Being Real (and Vulnerable).
May 27, 2012
I have been moved and inspired by the "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" posts circulating lately (more about that here). When I first started reading blogs a few years back, I was drawn so strongly to those women (I'm pretty sure I have only ever read women's blogs) who shared of themselves on a personal level. I loved the pretty picture blogs (who doesn't?), and all the cool advice, and fantastic clothes, and the recipes (oh, I do have a thing for food blogs). But then I started my own blog, which was sort of a big deal at the beginning in terms of feeling exposed (even though I'm pretty sure it was only Alice and B and maybe a couple other close girlfriends who read it). And ever since then, it has been a push-pull thing with me wanting to share more or.....posting pretty pictures and recipes. If you have a couple days to kill, you can search my archives to see I do a lot more of the latter.
The truth is, there is A LOT I do not share on this blog. It isn't because I want to hide things, but sharing hasn't always felt appropriate. What I never want is to give the impression that my life is easier or nicer or tidier than what shows up here. I like authenticity in people and, well, everything come to think of it. And while I struggle with trying to focus on the positive, I feel a small sense of pride that blogging has helped me to see all that is good in my life and in the world. It is real. And it is good.
But I do want to get something off my chest here. It involves my family (mom, dad, brother and sisters, not B and my kids). I have a very, very painful family situation. I really don't want to go into a lot of detail (believe me, you don't want it), but what I can share is that we have not all been in the same room for probably at least 15 years. We are very divided and people don't speak to each other. My brother has never met any of my kids. The reason for all of this is religion. I won't say which one and call out negative attention to it, but that is the one and only issue and this is, obviously, very sad. I do not belong to the religion that most of them do, and consequently, I am not included in their lives. It is very black and white. I have struggled more than I could ever type into this stupid blogger post template thing, but it has been a real "theme" in my life I guess you could say.
I know, though, I have learned a lot from this unusual situation, and I know I have so, so, so much more to learn and grow from because of it. I am so very lucky to have the friends and extended family that I do. I really believe that friends are the family you choose. I also know that nothing, nothing in this life is a given. We can talk about what a mother should do or never do, or how a child should be treated, or the ways families should interact and support, but the truth is, not everyone has the things that seem so natural. (Things that I can't imagine happening in my own family with B, C-Man, JuJu and Little E.) I also know that it is hard to grow up and be who you really are, especially when that means it will cost you something crazy valuable like your family. It is hard to figure things out on your own. I am positive it is always easier to take the path of least resistance and follow the crowd. I also know that this experience has made me a much more conscious parent and wife. I know so much more about myself, which guides me everyday while parenting three little ones (but boy oh boy I need more of that). B and the kids give me hope and love and the desire to move beyond things in my past. Most of all perhaps, I know that we never ever know where a person comes from or what battles they are fighting. We are all here on a path of learning and, hopefully, growth. We can never judge where a person is on that path. We just don't know. I live for that connection I feel with a stranger or new friend that comes from my gut knowing we are more the same than different.
So there you have it (UGH). On the off chance you thought otherwise, my life is not perfect. Far from it. I am thankful if you read all the way to the bottom of this post, as I know it is a whole lot of navel gazing....but hey it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to. Here's to being real! xoxo
p.s. this post was brought to you by two glasses of rosé and this song on repeat....like a thousand times.