To be perfectly honest

8 Sep

You know that saying ‘put on a brave face’? Or how sometimes you put on a second face? Not necessarily that you are two-faced per se, but that sometimes you find it easier, or prefer, or naturally do, have a different face or voice for certain people, be them friends or strangers?

Or maybe that’s just me? Okay I know it’s not just me because you do see people you know change faces and/or voices depending on the situation/person they are facing.

I know I do it. I knew I did it. I do it mostly because I want to protect my true feelings, my situation. Well, for a number of reasons. But a while ago I was shocked at how bad it was.

I rocked up, okay basically hunched over up, to the hospital emergency department, pretty sick. The orderly at the front desk smiles and asks me ‘how are you?’

‘FINE THANKS’, I smile brightly. What did I just say??? I feel shock at myself.

‘Ah, no, actually, I’m not feeling well’. Wow, that’s an understatement.

And it’s bothered me ever since. In fact, I keep coming back to that second and that statement.

I did not have to feign anything right then. I didn’t have to be fake. It was okay to not be okay right then. I was in the right place to be not okay. But I still wanted everything to look okay.

I guess in some sense you like to make others feel better. Because in some ways them being good makes you feel better.

And I won’t feel better if someone is commiserating my ‘not okay’ situation/feelings/what have you.

To be honest if I feel sad, or sick, or not okay, I feel worse if someone is commiserating, even if it’s my mother commiserating.

I prefer to cry by myself. I like to go through experience myself. Because I experience as I do and I find it hard to think someone might know/feel/understand how I am feeling.

Therefore it is easier to say ‘great, thanks, how are you?’.

I’ve changed my mind. Because it doesn’t feel honest. And that is hard because I still don’t want the commiserating- at all – and yet with the right person I actually find I do.

I had a most awful few weeks, a few weeks ago. I told only my mother (as my husband forced me to) and then afterwards I, for some reason, told one of my close friends. I actually don’t have close friends. I moved away from home before having kids and when returning back everyone and everything had changed. It’s really hard to enter into existing new-mummy groups. Really, really, beyond really, hard.

Anyway, I have a good friend who when we are together we talk about everything. Non-stop. Then we don’t see each other for six months.

I texted her in reply to her text and told her. She called me (we never talk on the phone, ever) and was all “oh I wish I could just hug you…” and I was strangely like “that would be most welcome” then I cried a bit and we talked until I was late to get the kids from school and kindy but I felt great. We have had coffee and taken the time every week since and I have felt hugely better and a solidarity that has been missing when good, true friends are absent.

I had the need and desire to share and it was the right thing because I was listening to my true self and my real needs. I have really not had this before.

I don’t think it is untruthful to not divulge, after all, we don’t have to share everything with the world. It is untruthful to not be true to yourself. To not stop and take stock of oneself and its needs in surviving life.

I have, well had, a really nice friend. She is a lovely, sweet person and you feel good being around her and we have a lot in common. But I had to ‘unfriend’ her, so to speak, because she would ask inappropriate questions. Instead of just being honest and saying look, I don’t appreciate all your questions but I love you so if you could stop I would feel better and enjoy your company more. Instead I just stopped visiting with her.

Now I miss her, and it’s been a year or so. I have decided if she comes back to the country I will make amends. Because I want to do things that make me happy, and that means spending time with people that do make you happy, if you are honest with them.

I had another friend, made through school, that was nice but I always felt was hard work. She threw things in your face. Though I’m not sure that she knew how she did that. But this time I felt so bad being around her I literally unfriended her without word because I wanted to feel good. I felt free and liberated and much happier.

To me, I am finding that listening to yourself, and understanding people around you, helps you to make good decisions.

You are able to trust your instincts. There is a lot to be said for instinct.

I needed to take more time to know myself, hear myself, and trust myself.

I have never been one to be concerned with other people’s opinions but I have been concerned with protecting my inner self from being on my sleeve.

I don’t want people to know when my weight is bothering me. When I have had an argument with my husband. When things are bad.

Divulging isn’t always the answer. But neither is faking feelings doing anyone any favours sometimes. My true friends don’t mind if I say “crap day actually” and the guy at the gas station will probably try to make me smile if I say “I’ve had better days”. Just because I’m not fine doesn’t mean the person who sees that on my face is going to require an in-depth explanation.

So I have come to accept that some days are not going to be great and others will be. I don’t have to go out with a smile plastered on my face. I don’t have to be happily one kg heavier.

I can moan to my friends, I can cry at the supermarket if I must. If I need to. I probably won’t cry at the supermarket just yet but I am learning that maybe, just maybe, one day I can if I need to and it is okay and no-one’s business and it is okay if a stranger asks me if I’m okay and I’m not.

Everything is okay. I just need to be true to me, myself, and I.

It’s really hard to do that. I am getting practiced at it. I am forcing myself sometimes. I am liking myself a little bit more because being honest is forcing myself to see the real me and face the facts that




It’s a long road to being where I see myself as being. But then isn’t life a changing thing. Life is never static and so I’m understanding more what people say about life being a journey.

This is certainly my journal of that journey because I am only just realising the full impact of being me. That I am me, a person, a single entity, separate from wife/mother/professional/cleaner/washer/driver/tired person/…

I haven’t felt so emotionally naked in a long time.

But this feeling is liberating. How many times have I heard people say how liberating it is to be yourself.

you don’t realise how much you try to conform until you catch yourself, frowning at the person that takes the seat in the theatre that was allocated by number, the person that stops their car at the lights 5 million metres from the car in front of them, the Sunday driver that goes 20 in a 50 zone.

The hospital won’t feed the mother of a sick baby that bottle feeds the child, so you find yourself frowning at the mother bottle feeding and you catch yourself because really it doesn’t bother you but holy crap did society just rub off on me?

Just caught myself…in time?!

I am me. I am here. And I am sharing my journey. It is honest and raw and a little too naked and TMI at times. I can’t apologise because this is my journey and this is my picnic spot to record my journey. The tiny little ‘x’ at the top right of this page (or left if you are using a MAC) closes this page. If I’m a little too naked please feel free to press ‘x’. If you want to participate in my journey, share yours, or just be here. I’m good with your choice.

I’m so good with my choice.

Right this second, I feel good.

I haven’t eaten the best foods today, the weigh in tomorrow morning may disappoint me, the kids are waiting on dinner, but I wanted to be here and share. I had to. I did. And I feel a little intangible but very real weight lifted off my shoulders.

There is a lot to say for taking care of you.

How are you today? Are you good? Have you taken time to take care of yourself? Listened to yourself? Trusted and believed in yourself?

Please do. I promise you, to the moon and back, it will make a gigantic difference to being you. To being the authentic, real, lovely, you.



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