Tag Archives: truth

Day 743: A Way Out

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It’s been a year and a half since I last wrote here.  So much has changed.

I’ve lost friendships. Made new ones. Got a job. Then got a better one.  Found a boyfriend.  Broke up.  Met someone amazing and then married him.

And though my circumstances are drastically different, I’m not sure that  have changed so much.  I went back to read my old posts, expecting to cringe (as I always do when I read my old writing), but I didn’t. The thoughts and ideas I held back then still resonate.

It’s hard to answer why I stopped writing. At the time of my last post, I had started dating seriously again, and I felt so frighteningly vulnerable.  To add to those fears, I’ve always sensed that the romantic partners in my life would be upset by my writing, threatened by my thoughts and opinions, by who I truly am.

My husband, Brian, is the first man I’ve known who not only gives me the freedom to be myself but cherishes me for it. So here I am. Writing again.

I’m not sure where to go next.  This all started with a desperate need for truth, honesty, sincerity.  But perhaps those are vehicles rather than destinations.  
I keep wanting for a livelihood that is meaningful and satisfying to me, but I keep getting stuck. I’m stuck in my brain, in my fearful self-limitations.

It’s time to find a way out.

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Day 205: The Struggle

I’m really struggling with this honesty thing.  It feels… emotionally dangerous.  It’s not that I’ve blatantly lied.  I haven’t.  I’ve just stopped sharing so much.

I get it now.  I get why people don’t want to openly share their thoughts and feelings, why they hide behind constructed personas and superficial chatter.  I don’t want to share either.  I’m tired of feeling vulnerable, of hurting.  I’m tired of being the only person in a group willing to expose my underbelly, of feeling so incredibly alone when the people around me won’t make eye contact–when their bodies shift uncomfortably in reaction to my openness.

And I sometimes wonder, why am I doing this?

In the past months I’ve made several attempts to write a new blog post only to end up obsessively editing, re-writing and eventually trashing what I had written.  Part of this has to do with my way of coping.  When life feels rocky and uncertain (as it has these past few months), I withdraw socially and spend most of my time quietly ruminating over every nuance of the life-stuff that’s bothering me.  This makes it especially difficult to write publicly.

The other reason is that I’m in a romantic relationship again, and I have so many contrary feelings about it that most times I don’t know what to think.  Really, I’m just afraid of getting hurt again.  And splashing about my deepest thoughts and feelings here seems like a recipe for relationship failure.

Someone recently asked me if I still think honesty is sexy and whether my life is more peaceful now.  Sexy?  Yes.  Peaceful?  Hell no.

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Day 99: Success in Slow Motion

I’ve been away from writing for so long I feel as though I need to report to you everything that has happened in my absence.  In truth, I don’t.  Suffice it to say that being unemployed is a mixed bag of  relaxed freedom and paralyzing stress.

I have spent these past weeks consumed in problem solving, which means my mental energies have been consciously or unconsciously devoted to figuring out four important areas of my life: income (basic survival), housing (selling my stuff and moving in with roommates), transportation (public transit vs. new car) and creative purpose (what am I doing with my life?)

And if that wasn’t enough, romance has shoved itself into the equation.  It seems as though the day I decided I was done with dating, it started raining men. Thirty-something, single, men.  I know I shouldn’t be complaining but… really?  Now?

So as you can imagine, my mental faculties have been somewhat consumed, and I’ve returned to my usual mental hiccuping (i.e. any combination of stuttering, tip-of-the-tongue syndrome, kindergarten vocabulary, mid-conversation memory loss and a general sense of intellectual dullness).  This has proven to be a major hurdle for my writing and my ego.

It’s been little over a month, and I’ve made such slow progress.  When I decided to quit my job, I hadn’t anticipated the car fire, nor had I factored the cost of buying its replacement into my expense planning.  I am getting close to reaching my last dime and the sense of self-assuredness I had when I first submitted my resignation has vanished.

I still don’t regret quitting.  But I also don’t have any answers.

I wish I could write here telling you that everything in my life is fabulous now, that I could say “Wow!  See?  It all worked out so perfectly!” but I can’t because it’s not.  I think that what’s so charming about success stories is that the authors get to fast forward through the days of drudgery, the weeks on end when they deeply doubted themselves, their frivolity and their impulsive decision-making.  I’ve avoided writing you because I want to do that too.  I want to fast forward.

But there’s no place to fast forward to.  Once these problems are solved new ones will pop up.

On second thought, there are many ways my life is fabulous right now.  I’m happier than before.  While I don’t have money, I do have love and support and fun and laughter.  I’ve had the flexibility and freedom to spend quality time with friends and family, and remember how fortunate I am to have such incredibly kind and generous people in my life.  Too, this adventure has given me opportunities to meet even more amazing people.  So things are good, even if I can’t measure them with a financial yard stick.

For now, I’ll focus on writing and developing my own biz, but mostly on selling my stuff and sending out resumes (because I really need to pay next month’s rent).  If you know anyone who is looking to hire, I make for one awesome social worker ;)

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Day 42: The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

The Minimalists

I met these great guys last Saturday.  Their names are Josh and Ryan and they write a blog about minimalism.  Well.  It’s not really about minimalism.  It’s about living a meaningful life and how making money and acquiring stuff doesn’t bring the fulfillment or satisfaction we think it will.

Ryan and Josh are on a tour to promote their new book, meet other cool minimalists, like moi, and that’s how I got to meet them.  Saturday they came to Phoenix and spoke about how they’ve changed their lives; they spoke about letting go of possessions and fancy corporate titles, about living with less and creating more. Continue reading

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Day 26: What is the Purpose?

Detail of Lunaria annua (Honesty) flower

I had coffee with a friend yesterday who asked me what my end goal is.  What is the purpose of this blog?  I had such a hard time articulating my response.  I had difficulty because part of my purpose is intuitive, and I haven’t concretely defined all the aspects of it.  But also, when asked so directly, I stall out of embarrassment.  I expect people to think that what I’m about to say is saccharine or naïve.

The answer is that I don’t want to hurt any more, and I don’t want others to hurt any more.  It seems a good portion of human suffering is avoidable, and that a lot of our suffering is caused by the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others. Continue reading

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Day 21: How to Give Honest (but Friendly) Feedback

photo credit: Buzzfeed, Dave Stropera

This little social experiment has given birth to some incredible conversations about fear and authenticity.  In one of these conversation a friend recently confided that, as hard as she tries to be honest, she often holds back what she’s thinking for fear of offending someone.

Open Up

That’s a legitimate concern.  In a materialist culture of good-better-best, most people have underlying fears about their worth, and when we’re open about our opinions, we chance to stumble over each others’ deeply buried insecurities.  I know because, a few weeks ago, another friend stumbled over mine. Continue reading

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Day 11: Honesty Project — Why Weird is Brave

lindsey fox

I’ve been sick all day which has given me a lot of time to do nothing but watch movies, suck on 27 cough drops and lay around thinking about life.  Today, I was prepared to write a long post about self-awareness, but instead I want to write about an idea that has been haunting my thoughts for a few weeks now: being weird.

Growing Up

Like everyone else, I grew up in a culture from which I learned valuative norms, that is, which things are good or bad, right or wrong, weird or normal.  As a child I saw my friends strive to fit within these norms, as did I, in order to avoid conflict and receive love and acceptance from parents and other authority figures.

On some level I thought fitting in would make me happy even though it oftentimes meant squashing my true nature–my creativity, intuition, ambitions, etc.  Many of my friends were much better at squashing than I was, and I often felt like a Weirdo. Continue reading

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Day 9: The 100% Honesty Project

Clay Chimenea

It has been a few days since my last Truth Experiment Update and I have oodles to share.   So far, the experience has been mostly positive, though at times, uncomfortable.  I’ll start with the positives.

Honesty and Family

Last Saturday was Cousin Night at Ben’s House.  Picture this: 5 cousins, 2 family friends and a black cat gathered around an outside patio table, lots of beer, a few cigarettes, grilled bratwurst and fire in a terracotta clay chimenea.

I am the first to arrive, followed by my cousin, Kamryn.  With a gleam in her eye, the first thing she says to me is  “Oooh! I have so many questions!!”  Naturally, my cousins  have been following the blog and find the Truth Experiment an opportune time to get me to “spill the dirt”.  I say okay. Continue reading

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Honesty Quotes

Soulful Quotes

A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.  ~Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment

Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.  ~Austin O’Malley Continue reading

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Day 4: The Honesty Project

Today is Day Four of my Truth Experiment (or not telling another lie for the next year). I already consider myself to be an unusually honest person, but taking on this project has raised my awareness of everything that comes out of my mouth. Several times each day, I have had to interrupt myself to correct my inaccurate statements. It’s been tedious, but eye-opening.  Continue reading

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Honesty in Action

As declared in my last post, I’ve decided to embark on a social experiment of 100% transparency, 100% self-acceptance and 0% shame.  Already it feels incredibly difficult.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am an approval whore.  I don’t necessarily care whether or not strangers approve of me–it’s the people I love and whose opinions I respect from whom I want acceptance.  It’s true I’d hate for something I post here to hurt or offend my loved ones.  But, if I dig really deep, I find the hardest part of being 100% transparent is that there’s some small part of me that feels unlovable in my entirety–exactly as I am.

You might not agree with me, but I think most people feel that way too.  Otherwise, why do we contruct social personas, personas that we become quite attached to?  And isn’t that what corporate advertising plays on–our fears that we’re not okay, that we’re not enough, exactly as we are? Continue reading

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The Start of Something Scary

After writing my last post, I thought “Oh god.  This blog has already become depressing”.  But that’s not what I want.

I don’t want my writing to be yet one more platform for people to feel bad about the world they live in.  Nor do I want this to become the narcissistic catharsis that so many other blogs become. So, I asked myself: “what do I want to come from this?”

These are the answers that came up:

I want to help people

I want people to feel better about their lives

I want them to feel more connected and less lost, confused, or lonely

I want people to know that it’s okay to be honest, real and open, and that their true selves are completely lovable

I want people to become more self-aware  so that they can make the kinds of choices that lead to richer and more joyful lives

I want to subject myself to a social experiment of 100% transparency, 100% self-acceptance and 0% shame, and document the entire thing on this blog.

Whew!  All of those statements feel incredibly true, and having put them down has somehow lifted a weight in my body that I hadn’t noticed was there.  That very last statement (the one about transparency) scares the bejeesus out of me (literally my arm hairs stood on end when I wrote it) which is a good sign that I absolutely should do it.

*sigh*

Here goes nothin’.

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Turning Point

Today I was asked to lie.

More specifically, my supervisor is asking me to input false data in thousands of cases for the next 3 weeks so that our company can report better outcomes to our internal client (yes, the one that cuts our checks).  In other words, we would be saying we were more effective in empowering families than we actually were, so that we can make more money.

I refused.

It’s nothing new, but this time the request came from one of my superiors I most trust and respect.  That was disheartening.  Most frustrating of all, however,  is that instead of improving our service delivery so we can more effectively help these welfare families, we cover up the reality of the situation so as to save our own comfy asses.

Each time I’ve been asked to lie, I’ve said no, but the expectation of dishonesty for the sake of company profit (at the sake of the impoverished) is beating down on me.

Today was a turning point.  I have long wanted to be an entrepreneur and start my own business.  Now is the time.

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Enough

I’m writing this blog because I’ve had enough.

I’ve had enough of fear, dishonesty, ineffectiveness, mediocrity, boredom and suppression. I’ve had enough with settling for a “safe” life so that my aspirations won’t threaten, offend or unnerve others.

Today I commit to living a life of 100% authenticity.  I commit to telling the truth in every moment.

I commit to choosing beautiful uncertainty over tepid security.

I might fail from time to time, but that’s no matter.  I am at the tipping point.  To cling to the edge now, rather than to let myself fall, will most certainly be the death of my spirit.  And it’s much too early for that fire to extinguish.

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