Things I am Afraid to Tell You
So here’s the deal. I didn’t get invited to the party but I am crashing it anyway. And me being me, well, it’s perfectly understandable that I am fashionably late. To set the stage, a girl named Jess wrote a poignant post entitled ‘Things I am Afraid to Tell You’ and another girl named Ez seized upon the idea of keeping things real and turned it into a party of sorts – a virtual siren song of authenticity – and invited a bunch of bloggers to raise their knickers and give us a peak at the great and secret show. Go check them out.
Not a gussied up, overly edited, photoshopped life; not the immaculate digs cleaned with nothing more than baking soda and vinegar and tales of 2.2 perfectly behaved kiddos fueled by macrobioticorganicpaleo perfection that sleep 12 hours a night and never ever ever wail for candy in the checkout aisle. No. Not the pursuit of perfection. The real deal. Real life and the real concerns that we contend with as real people behind the rose colored curtain of a blog. And I really dug it. I loved seeing a more humble and human side of the people who I have been reading about for so long.
It is easy to assume that blogging is glamorous and that our lives, at least the parts we choose to share, are a perfect brand-worthy lifestyle. As a long time blog reader, I am guilty of making those assumptions myself. I am also guilty of being resentful of my perceptions. Comparison is a bitch.
But I think it is only natural to put your best foot forward when you are willingly sharing pieces of yourself with the world. Much like a first date or a job interview or seeing your gyno after a year. You want your business neat and tidy. You see, I never realized just how exposed bloggers feel until I started writing a blog. My blog is still in swaddling clothes but there is nothing more terrifying than clicking that ‘publish’ button, especially when you have chosen to share something personal. So it is only natural to edit. And to question where the boundary lies between too much and too little personal information.
I strive to be as real as possible on Chez V – what you see is pretty much what you get from me in real life. I am pretty transparent about the real deal as evidenced here, here, and here. I share embarrassing stories about my bonkers family here and here. However, I have been known to push my piles out of the way to make for a better picture. When all hell is breaking loose, a spoonful of sugar makes reality go down a little easier. But after reading a few of the other posts, I realized that I do hold a lot back. Forgive me if I have portrayed myself as anything other than what I really am: a hot mess with a hell of sense of humor and aspirations for a bigger life. Who doesn’t?! But I wouldn’t change a thing and perspective allows me to realize that my problems are luckily 1st world problems and not life-threatening. But they are real problems, nevertheless.
This morning I discovered that Meg over at Mimi + Meg has kept the party rolling this week by inviting even more bloggers to join the ‘Things I am Afraid to Tell You’ movement. I still wasn’t invited but who cares. I am coming stag. Without further ado, here are some things that I am actually afraid to tell anyone:
I am lonely – I find it increasingly hard to nurture real friendships as I get older. I moved away from a tight knit group of friends and co-workers in Atlanta 9 years ago, and I have yet to find the same kind of I-love-and-accept-you-warts-and-all friendships that I left behind. We are all still dear, dear friends but it isn’t the same when they are not right down the street. I am still very close with my college girlfriends and even high school girlfriends as well but time and distance make it hard to keep those connections immediate. I have one dear friend now that is close by. One. How sad is that?! In spite of my gregarious ways, I have become socially awkward and anxious in my 30’s. I am not really one for chatting up the moms at preschool pick up either because I am an abysmal small talker. So, yeah, I get lonely.
I have never failed but I have failed to try – an occupational hazard of a perfectionist is the crippling fear of failure. I have failed to go after some things that I really wanted because of my intense fear of failing. Despite my professional training as a continuous improvement guru, which celebrates failure as an opportunity to learn, I have trouble applying this to my personal life. The things that I do try, I tend to do them 120% to the highest level achievement that I can reach. I wear my husband out. 2012 needs to be the year of taking more risks and failing gloriously forward. The times that I have learned the most or made significant achievements have come on the heals of a plan gone wrong. And yet I am still so afraid to fail. And I am the antithesis of perfect.
I pull my hair out – literally. By far, this is my most embarrassing admission. I began to pluck out my eyelashes when I was young (4th grade) after my parent’s divorce as a cry for attention and to exercise control. The habit quickly formed and became a soothing mechanism over which, ironically, I have no control. I was forced to wear false eyelashes in the mid 90’s, way before they were in vogue. Some time ago, I migrated from my eyelashes to my eyebrows. Without makeup I resemble an albino and with penciled in eyebrows tend to look like a schizophrenic old lady after a particularly bad day of mindless plucking. And now I have started on my hair. Not good.
I have always struggled with my weight – I was a chubby kid and I am a chubby adult. There were a few blissful years of adolescent skinniness when the stars and puberty aligned and of course the heartbreak episodes when I couldn’t pick myself up off the floor let alone eat food. Heartbreak does wonders for your waistline. And there was 15 minutes back in May 2005 when I looked the best I ever have as I married mr. V. But for the most part, I have to go hungry if I want to stay thin. If I smell carbohydrates, I gain 7 pounds. Remember this episode? I am not condoning or making light of eating disorders, I am simply being honest about my body.
I am riddled with anxiety – as mom says, ‘we are an anxious people.’ Control is an issue with me. I am very particular about certain things being a certain way while other things can fall by the wayside, like my piles. When I had my daughter, I lost my marbles for a bit because I felt like I no longer had control over anything. I obsessively filled two of my moleskins with every feeding, bodily function, and sleep cycle for the first two years of her life. I sort of hate to fly because I have no control over the outcome. I have minor panic attacks in elevators. I think about death and dying and the end of the world a few times a day. I have recurring anxiety dreams that largely consist of impending doom-like scenarios in which I am in a large body of water with a huge presence looming behind me or a barbarian horde is invading or having a test at school for which I am not prepared nor have I even attended class all semester or the most recurring of all which is the awful scenario where I have to pee really bad but the toilet is overflowing with urine. I never sit on a toilet seat and I have a thing about peeing in public and don’t even get me started on those assholes who poop in public…Yes, I am probably a good candidate for medication but I hate taking pills…
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up – the irony here is that I am turning 40 this year and I still haven’t found my calling. I have so many interests. I love to master things for the sake of learning so I tend to pick up many, many hobbies. I research and read exhaustively, at times to the point of paralysis. I tend to hyper focus. I am a quick learner so I tend to do well at most things as long as I think I can succeed (see the
first second item). I thought that I would have
things pretty well figured out career-wise by the time I hit 40 but spending
some time at home to be mom has put a little hitch in my giddy up.
shared with you here that I want to pursue my creative passions as a career
but circumstances are dictating that I will likely have to return to the real
rat race pronto.
I worry about money a lot – I come from a humble background and sadly have always wished for more as I said here. In college I couldn’t rub two nickels together. In my single days in Atlanta, there were nights when I couldn’t afford to eat and some weeks when my direct deposit paycheck still didn’t cover the negative balance in my bank account. My husband taught me how to be more cautious with my money, to not live beyond my means, and save for a rainy day. We only buy things when we can pay for them outright which can be frustrating at times. I wish I lived in a nicer house with everything finished, unlike our myriad of unfinished projects. But I realize that this is just a superficial keeping-up-with-the-jones impulse. I have tremendous guilt now that I am not contributing to the household income and I worry constantly that we will not have enough money. I need to go back to work.
I could sort of go on and on but I think that is enough over sharing for one day. Eeeeeep as I push ‘publish.’
kisses, mrs. V