So I’ve followed this fabulous woman for a while now–through her blog, not in a stalking sort of way. I find her authenticity and vulnerability so refreshing, so genuine. And she makes me laugh so hard I always pee a little in my pants. Though since having two kids, that threshold is fairly low. If you don’t follow her blog, you should. She’s become huge these days. She posted this recently:
You must read her post “Kid-dom” before you finish reading my post below.
No, no, go ahead. I’ll wait.
Really, mine won’t make sense until you read it. Do this NOW please.
So there are a few things about her post that I love. It reminds me of putting down the shame we all carry in some fashion. And I love the reminder of “Wow, that was almost bad!” and how pure and innocent and REAL childhood is.
And her post got me thinking: I’ve noticed that I’m now not only more open to adults and friends and the world, but to my kids as well. To show them I am real. And flawed. And funny. And stupid. And just like everyone else. To show them there is no shame in making mistakes, in making unwise decisions, in being who I am. (Trust me, this lesson is not easy to come by.)
But I’m also sharing much more of who I am to people mostly because people tend to think I’ve got it so put together–like that blog post says–if I make my outsides look perfect and effortless, of course it goes without saying that my insides are perfect too. I laughed because as I read her post, I looked down, and I have the scarf and jewelry on. Right. Now. I share my insides to people now not only to connect with them, but to normalize the imperfect nature of who we are. That we all struggle with the same hard things in life. Families, work, relationships, how we look, how clean our houses are. That we shouldn’t strive for perfection.
Today my insides include a lot of what the world would call failures. I was recently confessing to a friend that divorce can feel like a failure sometimes. People accuse you of not trying hard enough, not taking vows seriously. People thrust judgments upon you. Me. The royal You…I’m not in a committed relationship and it feels like I am being judged. And in some moments, I believe them. So yes, I’m messy. I failed at marriage, and turns out I’m not doing so hot in the dating scene either. Old behaviors keep popping up, but I’ll save that for another day! But on my good days I know I am not a failure. On my bad days – ugh! But really, I know I’m not a failure. I’m just complex and complicated and messy. Like life.
It takes courage to throw your arms wide open and announce “Here I am in all my failed glory! And I’m fabulous!” It becomes easier, and less scary, when you’re not the only one out there doing that. Which is why I try to be my authentically flawed self to the world now, because we are all so beautiful in our quirks. Not acknowledging these quirks does not make them non-existent. It just makes it harder for us to embrace each other.
I’m spending the rest of my day without my scarf.