Starting a blog has required extreme vulnerability. I am essentially inviting anyone and everyone into the depths of my soul, while requiring no exchange in return whatsoever. You get to know as much as you care to know from me, and you don’t have to give me a damn thing back. I realize if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you carelessly clicked out of curiosity or boredom, but nonetheless here you are. Maybe you think it’s all terrible or that I’m a new level of crazy, but that’s the choice I made when I decided to start this. So here I am, putting my honest self on display for anyone to judge accordingly- and it’s freaking liberating. There is something so freeing of laying it all out there knowing people might hate it, and just doing it anyway. I used to be a little afraid of real vulnerability, but now I’m learning to welcome it with open arms.
Regardless of whether or not you know me personally, my guess is that if you’ve read any of my other posts, it’s no secret I’ve been going through a difficult time. I certainly don’t believe in airing dirty laundry or using this as a passive attempt to take jabs at my offenders, but I also don’t want to shy away from what I’m learning through all of this. Allowing myself to be open and honest feels good for my soul. Ernest Hemingway said “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” And that’s what I want to do- because I know I’m not the only one out there who is hurting.
It’s funny how we as humans respond when we all know someone is going through a difficult time. We tend to live in a security blanket of conversations that we know won’t cause disruption.
“Hey girl! How’ve you been?”
“I'm good! Just busy- you know how it goes..."
Can we drop the act? Does someone want to ask me how I really am?
I walked out of the house wearing 2 different shoes yesterday. Last week I spilled soy sauce on my sheets from eating sushi in bed, so I rolled over and slept on the other side (it’s okay, I’m even judging myself for this). I've gained 5 pounds since last night because my dinner was binge eating cookie dough. I’ve experienced trauma and shock and greet everyday with a new list of questions and a new level of confusion. And if I’m being honest, somedays these emotions feel amplified when I’m conversing with humans who seemingly sashay around what feels like a mess of a life in beautiful little circles without ever acknowledging it.
Sometimes I feel like I could chop off my arm, let it gush blood profusely, and people would still be like “Oh hey girl! How are you!?”
Don’t get me wrong. I am ALL for positivity. If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ve seen me state my case for making the most out of life no matter the circumstances. You can’t just sit around and wallow when bad things happen and I firmly stand by that. Hell, wallowing is as far as the east is from the west as to what I want to do right now- even in the midst of all of this. But as important as perseverance is, I believe honesty and vulnerability are too- and that requires you to be brave.
So with this new found vulnerability, I want to challenge you to not hide in the shadows of safe conversation, regardless of whether the loss or the pain or the heartache belongs to you or someone else. I totally understand that getting all up in my bloody arm may be WAY out of your comfort zone. I certainly don’t expect everyone to be up for the challenge- and quite frankly, I don’t even want everyone trying to doctor it. But I do want to feel like I'm not alone with my pain.
What if we were all a little less afraid to treat each other like humans? What if we cared less about what was appropriate or awkward and treated each other with more honesty and compassion? What if we took the time to ask one another how you really are and were willing to listen to the honest answer? What if you just say something? In the (incredible) book Bittersweet it beautifully puts it this way:
"I know we're busy. I know we forget sometimes. More than anything, I think, we so desperately don't want to say the wrong thing. It's impolite, we've been told, to bring up nasty topics like loss and sadness. But if we don't bring it up, what are we left with? We talk about the easy things, the happy things, the weather, and then we leave one another totally alone with the diagnosis or the divorce papers.
When you're mourning, when something terrible has happened, it's on your mind and right at the top of your heart all the time. It's genuinely shocking to you that the sun is still shining and that people are still chattering away on Good Morning America. Your wold has changed, utterly, and it feels so incomprehensible that the bus still comes and the people in the cars next to you on the highway just drive along as if nothing's happened. When you're in that place, it's a gift to be asked how you're doing, and most of the time the answer comes tumbling out, like water over a broken dam, because someone finally offered to carry what feels like an unbearable load with you."
I don’t say any of this to guilt or shame anyone. More than anything, I’m speaking up for those who have a metaphorical bloody arm of their own. Up until I was standing where I stand now, I was a chronic sashay-er. You might as well have given me a freaking ribbon so I could emphasize the pretty little twirls I danced around avoiding awkward conversation. But I’m learning that crossing boundaries or potential awkward conversations mean more than letting someone suffer alone. I’m learning that a simple "I heard, and I'm so sorry" can go a long way. I’m learning that people at the core are good, and that we’re all just doing the best we know how.
I'm learning to be brave, and I want you to join me. Let's say something- anything. Let's be honest. Let's show the people we love that we love them. Let’s cut the surface level BS and get all up in each others messes and bandage them with crazy amounts of love.