This past week, I introduced my blog to my Facebook family. I finally mustered up the courage to exclaim that my blog existed. I know- it sounds crazy silly that posting an internet link on Facebook would be such a big deal. But, let me tell you (and Matt can attest to my ruminating) that I have been debating and flip-flopping and basically whining about revealing to my family and friends that I have a blog.
For those of you that know me, I am loud and opinionated and, at times, incredibly socially inappropriate. A good friend of mine in grad school called me “Confident Callie” because I just put it out there and didn’t worry about what other people thought or said. Let me announce now, with shaky hands and a knot in my stomach, that most of the time, I am faking it.
I have never been one to reveal all that much about myself. I somehow decided a long time ago that the less people knew about me, the less likely they will hurt me. I put tiny tidbits of info about myself out there- just enough to create a curiosity- and kept everything else for the very few people that truly knew me.
I don’t think I ever really did it on purpose- I have only become so unbelievably aware of it since I became a counselor and even more so since I started blogging. But as I began reading so many other blogs out there, I discovered that I learned more about myself by reading other people’s truths. Discovering that other writers put their personal struggles and humiliations out there for the world to dissect and judge and understand, made it easier for me to be proud of all of the junk that I have been hiding for so long.
I use the word “junk” because that is what it is. If there is one thing I have learned over and over again as a counselor it is that everyone has a crap-load of “junk” that they carry around with them. It determines their relationships, their attitudes, their emotions, and every other aspect of their daily lives. And my “junk” was keeping me from putting myself out there and letting people know me- the real insecure, self-conscious, dorky me.
For the past year, I have been working really hard on becoming more authentic and transparent. While I value privacy, I feel like I need to take some big personal risks in order to accomplish my personal goals. Not to say that I haven’t taken some pretty big risks in my life (more on those in a later post), but they haven’t been related to the character building goals I have set for myself now.
Becoming a mom has made me put my goals and aspirations into a whole new perspective. Wait- let me rephrase that. Now that my child is a toddler and I see how much of an influence my choices and behaviors have on an incredibly impressionable future-citizen, I have realized that my goals need to be bigger and reach farther than I could have ever dreamed before.
When he was a baby, my one job was to keep him fed, changed, and alive. I focused on those 3 things constantly. When I wasn’t waking up to nurse him, I was waking up to make sure I could see his belly rise and fall to prove that he was breathing. Now, my job is to make sure I am helping him to develop into the person that I hope he will become. Help him to be confident and independent, generous and strong, thoughtful and caring, humble and forgiving. And, all the while, make sure he is fed, changed, and alive. Which, let me tell you, with all the cuts, scrapes, bruises, and pump-knots is a lot harder than it used to be.
So with my new goals in mind, I am now a blogger. And, I cannot say enough, how much I appreciate all of the support and encouragement I have gotten from friends and family in just the couple of days since I announced my website. The texts and messages have been amazing. I encourage each person that reads a post to make a comment- about whatever. It helps.
I hope- through this blog and through other changes I am making in my life- that I can become a more transparent and authentic person. That by letting my weaknesses be known to the world (and even scarier, to the people who actually know me), I can teach my son to be proud of the struggles, the mistakes, and the messy moments in life because they make the joys and the successes so much better. They also make for some pretty funny stories to tell your friends later.
Instead of building walls and letting my struggles hold me back, I plan on celebrating the humiliating and funny side of life. I tell my clients all the time that walls will protect you from getting hurt, but they also keep the people out that can help you heal. It’s time I followed my own advice.