I value painful honesty over a fake happy show but quite often in this little space of mine, my hands are tied and no, not for kinky purposes. They’re tied because sometimes transparency can hurt the people we love. I want you guys to see it all, though, I really do, because laying it all out on the table not only helps others but heals ourselves. How many times have you met someone new and connected with them once one of you has chosen to be vulnerable? If we stick to the safe stuff like the weather and the carcinogenic properties of nitrates (omg I love hot dogs) then we’re going to miss out on a lot of close relationships.
The other day Andrew and I were talking to our counselor and she, knowing all the ins out and outs of our lives, assured us that every family has shitty stuff hidden behind closed doors and that the sooner we can stop pretending to be perfect, the better. Because like my dad always says, we’re only as sick as our secrets.
Life is hard. Marriage is hard. Having kids is hard. Divorce is bone-crushing. So is the death of a spouse, miscarriage, the loss of a job, infertility, it goes on and on. Sometimes life feels like a giant nipple twisting kick to the crotch. But what are we going to do about it?
Blowing out another person’s flame doesn’t make ours shine any brighter. We’re created for togetherness so that when we lean in toward each other, our flames join into a high-reaching fire.
The truth? Kylah and Ethan’s mom hates me. She walks all the way around the back of the school to avoid me. The sight of me makes her physically sick. I write this out here for this purpose: to be transparent, to be real. We don’t have this perfect blended family where everyone gets along. Our kids squabble with each other, both biological and step. Callum bites each and every one of us with zero regard to DNA relativity.
But just like with everything else, it’s not what we do perfectly that matters much at all. No. We are not defined by our mistakes for to err is human. It’s what we do after that really counts. And it’s in these moments, if we’re open and honest with each other, where we are able to learn and grow and move forward.
It’s difficult to be married, to have kids, to go through divorce, to survive the unimaginable bone-crushing pain of traumatic stress. Like our counselor says, everybody has stuff that they’re hiding behind their adorable selfies, intimidatingly perfect Facebook posts and grammatically correct writing. I’m not going to be liked by everyone, and I’m okay with that. I don’t even need my own kids to like me. I just need to focus on loving as much as I can and hope that wherever I lack, that grace fills in the cracks.