Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Get Real

I've talked about my sister a lot on this here blog.
I've told you how great she is and how great her kids are.
I think she's pretty fan-freaking-tastic.

Everyday she checks in on me.
To see how I'm doing.
To make sure I'm hanging in there.
She knows I have the tendency to be a little down on myself at times.
Or, at least, frustrated that my life isn't quite going the way I envisioned when I mapped it all out.

She sent me a link to a blog today.
I know, I know.
Enough with the blogs.
But, here's the thing.
This is a DUDE's blog.
Since when have dudes started blogging?
(Besides this guy who cooks amazing stuff and 
looks like he is captain of his school's chess club.
Sorry to judge.
Just sayin'.)

Yeah, so it's a dude writing.
And he's good.
And he shares his feelings 
and he is funny
and he gushes on and on about his son,
which just melts my pea-pickin' heart.

So, my sister sent me the link to this post, called "The Disease called Perfectionism."
And she said that she thought of me when she read this entry.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure she wasn't insinuating that I am perfect
and that she struggles in dealing with that.
I'm pretty sure she's suggesting that I have issues.
Surprise, folks.
I have issues.
Many issues.
I have this tendency to try to have things perfect.
Or, to at least have people think that things are perfect, 
going well, 
no bumps in the road whatsoever.

And, for some reason, this dude's post made me think.
He encourages his readers to be real.
Go to the link above to read it all, but my favorite part is when he says, "Be bold about your weakness and you will change people's lives.  Be honest about who you actually are, and others will begin to be their actual selves around you..."
Can I get an AMEN?

I didn't get this Before Maggie (I tried to do a clever "Life B.M." but that wasn't cute. Just gross.)
I tried, for the life of me, to keep our infertility on the down-low.
When people asked me when we were going to have kids, 
I would always come up with some answer, 
"Once we're done with grad school" or
"Once we get settled."
Don't worry, I never said, "We're having fun trying."
Because, honestly, that's weird
and socially inappropriate.  

I was determined that people did not need to know about "my issues."
It was none of their business about my doctor's appointments
or my ovaries
or the shots
or how long we'd been "trying"
or how we just weren't relaxing enough to conceive
(please don't say that to anyone you know).

But, life After Maggie?
That's different.
(In so many, many ways).
If people want to ask or read about 
my ovaries or
my shots or
my doctor's appointments
or how relaxed we have been?

I feel.so.much.freaking.better.and.happier.

I never realized how stressed out about it I was.
Keeping things secret is really hard work.
It was exhausting trying to be secretive about
leaving for doctor's appointments
or not going on trips because of doctor's appointments.
I was mentally exhausted.
And emotionally exhausted.
Because I had no support.
I had no one to talk to who could relate to me
and support me and pray for me and give me advice.
I was not getting the most important things that I needed.

So, now?
Now that you on the internets (and in real life) know?
and read all this junk? 
and you write nice notes?
and say nice things to me about all this?
It's fantastic.
It's what every woman needs for their imperfections.  
Knowing that you're not alone.
And not crazy.
And not the only loser in the world who is experiencing
the feelings of loneliness
and craziness
and worthlessness
(and, in my case, the feelings of way too much prodding and what-not 
and way too many people in that place that we will not mention because my great aunts and in-laws read this here blog and that would be awkward).

I wish I would have spilled the beans years ago.
Life is so much better now that I have been real with people.

And, the more I share, the more I realize there are more of "me" out there.
More women who are shamed by unmet expectations.
More women who have felt worthless because their family is still two people
(and yes, that's a family).
So, not only am I glad that I laid it out there that I'm not perfect so that I could get support,
but, I am thrilled that I can give it, too.
Because I know how important
and life-giving it is.

Life is different after Maggie.
For so many reasons.
This is one of the good ones, I guess.

(Disclaimer: Please do not be real with others if you could appear in TLC's My Strange Addiction.  If you eat your couch cushions there's no amount of friend love that can fix that crazy.)


  1. Seriously, Rachel...I love your posts! You are such a fantastic writer! :)

  2. Laughing - hard! I love your blog so much. I have to say that I never thought I'd be checking out the strange couch cushion eating woman ever again (yes, I watched this and was disturbed because she was making it look good...I may have been dieting at the time and ravenous). At any rate, your openness and honesty is unusual and so raw...but in such a fabulous way! I can see that Maggie has changed the way you look at and interact with the world! :)

  3. You are a fabulous writer and so entertaining. I love reading what you have to say. So funny!

  4. You are awesome. And I'm really glad you don't eat couch cushions.

  5. I love you. You can always make me smile. I agree with so much of this. It is so freeing to have people know what we are struggling with and ask about it (at least some people do, at least).

  6. We don't have cable anymore and after watching that clip, I'm kind of glad. I have a feeling that the Strange Addiction shows would be like a train wreck that I would just have to watch..kind of like Hoarders.

  7. Hi old friend, this is Kimberly from GC. I heard about your blog and had to check it out. You're a fantastic writer and I appreciate your ability to make me laugh and think in the same sentence. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry to hear about Maggie's short life. I think your stories really help people in all sorts of situations. I'm glad to be able to connect with you again!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...