It’s been a bit since I wrote anything on my blog.
It took me a minute to figure out why I was procrastinating.
I used to love to write to all of you.
Sharing life and swapping secrets was one of my favorite things.
Then, not suddenly, but definitely, the joy of writing here began to fade.
Until finally, I wasn’t writing at all.
I kept asking myself.
I moved a few hundred miles from home and life got really busy.
That was my quick answer.
But, only recently did I realize the real reason.
I wasn’t being vulnerable.
The things I wrote were true and enjoyable, at least I hope they were enjoyable.
But, slowly, they began to feel scripted, controlled and strategically placed.
In the beginning, when this whole writing first started, I found relief in sharing the grief of losing my mom. But, after a while the heavy grief lifted and because I didn’t want my blog to forever be about the saddest, most difficult thing that’s ever happened to me, I began to tell stories.
Stories about childhood and funny things that happened to me plus the occasional spiritual mountain or valley I’d experienced.
All of it true.
All of it earned the hard way…through experience.
But, as the number of blog followers grew, the level of expectation also grew.
I began to feel like I needed to get it perfect every single time.
I would read other blogs or articles and stories and see all the flaws in mine until finally…
I didn’t want to write anymore.
It felt less than, subpar and pointless when so many others did it so much better.
I’m not looking for a pity party, and I’m not fishing for compliments.
Really, I’m not.
I’m just ready to be open and honest about my love of words and my fear of failure.
My fear of letting you down and myself down.
It’s tough to type that last sentence.
I am not strong and courageous.
“Fearless” isn’t even in my vocabulary.
But, I am HONEST and I guess I began to feel dishonest by making everything seem so neat and packaged with a bow on top.
My life, my REAL life, is anything but.
I stress eat.
I gossip sometimes.
I’m afraid of dying.
Sometimes I’m afraid for no reason.
I blow things up in my mind and make them much bigger than they are.
I obsess over what “could” happen.
I’m addicted to Coke Zero.
I love donuts.
I don’t trust people easily.
Sometimes I’m not as happy as I seem.
I hate to lose.
I don’t like board games because I always lose. (Refer to line above.)
I worry about my kids EVERY DAY.
I pray all the time because I lack faith.
I am lonely often times in the middle of a crowd.
Because I am friendly, people assume social settings are easy for me, but that’s not true.
I analyze everything I say when I walk away from a conversation.
And then I beat myself up for something I said, always.
I obsess over my failures for days.
I’m weary of saying “I understand” when people hurt me because I don’t.
I have a hard time truly forgiving even though I may act like it’s easy.
I am not put together even though my outfit may be.
I sat in church two weeks ago and cried because, well, I don’t really know. I just needed to cry. The Lord is pushing me into deeper waters and I feel like I can’t swim.
I’m treading water.
I know it makes some of you uncomfortable to read something this vulnerable, and that’s okay. I need to be this way. I feel fake writing and publishing as though I’ve got it all figured out WHEN I DON’T.
I need you to understand that I am trusting you with my heart.
I heard a podcast recently that explained the difference between being transparent and vulnerable.
Transparent is when we share what we’ve been through.
Vulnerable is sharing where we are.
Sometimes that’s the “messy middle.”
There’s so much to learn here in the middle. So many lessons to grab onto and stow away in our heart.
Even while in the messy middle, I see the Lord at work.
I think that’s what makes life bearable.
Well, now that I’ve shared this with you, I feel like something heavy lifted off my chest.
I do plan to post stories, I do plan to keep on practicing and getting better but I also plan on being not just transparent but vulnerable.
We need it in our society, we need to know we can be far less than perfect and still be loved by God and others.
We can admit our flaws without trying to justify them.
We don’t have to hide them because that only makes us part of the bigger problem.
The idea that we’re not good enough if we aren’t perfect.
As though the journey to better places has to be hidden until we arrive.
The messy middle is a secret.
But a lot of good life and lessons happen along the way.
I hope to share more of them.
They won’t all be tidy and neat but they will be HONEST.
Isn’t that what so many of us are looking for in this crazy world?
Honesty? Transparency? Vulnerability? Loyalty?
Man, we need those things so much!
So, here I am again!
I’m going to keep it real.
I hope you will too.