But, there is something to the idea of owning all of yourself, all of your life, by accepting and noting all that you wish was perhaps a little different. Without noting these things how will we know when we’ve gotten past them? How will keep up the notion that we are, in fact, real live human beings who are not always smiling under sunny skies? With all the positive gloss sometimes that fact could be lost.
We are all just people and none of us is perfect, no matter how hard we try to be. We all have days we wake up grouchy. We all say things we wish we could take back, sometimes haunting us for years. We all have laundry that gets piled up and family members who drive us up the occasional wall.
I’d be giving the wrong idea if I only give the impression that my life never has its turbulence. It certainly does. Whose doesn’t? Admittedly, I am very blessed and that is part of the reason why I should feel desires to only focus and highlight all the awesome, wondrous, mind-blowing, great things that happen to me each and every day. There are so many blessings and they outnumber the downfalls. That is why I don't tell you all the bad parts. There are so many other things to discuss.
But, all that said, I really admire the open and honest blogging of Tania from Ivy Nest. She shows the beautiful, radiant side of her life and also, the blues and melancholies, too. Or Becky from Life for Us would be another admirable example of sharing life with all that it entails from happy anniversaries to dreams lost. There are several others. It makes them both such real people to me. They are not some absurdly unattainable domestic and social goddesses that I can never live up to. I admire that they shares themselves, the great and the not-so-great. Their blessings seem to outweigh the downfalls by far (they are both excellent at appreciating the small, simple joys of this great life), but they own the setbacks just as much as the rest of it. Lisa suggested that I should do the same on my blog, especially if I admire it on someone else’s.
Maybe she is right, but it’s challenging for me to be down so publicly when I have so much to be thankful for—that it is somehow ungrateful. I know that I do not like to surround myself with people who have only complaints—about their health, the weather, their house, their kids, the finances, their car, their job, their parents, and on and on. Why would I want to share my tribulations with everyone and the whole world? Why put that negative energy out into the world?
I guess to find out you are not alone. I guess because someone might have some advice or at least words of comfort for you. I guess because that is the truth of our life whether we like it or not. I guess because we might learn something, or teach something to someone else. I guess there are lots of good reasons and it’s probably an ego thing not to—to only paint the bright side of things…that life will be good as long as the Christmas letter says it was. That isn’t true. In the end the troubles find you whether you pay attention to them or not. Whether you share them or not, and actually they probably find you faster if you don't share them and try to manage it all alone. I don't think we're meant to take on all life's struggles alone.
I felt an unexpected sense of kinship when I learned that Miri’s daughter,Sarah, has an autoimmune disease, like I do. And Miri and I both had to wonder that neither of us had known that about the other. We'd both kept it to ourselves so well. While both of our households and the illnesses contained therein are undoubtedly vastly different they share this common unpleasantry to tie them together just a bit. What that does for either Miri and her daughter or myself is questionable, but just to know for one moment that I am not alone in trying to struggle on with a brave face despite my stupid immune system, that was good for me. To feel the deepest, sincerest sympathy and hope for that family as they struggle to good heath when one’s body has hijacked itself, that was good for me and I hope some of the energy of my love and sympathy made it to Sarah and Miri and was good for them, too. It was soul affirming for me somehow.
Life is not always good. I know that. I also know I will always be the kind of woman to hone in on the bright side of things-- in my day-to-day as well as in my blogging. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a grey side and that everything is rosy. It just means that the brightness will always look brighter because you have the dark to compare it to (if you choose to compare and I do choose to). Trials and tribulations are unavoidable. That is life! The least I can do is accept them, not just gloss over and downplay, and know that they will make the bright seem even brighter when it returns. And sometimes it helps to share with friends who care because they may be the buoy you need to ride out the storm.