Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Keeping it Real

A few days ago I read this post:

You should read it.  It's a little long, but worth it. (Click on the picture)

I read it again.  It rolled around in my head a little bit and then I read it one more time. 
 It really stuck with me.

I see a lot of this disease he is referring to, this disease called  Perfection.  I see it every day, in the wealthy area that I work.  I see it on other people’s blogs.  I see it especially on Facebook where people update their status twelve times a day with snippets from their “perfect” lives. 

I’m not one of those people who goes around spewing rainbows and sunshine.  It’s just not my nature.  If you read this blog then you already know that.  I have had people tell me I am too negative.  They are probably right.  I’m actually not as negative “in real life” as I come across on this blog.  This is where I tend to dump all of my fear and worry.  There have been some stressful situations in my life over the last few years(just as anyone has) and this is where I choose to share them. Maybe that’s wrong.  Maybe it’s not what you would choose.  But it’s what I choose. And it helps me.  

Although I tend to "keep it real" in most aspects of my life, there is one area where I tend to  spew perfection, and that's where my marriage is concerned.

Over the last few months I have had a few people tell me that they are envious of my marriage.  
Each  time I was like “Huh??  Envious?  Whatever for?”

And then I realized it is because when it comes to our marriage I only put the good stuff out there.

 I write how Joe is so good to me.  How lucky I am to have him. How he tells me every day that I am beautiful.  How we have been married for 18 blissful years.  How we are best friends and we love spending so much time together. 

All of the above  things are true.  

But just as there are good things in our marriage, there are bad too.  I just choose not to put them out there. I choose not to be real because I want people to think we have the perfect marriage.  There are so many other things going wrong in our lives that I want this one thing to come across as perfect. 

But our marriage is far from perfect. 

Joe and I fight. We yell at each other.  I slam doors. 

There are days when I wake up pissed off because I have to get up and go to work and he gets to stay home.  (Many days).

Sometimes after a fight we don’t “kiss and make up” before bed time and we both sleep in different rooms.

I say unkind things to him.  I say things to him that I would never say to a friend, and yet I call him my best friend. But sometimes I don’t treat him as one.

Sometimes I wish he would go somewhere, anywhere, just so I can have an hour alone in our apartment.

He leaves all the kitchen cupboard doors open and it drives me crazy. 

I leave my wet towel on the couch every night after my shower and it drives him crazy.

We have had to seek the help of professionals to deal with some of the stress on our marriage over the last two years.

I have had people say mean things to me about him and I didn’t stand up for him.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  It isn't all good. There is bad too.  I just choose not to be real about it, due to this disease called perfection.

After all is said and done you take the good with the bad and I wake up each day and try to be a better wife. We love each other.  And we are so very lucky to have one another. 

But it certainly isn’t perfect, the way I make it out to be, and how I want others to perceive it.

I wonder how different the world would be if sometimes people tried to be a little more real instead of hiding their fears, or worries or problems behind perfection?  How many conversations would start if someone let on that they were sad, or scared, or angry, or hurt sometimes?  How many people would feel less alone? 

I know I would.  So I'm going to try and be real more and not fall prey to perfection.

*****Being real doesn't mean that you spew negativity all the time.  It simply means that you be honest about your faults and don't be afraid to let them show once in awhile. You might be surprised to learn how many people are going through the same trials that you are if you only open yourself up and share with them. *************

Be Real.


Susan said...

I'm proud of you for posting this. I had someone, not too long ago, who confided in me with some things she had in her life. I confided back with things I had going on in mine to show her she was not alone and I truly understood. I'll never forget what she said to me, "Wow. You look like the perfect couple. I never knew."

I have had this same blog post written and deleted numerous times. I even tried starting an anonymous blog where I could tell what was going on. That really didn't work for me b/c no one ever read it and just "saying" it didn't make me feel better.

My goings on affected my job this year and I really didn't know just how much until I had my review. I broke down and told my boss and his words to me were, "Wow. I never saw that coming. You hid it well." Obviously not because there was a change in me, but he didn't know why.

Real life family and friends read my blog. There are some who would be shattered to the ends of the earth with the truth. For those of us who strive to maintain our strength and balance, to give them the tablespoon of reality is just too much for us to handle. Mainly because we're the ones who run damage control and have to answer all the questions while being made to appear as the bad guy. Personally, I'm not sure if that trade off is worth it to me. Somehow, keeping the facade of perfection seems to be easier to handle. Maybe not, but, right now, I'm not ready to find out.

I still think you're an amazing woman with a core as strong as any I could hope for. Life gets to us. You've been gracious in sharing the ups and downs. I've never spoken to you - only via blog, FB and a couple of email exchanges, but I think we're more alike than I imagined. You're in my thoughts and prayers and I wish nothing but goodness for you and hope that things straighten out soon. It's unfair and it stinks not being able to do anything, especially from so far away.

Lots of love and hugs from the east coast...

Cora said...

Great post and so true. I try to keep it real but unfortunately it comes across as too negative, sometimes as well. I tend to cope by retreating but that does not make everything better. I hope I also show my joy when I have it.
I love following your posts are alway honest and I think if we ever met in person we would become fast friends.

Journeywoman said...

Great post. REALLY Great post.

People have called me and Dave the perfect couple and I think they are crazy.

dawn said...

This post is "perfect".
Thank you for sharing and for what it's worth, I don't find you negative at all. I am amazed by your strength. You have dealt with so much and you just keep brushing yourself off and marching forward,,,with Joe, together.
I for one admire you.

Julie said...

Of course you're not perfect but you're an amazing woman who I would still love to meet someday. You've had a lot thrown at you, and you're still standing. You're a survivor.

And for the record, just because you don't post any squabbles or issues you have with Joe, doesn't mean people are thinking you're trying to say you're marriage is perfect. Somethings are just private and not everyone is in the position to put everything out there all the time.

You rock. Hang in there girl.