It’s hard to be real. I was trying to think of a better title…one that was brilliant. Maybe one that used alliteration or just made me seem super smart. But there’s really no other way to write this post. Being funny or clever would just smooth over the realness. And I don’t know about you but being real is hard.
When I write a real post, I am both aghast and thrilled when people read it.
I wrote about how I cried at my wedding and people came up to me for weeks talking to me about it. Some of them had their own stories to share. Some of them, perhaps a little judge-y or self-righteous had to tell me how their Big Day was filled with only JOY and not tears. Others confided they still felt like crying. I wanted to hear their stories. I wanted to make sure they all, even the judge-y ones, know they weren’t alone. But it’s hard to be real and put yourself and your life…your messy, messy life out there for all to see.
I know that by putting my story out there it gives other people, and specifically other moms, the freedom to claim their story too. And we all need to claim our own stories. To be real, I have to open myself up. To be real, I have to let people in. To be real, I have to be vulnerable. Man, that’s hard.
But I desperately want moms like me to know they aren’t alone with all these feelings. Truth is, I want to know I’m not alone. I put my real, authentic self out there in this blog hoping someone will whisper to me in the preschool line, “me too”. I pray a mom I don’t know well will come up to me as a wrangle my kids at church and tell me quietly “you’re not alone.” I hope I keep getting the DM’s from strangers saying “this is true for me too”. I hope that my friend or cousin or girl I barely remember from high school will stumble across this blog and say “wow, I never knew that about her and it makes me like her even more.”
Because let’s be honest. I want you to like me.
Maybe that’s why being real is hard. Maybe I wonder if you know the real me, you won’t like me anymore. Maybe if you know I get sad or lonely or admit that I’m not the perfect mom, you will dismiss me.
Yes, it’s hard to be real. But I’m trying to do brave things and being real falls under that category. With God’s help, encouragement from friends and strangers alike, and a big dose of courage, I’m going to continue to be real.
It’s hard to own my “realness”.
Just know when you come up to me talking about a “real” post I did, I’m both thrilled and ashamed. I love that you read it but I wished that you hadn’t. I want to sit down with you right in that school hallway and hash the whole thing out, and I want to run the other way and pretend I didn’t see you. I’m both proud of myself for being real and unsure if that is actually something to be proud of. But please keep coming up to me. Please keep letting me know I’m not alone. Please keep pushing me to be my authentic self, no matter what any of the judge-y people say.
Yes, it’s hard to be real. It’s hard to be ourselves living in a world that encourages us to be someone, anyone, else. Someone younger, prettier, thinner…better. I’m trying hard not to fall off that cliff of perfectionism. I’m trying hard to be real, to just be me. And like always, I hope that’s enough.