About Me

 

 The greatest thing we can do is to show up for our lives and not be ashamed.

 -Anne Lamott

 

I'm a creature of the word, learning to tell my honest story.

I offer it here because telling stories is the road back home.

Motherhood is not a biological designation
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Saturday
Mar222014

I'd rather comment than care

"To some people, not caring is supposed to be cool, commenting is more interesting than doing, and everything is judged and then disposed of in, like, five minutes. I'm not interested in those kinds of people. I like the person who commits and goes all in and takes big swings and then maybe fails or looks stupid; who jumps and falls down, rather than the person who points at the person who fell, and laughs. But I do sometimes laugh when people fall down."

Amy Poehler Elle interview

 

I am having a very hard time doing hard things right now.

It's been extraordinarly defeating for me to try and be "one who jumps and risks falling down," and then to have people point at me and laugh. I recognize that judgment and criticism is part of the game of life, but it has nevertheless sapped my creative energy.

I also have "a wary relationship with social media," to borrow another line from Amy Poehler's awesome interview in Elle magazine. She talked about her dislike for the rampant self-disclosure and self-promotion.

I read that and thought, Is that what I do when I blog? I don't think I am self-promoting, but am I engaging in rampant self-disclosure?  Am I just jumping on some kind of new popular "let it all hang out" train while thinking I am doing the difficult work of being honest in order to find some sort of shared humanity?

I am wary of how social media can compromise privacy, how whatever I put out there instantly belongs to the public domain and can be intepreted in whatever way someone chooses, to the potential detriment of myself and my family.

 

Some of you know that two years ago, my husband got hit by a schoolbus while riding his motorcycle. He recently (finally) went to trial, and while the judge ruled in his favor, the prosecuting attorney tried to use my BLOG and my FACEBOOK account AGAINST my husband.

They pulled out details they could never have known otherwise in order to try and disprove my husband's case. When he told me this, it made me want to delete my blog immediately because it hurt my family, and confirmed my wilder conspiracy theories about how everything we put online can be used against us someday/somehow.

 

I am having a hard time figuring out if the gain of writing a blog is worth the cost.

If I blow this out into a bigger picture: I am having a hard time figuring out if the gain of doing hard things is worth the cost.


Sometimes, I just want to live a very tiny life.

I want to stay inside my house, take care of my kids and my husband, and read books.  I don't want to face the uglier sides of my self. I don't want to write about my weakness.

I don't want to WORK OUT my salvation with fear and trembling.  I don't want to engage with the whole hurting world on the other side of my door.

I don't want to keep my heart open and feel the ache of my longing to do big bold creative things, or my longing to hear peoples' stories and help them find their truest selves at the heart of their narrative. 

I want to hit the automatic pilot button and just coast through my life without having to feel anything too deeply. Or hope for too much. Or trust for too much.


It is so much easier to skim the surface, play in the shallow waters, edge along the line where the ocean meets the sand than to dive deep down in the salty, stinging water.

It's also easier to enter the water slowly and then dog-paddle around like heck, keeping your head above water at all costs so you can make sure you don't get hit by a wave or stung by a jellyfish or eaten by a shark, or peed on by a small child swimming nearby.

The hardest thing is the loss of control.

The Bible story talks about how Jesus asked Peter to walk on water- to do something that seemed impossible, and to do it WITHOUT LOOKING DOWN at his feet to make sure he was doing it THE RIGHT WAY.

He had to just fix his eyes on the man he knew loved him like no other, and put one foot in front of the other.

It was when Peter saw the wind that he began to doubt.

 

I am in the midst of "training" for an uphill half-marathon. I have never run more than six miles in my life. I have never run a race. I have never run uphill.

This probably goes without saying, but I am not a runner.

Now I find myself on a team of thirteen people raising support for good friends of ours who are adopting from Haiti

We did our first training run a week ago.

Most of the women are runners, and even they said they had NEVER run in conditions like we found ourselves at 7 am on Saturday morning, running into wind that blew so hard down the mountain we had to walk backwards just to stand up. Wind that blew so hard I thought I was going to pass out because I couldn't take a breath without having air shoved back down my throat. Wind that blew so hard the trees and signs bent in half, and the dust blew into every orifice. Wind that blew so hard you could see it coming by the way the girls in front would suddenly look drunk or dizzy, trying to walk in one direction while their feet took them in the opposite.

I did not run the whole way. None of us did. It would have been impossible. But we kept going. We put one foot in front of the other, and kept moving. Most of the girls were faster than me, more consistent than me, but they cheered me on, or hung back to encourage me to just keep running even if I didn't think I could make it up yet another hill.

I know this is a common metaphor for life: the race. But it still "blew me away" to live out this concept of doing a hard thing one step at a time without being able to control the outcome, or even the process.

I didn't want to sign up for the half because I wanted to wait until I was in prime physical condition with a well thought out race training program in place, until I could kick ass running a half marathon and check it off my bucket list with a proud flick of my wrist.

Until I could do it on my own, my way, looking like a pro.

I imagine I am going to stumble my way through this race looking like a heaving hunk of junk, wheezing like a pug, and needing all the help I can get.

But I am also going to set my face like flint, fix my eyes on the finish line, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Even when it seems impossible. Even when I do not know where my steps will take me. Even when it feels AWFUL, and I do not have control.

 

I don't know if I am ever going to love the form of a blog; or make peace with opening myself up to criticism and the potential for hurting someone; or be ok with getting it wrong and making a fool of myself.

But at least I am DOING something. I am jumping into the arena before I am bullet-proof and perfect (thank you Brene Brown).

But I could use a Gatorade right about now cause I am a little weary.

Love,

Trin