As part of a closed group we have on Facebook, born of the Embrace screenings and our photo shoot, we post a weekend selfie for two reasons: 1) as a self esteem shot of you being unapologetically you and doing your thing and 2) as a check in for us all with each other as we don’t get to meet up often. (My thing seems to be mostly hanging around talking about cleaning in my pjs by the way!)
Anyway, I usually post on a Saturday but last week was busy and preoccupied and didn’t feel like doing it as I was struck with a bit of a dark cloud of sadness. On Sunday, because I felt sad and knew I just needed to go through it, I decided I wouldn’t post my weekend photo. But there was a weird feeling that came with that and I couldn’t quite figure it out. This is what my adventure this year (and probably way before that!) has been – getting in touch with the real authentic me and embracing that. So why did I feel that I couldn’t/shouldn’t post a picture that said “I look like I feel”? It felt indulgent and if I’m honest I was a little worried that it’d be perceived as looking for attention. I didn’t want my “this is me” to be taken in any way other than “this is me”. I knew it wouldn’t though – it was just an old habit of mine to think too much about what other people think and I needed to rid myself of that and be true to me. And what better safe space than this wonderful group of flawsome folks who are keen to grab themselves and their lives and the lives of others with a big warm welcome embrace? And so I posted…
It isn’t a pretty picture, but it was definitely 100% a perfect capture of that moment in time for me. Sleepy, coffee in hand and making my way through the sadness.
And the response? Well, that was what really made me sit up and rethink my own perceptions and see that what we need to connect with each other is honesty. We have this insane notion that we need to present our lives as perfect to the outside world. Mine is far from perfect. I strive to make it lovely, and joyous and happy, but my perfect is a balance of lots of things that are far from faultless. It’s mess and chaos and calm and sadness and happiness and all the things that life throws at you. It’s taking it all and making sense of it to allow yourself room to live and experience life fully. Sometimes perfect is made up of flaws – I see perfection in the strangest things and fabulous in some wonderfully quirky and beautiful flaws. We are far more interesting when we are open and honest and real. That’s not always easy, and it takes bravery to risk it and live with the outcome. It takes digging deep and not being afraid to be vulnerable. Bill would have said “it takes balls”.
One of Bill’s favourite authors was Ernest Hemingway. I’m sure this was imprinted on my young brain quite early on, but I had lost it somewhere along the way.
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Now I believe we are all best people. I’m pretty certain I won’t be destroyed too but if there was even a shadow of a doubt, I then found this while clearing out my bookshelves this week. Bill again.
On the flip side there’s happy and a short week later, coffee in hand, sleepy and feeling so much better I posted another honest photo. I had nothing on my mind here, only my brew and birdsong and a day of impending room clearance! I felt really happy in myself here and wonderfully at peace. It’s rare. It’s also lovely!
In a world of photo-shopped images that tell us what we need to buy to look different to what we are, I hereby vow to attempt to keep this blog as real and as honest as I possibly can in an effort to encourage you to do likewise! This is me. Unfiltered. Not buying it! Not standing on the sidelines. Not afraid (well not too afraid anyway!). Choosing Joy, belonging, embracing and rocking the shit out of me! I hope you’re doing the same. xxx