Everywhere I turn lately,
I'm hearing messages about the importance of "showing up," even if, or especially if, I'm not prepared, perfect, or in bullet-proof form ready to embrace the opportunity in front of me.
So, as I was preparing my kiddos for their Halloween festivities this weekend...
I was mindful of the ways that we project who we are to the world. The masks that we wear particularly, when we're feeling unsure or afraid. The disguises that help us to navigate uncharted territory.
What do we want them to think? Are we tough? Bookish? Funny? Beautiful? Whimsical? Successful? In high-demand? How much work do we put into the shell instead of letting the raw hang out there for everyone to react the way that they will?
I've recently stumbled upon a blog and New York Times best selling author that I love. Glennon Doyle Melton. Her blog is Momastery and her book is Carry On Warrior. It's really off-the-charts fabulous. A compilation of her blog excerpts, she cultivates an appreciation for what it means to "show up" even when none of it makes sense, feels good, or was a part of the plan...whatever the plan was. She's down to earth, real, raw and for me, completely relatable.
Immediately, it struck a chord. How many times do I tell myself that I'll begin (insert project or activity) when I'm (insert conditional behavior). For example, I'll swim at the pool with my kids when I lose 10 pounds. Until then, I'll take them, but I won't take off my cover-up or get into the water. I'll start looking for another job or work on my resume after the first of the year. I'll call to talk to a friend about how they're doing post the divorce once I give them some more time to process it. And then, you realize that it's been a month or six months. And you run into that friend in the grocery store and you're embarrassed that you haven't reached out. Or you realize that your kids don't want to swim with you anymore, they're more interested in their friends.
One of the comments that I hear about my blog is that it's crazy how I'm willing to be so personal or so vulnerable with the world. And am I not worried that a potential future employer will be doing their due diligence and stumble upon my dirty laundry. I did worry about that for a bit. I wondered why it was so easy to share the parts of me that many would reserve only for a close-knit group of folks.
And then I realized that our entire human existence is based on being vulnerable. If the only reason that we are here is to love, well, there is no greater place of vulnerability and truth than in the land of love.
And after plenty of time in corporate and not-for-profit environments and now at home, I've decided that my life is too short to spend it in a mask walking up and down halls in and out of meetings trying to be something that I'm not.
I am who I am. Messy, imperfect, contradictory, hopeful, beautiful, frustrating, and loving. I am here for a reason. Unfortunately, I don't know for how long. So, my purpose is to spend my time being as vulnerable, as true to "me" as I can be for the benefit of my Master Ninja, "Toothless" dragon and Snow White princess.
And when I think about that, it's really not that hard at all. It's kind of freeing.