that the cycle of loneliness and disappointment was just terrible luck, or I was a victim.  Simply not true.  I was sabotaging relationships at every turn, and the only remedy is honesty.  My dearest friends are very (nay, gobsmackingly!) honest with me, as I am with them.  My husband calls me out when he sees me acting like a total dickhead in an attempt to buy friendship or win people over.  One of his least favourite Dee moves is when I get drunk and tell people how much money we have or start giving things away willy-nilly.  HE HATES THAT!  I think I am getting better though.  But acting this way not only makes me a rather sad spectacle, it sabotages relationships in a very real and lasting way. 

And you know what.  When I stop throwing things at people and smothering them, and just accept that maybe there are people who like me for me, things go a whole lot smoother.

I could go on and on about my own delusions and dissonance – and bring up dozens of examples of seeing other people’s own struggles.  Perhaps one of the most common delusion I see people suffer from is being mean.  Mean people don’t seem to know that they are totally messing up their lives and the lives of others.  They make excuses for bullish and amoral behavior, and justify abhorrent actions to themselves until they don’t know how to deal with people rationally anymore.  Perhaps a bit of that power-corrupting adage, but I’ve noticed that bullies don’t seem to get that they’ll be a whole lot happier if they humble the heck up and try collaborating rather than dominating people an situations.  True story.



I doubt I’ll get more than a handful of readers with this Friday rant.  

For those of you who suffered through reading it, THANK YOU!  And I hope it was in some way helpful.