Talking to women in bars about my blog has got to be one of my favorite things in life.
Or at the grocery store or the salon or on facebook or your mom's house or my mom's house--anywhere, really.
Mainly because the things I like to write about are how wildly beautiful and confusing life can be and my favorite "subject" is women balancing these things. So, when you put some good music, dim lighting and a shot of Fireball into that equation, I am one happy girl.
I know that this is something I enjoy because it happens to me quite a bit. My most recent chat took place at a bar where I ran into an old friend. We hadn't seen each other in awhile so, after the hugging and gushing, she turned to me and said Ohhh myyy God, we have to take a SHOT.
At that point, I had only had one cocktail (which was going to be my only) and planned on making an early exit. I'm discovering this happens more often on Saturday nights in your late 20s than it did in my early 20s. But, sometimes, seeing a group--or just one person--can change those plans. When you see someone you really love seeing, and don't get to see them often, you don't make them drink alone. Especially when their buying.
Don't be rude. Take the shot. Your bed will be even happier to see you later.
After the shot, the blog talk began.
She told me she was so happy to see that I was still writing and that she loved reading the posts and had been reading them for years and lots of other kind things. (Quick shout-out to my full coverage foundation for hiding my crimson cheeks--hearing nice things like these turns me the color of a virgin who just saw her first set of balls.)
Then she asked me a question that made me think harder than I'd like to after a shot of cinnamon whiskey:
"How do you do it, though? You know, like, you just put your dirty laundry out there for everyone to read and you just don't even care. I mean, I wish I had the confidence to but, you know, I just can't cause people are assholes. I don't want to, or care to, hear what they really think about my life."
I just told her that I enjoyed writing about the yuck in life because it's entertaining. I also thanked her for thinking I was confident when I wrote because, usually, I am shaking like a leaf when I blog and it's not just because I've had 3 cups of coffee. (Coffee is my liquid courage when blogging. It makes me type fast. Really fast.) Putting yourself out there is kinda scary.
I left her with a simple answer and changed the subject by saying THIS IS MY SOOOOONG! & proceeded to be basic on the dancefloor to some Iggy Azalea for awhile because, well, I get really classy (and fancy) sometimes. Don't judge.
I tucked the question in the back of my mind though, and saved it for a later (more sober) time.
So, now that it is 10 o'clock in the morning on a Thursday and I am not taking shots, why do I "air my dirty laundry" so publicly? What do I get out of it?
I am reading a FANTASTIC book right now called Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, (Go get it now, now, now!) and I didn't really know the exact answer to that question until I read this:
"So I decided that's what God wanted me to do. He wanted me to walk aroud telling people the truth. No mask, no hiding, no pretending. That was going to be my thing. I was going to make people feel better about their insides by showing them mine. By being my real self."
NAIL. ON. THE. HEAD.
After reading that paragraph, I had to set the book down for a moment and have a moment. She nailed it. Someone else gets it. A stranger understood me. Finally.
I let a few tears fall (which is another super-awesome thing that happens more in your late 20s) and wrote a mental note of gratitude to send Glennon's way. I finally had my answer. It was a borrowed answer, sure, but that's another beautiful thing about writing--it's all about sharing.
It's about sharing what hurts so that, together, they hurt a little less. It's about sharing my own shortcomings so that I can help someone else stand tall. It's about offering up the pieces of my broken heart in hopes that they might help complete yours. It's about sharing our fears so that one day we will no longer have to be afraid.
Our stories are life's way of connecting. Our way of reaching out. Our way of saying: Hey, am I alone on this one? And the answer is always, always, NO.
No, you are not the only one confused or hurt or grateful or in love or lost. There is always someone else. And, guess what? They have made it out alive. And most have become stronger because of it. I am hoping to include myself in that category one day too.
So, I guess that's why I share my insecurities. And if it means that I have to admit that I am horrible to myself at times or that I don't always see the bright side of things or that sometimes I have too much to drink or that on most days I have no idea what I want to do with my life or that I can easily eat three donuts in a row just because I want to--THEN SO BE IT.
If writing about why I don't have all my shit together makes me the owner of a mental laundromat, well then, I'll take it. I'll own that title. Because once I hang it here, it's not dirty anymore. Not to me. Because this is where I wash it. And everyone is invited to come here and do the same.
And if it happens to help someone else drag out a long overdue basket of their own, then at least they know they can clothespin it next to mine. People can come or they can go. They can gawk in disapproval or encourage from a distance. Either way, all are welcome.
We can dry them out together. Our hands may be dirty with the truth but, I promise you, we will have the freshest start in town.