Before having a website where all of my cob-webby places were aired out for anyone on the internet to read, people assumed things about me. Whether their judgments came from my good grades or involvement in school, church, or community service, they made assumptions. They may have seen me play sports or speak publicly. They might have had coffee with me or attended a friend’s game night. No matter the pathway, they arrived at a conclusion about me.
“She’s so funny.” “She must be smart.” “She does such creative things with her kids.” I’d hear these comments and feel like a fraud.
After posting articles and baring my soul–the horribly dusty and embarrassing parts–I assumed people’s opinions of me would change. I could almost hear the pangs of their judgmental words.
“She’s lazy.” “She should be there more for her husband.” “Her kids must suffer because of her.”
Somehow, through the violent vulnerability, I have further confused people’s opinions.
How are you not casting stones? How are you relating to my struggles? Didn’t you hear me say I am a failure of a wife? That I fight a losing battle with anxiety? That I am gaining weight, despite my sometimes desperate attempts to regain my health? That my son still has meltdowns daily, no matter how many books I read or therapists we see?
Friends, I am a huge faker. I love you, but please see me for me.
I only post a picture if it was taken at an angle that doesn’t highlight more than one chin.
I am eager to share funny videos about a crazy thing that happened and cast it aside with humor and wit, but I am unwilling to show the holes in our doors or walls put there during meltdowns and what feels like familial warfare while raising a child with behavior disorders.
I only shop online because trying on clothes is as much depressing as it is a cardio workout at my current size and I wear black yoga pants 80% of the time because other clothes are a painful reminder of the hemisphere that is my waistline. For this reason, I avoid public outings, reunions, and even some family functions.
I have a website with a following and incredibly loyal subscribers who send encouraging words after reading a post which resonated, while I hide behind my laptop–staring at the screen where, though I post my revenue and expenditures, the red is ever-increasing as is the guilt that comes with it. What if this doesn’t work out? What if I fail? What if my words are helping no one or if no one ever even reads them?
Guys, I am doing my best to keep it together over here. The memes I post about coffee and dry shampoo are legitimate reflections of my day. I get out of bed and go to work no less than three days a week wearing at least 50% of what I slept in the night before. I haven’t worn makeup or fixed my hair before work even one day this entire school year. And I have spent more money at Starbucks in the last three months than on gas and we are a one car family.
Friends, I have eaten burritos on my way home from work and pulled into parking lots to throw away the evidence before arriving home. I wake up with aches and pains in places I didn’t even know existed on my body. And when I accidentally catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I don’t recognize that stranger.
But this is me.
So, if you are scrolling through Facebook or pressing the little heart icons on Instagram, understand that there are people behind those pictures. Though my words are cutting and sincere, I still feel like people must not ‘get me’ because how could they and still offer kindness?
I do not have it all together. Girl, I don’t even know what ‘it’ is!
But here is what I know.
I know that God is good. I know that my husband loves me, even though it is very hard to believe and impossible to understand. I know that I was chosen specifically to mother my individual children. And I know that I was born to write…even if no one reads my words.