There are many things I find difficult about writing a blog. Sometimes it is the discipline it takes to find the time to write. Other times it is the guilt I have for not writing. Most often it is the naked-in-public feeling I get after I hit publish on a truly honest post. Paul will often say “Do you have to share everything?” when I ask him to proofread a piece. But the truth is, I feel like I do need to share most things. For me writing has always been about connection and if I’m only willing to share my publicly acceptable feelings then I start to wonder how much connection I am really fostering.
I read this quote from a Brene Brown post a few days ago:
When our lives become pageants, we become actors. When we become actors, we sacrifice authenticity. Without authenticity, we can’t cultivate love and connection. Without love and connection, we have nothing.
I am so guilty of this. Of wanting social media to only capture the highlights of my life. Of becoming an actor in a pageant.
The other day I posted a cute photo announcing our family’s upcoming move to a new international school next school year. It was great to hear all the positive comments and congratulations from friends near and far.
But that photo didn’t capture the weeks of angst that came before it. The disagreements, the bargaining, the standoff, the anxiety, the daily highs and lows of going through a recruiting process. The photo didn’t capture the nervousness we felt about telling our families that our plans had changed. That photo couldn’t capture the mourning we had for the imaginary Bainbridge life we had created.
Photos can be selected, enhanced, cropped and filtered. 140 character tweets can’t possibly tell the whole story. Three line status updates are only the tip of the iceberg.
We owe it to ourselves and to others to share the whole story from time to time. The crying children, the silent spouse, and the unflattering photos. Those are the things that bring us together even more than just the glossy highlights.
We have six more months in India. We have a few amazing experiences left. We have many more aggravating ones. Here’s to hoping I will brave enough to share it all.