I’m playing operator (or telephone or Chinese Whispers or whatever you call that game) with a group of beautiful optimists who pass along the whisper they think they heard but only in the most positive of lights. Where “I am tired because I didn’t sleep” becomes “I have tied a beautiful ribbon to keep.” Creative curating I think it’s called. Or blogging. That, too. Where we put out the good stuff, but leave out the real stuff.
So when my friend Leslie – a fellow operator player – asked me tell you what I’m afraid of telling you, with my real voice, not my optimistic whisper, I said yes! Loudly.
No, it’s not a tell-all or even a blog therapy type of thing. It’s a mini-movement. Or, judging from the many writers involved, a not-so-mini-movement in authenticity. And we are doing this to feel actually connected, not pseudo- or virtually- or quasi- or i-connected. But connected. As people.
This is how it works: I tell you what I’m actually, truly afraid of saying. No spit shining the shit. When my palms get sweaty, I’m on the right track. Maybe I’ll get judged for it, maybe I won’t. However, I know for certain that try as I might not to, I will judge myself.
Things I’m afraid to tell you:
1. I don’t take my own advice. I have some amazingly great parenting tips here; little gems that I’ve picked up from talented, resourceful people (and books) in my life. I love to share those. I love to think I’m bettering the parenting skill set out there. But what I’m really doing is preaching to myself about how to not let the foibles of my ancestors seep through my words and actions and stain my daughters. It’s hard. I struggle.
2. I feel like a fraud. As a writer, I can’t spell very well. As a photographer, I suck at the technical stuff. As a parent, I’m mostly winging it. Yes, I’m good at aspects of those things. I feel compelled to stick up for myself here and list all the things I am good at when it comes to writing or photography or parenting. But then I wouldn’t be very afraid to tell you those things, now would I?
3. My need to be nice trumps my need to be authentic. As a people pleaser I put other people’s needs (real or imagined) in front of my own. I realize I do this, so maybe that’s the first step in NOT doing it, but I do it nonetheless. As a friend recently told me, it’s not the worst thing in the world to be a nice person. She’s right. It’s not. But if it comes at the expense of my own feelings, it’s not the best, either.
4. I’m afraid I’m annoying you. Usually after I meet someone, I feel like I shouldn’t call, write or follow-up because I’m terribly afraid I’m annoying that person. It has something to do with needing my worthiness reflected back at me instead of emanating from me (a clue to why I’m a people pleaser as well).
There is more because, of course there is! These are my skeletons. That I keep hidden. In. The. Dark. That and my palms are sweating terribly now and causing my fingers to slip off the keys… What about you? What are you afraid to say?????
Thanks, Leslie, for giving me the boost. Oddly, just by sharing, I’m less afraid to tell you these things. Funny. Also, here are links to all those brave women that are sharing their stories today…nothing like safety in numbers. Please, check them out and help me support them, too!
Jill at Terra Savvy | Erica at The Elbow | Jen at Taking Off the Mask || Laura at My So Called Sensory Life | Monique at Razing Mayhem | Caroline at Salsa Pie | Leslie at Life In Every Limb | Tammie at Tam.Me | Melanie at Inward Facing Girl | Amy at Old Sweet Song | Michelle at Early Mama | Jen at Jen Epting | Sarah at SAWK Photography | Leslie at Lights and Letters
photo credit: Ez at Creature Comforts