On Being Real
This was posted on BlogHer tonight and I wanted to share it with you all here. The “enemies” comment had to do with a comment I had left for someone on the boards. I am very much a believer in being straight up with people. Life is too short to be otherwise.
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This is my first blog post here, and I may already have enemies.
Limiting Time Gives You Perspective
One of the things that I learned early on in life was that you have to stay true to yourself. Your decisions, your actions, your inaction, you have to live with them. All of them.
This becomes even more important when you add in something that could take your life at any moment.
When I became a mom 11 years ago, I made a choice to become the person that I truly wanted to be. No matter how long it took. I accepted that fact that I am an imperfect being, but decided not to allow that imperfection to keep me from trying no matter how I failed.
I am the legacy that I leave my daughter, me, so I will never stop trying to:
- Live a creative daily life.
- Pass on to my daughter, and those around me, anything that I have been blessed with in my life…Knowledge. Food. Support. Love. Joy.
- Remain true to my self and what I believe.
- Live in kindness.
- Spread compassion.
- Spread awareness for the things that matter.
- Never give up hope, for myself and for the sake of those I love.
And I will never stop trying.
I’m not perfect, far from it, but I’m real. I have good days and bad, just like everyone else, and I don’t think I am anything special. I’m just, well. Me. Those who know me always know where they stand. With that in mind, never ask me my opinion unless you want the truth, I don’t sugarcoat. Those who don’t know me, seldom interpret me correctly; mostly because they judge me on the agenda’s of others.
But that is part of being real.
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand… once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Being real isn’t easy. It doesn’t always get the popular vote. It is raw, gritty, sometimes unpleasant, but it is that truth that you can hold onto at the end of the day. That knowing that you were you, and not something you were trying to be just so that someone else was comfortable with it. I like being comfortable in my own skin, and I like others who are too, or who are at least trying to be real too.
Being accepted for who and what you are is so much more rewarding than trying to lug around an arsenal of masks that you have to switch out to please everyone.
Life can be an all stress diet, especially right now with our media being overrun with politcal ads and all of us worrying who or what will be controlling our lives for the next four years. I, personally, will be so happy when it is OVER. The not-knowing drives me nuts.
That aside, I know stress all too well having just graduated at 43 with my 1st of two Masters, being currently enrolled in a graduate certificate program, homeschooling, running a nonprofit, juggling the unpleasantries of systemic health issues, and trying to work on all of my own projects (including the continuation of my thesis) in order to help my husband make bills. So with all of that, I like having a community of women I can communicate with who are just as strong, stubborn, and creative as I am.
Being Like Water
One of the movies that my husband and I like to watch is Memoirs of a Geisha. I love its cadence and the underlying stillness that surfaces at times. One of my most favorite quotes is something that rings true in my life.
“But she (my mother) told me I was like water…
Water can carve its way through stone.
And when trapped, water makes a new path.”
I found out after my first marriage at 18 (no kids) that life was all about adapting to change. Being able to adapt, learn, and grow are things I want to pass on to my daughter. I want her to be strong, independent, and true to herself. I want her to be able to live through her mistakes and take away something of value from every one. It is my hope that she will learn from my own mistakes, but I know that the truth of it is that she will still have to make her own. She will know, though, that no matter what, I am here for her and that nothing will keep me from loving her, supportive or tough. She has her own paths to carve and I can only hope that she learns from water.
Wading Through the Floodwaters
We all have our stories. Things we have lived through, things that we have learned from and survived. Things that may only ring true to us and have made us stronger and (hopefully) have taught us how to stand up, firmly rooted, and be ready for when the next wave comes through.
So steady your feet and look up. The stars are out, and there is a sunrise coming.
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Golden, Arthur. (2005) Memoirs of a Geisha.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397535/
Williams, Margery. (1988) The Velveteen Rabbit. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/326937-what-is-real-asked-the-velveteen-rabbit-one-day-does