Honesty may be too much for some than it is for others.
That’s the lesson which came from last week’s column, as I openly shared some raw feelings that many of us have been living through with Distance Learning. Perhaps the difference between myself and some readers is that not only did I have students currently enrolled in Distance Learning campuses, I also have a large number of friends and acquaintances sharing similar feelings.
Yet, who wants to talk about it openly? I mean in a world of judgement and know-it-alls (via Google), it becomes harder and harder for people to just be honest and not fear judgement.
So last week, as my words circulated around in print, as well as the web and social media, e-mails, text messages and phone calls ensued.
Rest assured, I am fine. My children are fine and as I type this it is the eve before they return to school. In our house, tonight felt like Christmas Eve.
The funny thing about sharing feelings publicly which not everyone may understand is listening back to what the words meant to someone else versus how you intended them to read. Personal experience factors in to the slant in which a person interprets anything and that column proved to be textbook copy for this theory.
I won’t go into details beyond that, other than to share there were some grateful for openly sharing my words and others; well, not so much and that’s a good thing. As writers we are taught if you don’t ruffle a few feathers every now and again you aren’t doing your job. Last week my simple Mommy Musings, did just that.
That’s the funny thing about language I realized as I sorted through the e-mails and texts. As one person shared “atta girl” sentiments another reading the exact same words ridiculing as the piece was interpreted as whining.
Here’s the biggest lesson of it all and one I hope that others may take something from.
When I was young my mother was adamant about sharing one never publicly air their dirty laundry. It’s an old saying, but there’s much wisdom in sayings such as these.
Years later these were words I would return to as I went through a divorce. Unlike some, I was determined not to speak ill publicly nor share details of what I feel is a very private matter. This was after all my children’s father, so to speak ill of him publicly would (in my opinion) be disrespectful to the two most precious beings in my life: my kids.
Apparently divorces are public record and must be published (like a foreclosure) in a newspaper. Ahhh … ya gotta love a small town.
While my divorce was not printed in my own paper, it was printed in one in a neighboring city and surprise to me, but people actually read those pages. This I learned when I texted a very close girlfriend the day my papers arrived stating everything was final. Apparently she knew before I did, as one of those Notice readers had confronted her about my personal blurb, inquiring if she knew.
That’s some crazy stuff and is very different from what I shared last week.
The reality of it all is simple, life is messy and nothing is perfect. People get stressed, overwhelmed, disappointed. Marriages do end, employers do lay people off and friends do stray – welcome to life.
What I know for sure, is sometimes it’s okay to allow others to see you messy. It’s okay to embrace your imperfections and not feel an urge to apologize for them. Often times those moments are the ones which inspire someone else.
Perfection after all is an illusion. As for me, I’m content in my mess, it reminds me that I’m alive. Living just as fully and content as anyone might hope. Cheers to the imperfect, the ditzy, the unapologetic. Godspeed.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 209-847-3021.