I write what I feel. Always. At times, what comes out is encouraging and inspirational to me (and maybe to those that read it) and other times it is just... not so much. Still, even if I am in the muck for a minute or two, admitting to myself, and to you, that life just ain't all that and a bag of chips sometimes, I always seem to glean some insight from the process and find some positivity in the end.
Acknowledging the muck works better for me than trying to pretend it's not there; and trying to convince myself that life is all unicorns and rainbows all the time feels highly inauthentic to me. I can't fool myself into thinking that anyway, and I don't need or want to try to fool anyone else either. What's the point? Connecting with and owning the parts of you and your life that are hard and that you may not like so much (you know, those parts you choose not to proudly post on social media) is the best and healthiest thing you can do. It sets you free, allows you to grow, teaches you acceptance, and makes you stronger for it. It frees you from buying into the bullsh*t everyone else is flinging while they're trying to keep up with the Joneses, working so hard to convince others, along with themselves, that their life is as good and charmed and envious and pride worthy as everybody else's seemingly perfect life.
I say to them, and to you, that one's life is good and worthy even if it is a little f*ed up. ESPECIALLY if it's a little f*ed up. It means that you are alive. It means that you are showing up. It means that you are not only surviving it, but thriving in it.
I posted a blog a couple months ago called This Is It that was an edited down version of what I originally wrote it to be. As posted, it was one of the shortest pieces I have shared, probably because I left so much out of it. The parts I omitted were a bit heavy, and I opted (back in December in the middle of all the fun and merriment of holiday season) to include only the light and positive aspects of it, and not to bog it down with the heavy.
The problem is, the heavy is the truth. The heavy is the reality. The HEAVY is what makes the light and positive possible. If you don't go through the heavy, you can't get to the light. What I posted was a nice, brief summation of the issue at hand that didn't give the whole picture nor did it reveal the whole thought process... the slogging through the muck and the feelings of frustration, self-doubt and disappointment.
Some would say - Good. THANK YOU. Thanks for sparing me that. I like it as is... I like to read it in its neat little package of positive insights and be on my way. Yet there are others that would probably like to read the muck. To take comfort in the muck. For them (and me), reading and discovering that there are others wading through the same sh*t makes one feel less alone in it.
So, for all the muck seekers out there, I am posting what I originally wrote entitled We Are the Choices We Make. If you like the hope and positivity (and brevity) of This is It, then this may be too much for you. It is kind of too much for me, and I wrote it! But it's the truth, and since writing it brought me to the hope and positivity that I arrived at in the first post, I think it is worth sharing it.
It is my hope that by sharing my experience with the hard things, maybe I can lend a voice to others that feel the same way. Maybe reading it can bring connection and comfort to those sometimes weary of navigating this life of kids, careers, and grown-up challenges. It's revealing what's behind the velvet curtain... giving a look at the wrinkled, stained and ripped side of my life that exists on the other side of the ironed, pretty and nice one more often seen by others. I believe that if we can embrace and accept this imperfect side without apology and without shame, then maybe we can rise above the challenges and find our way through it together.