I had lunch with a new friend yesterday. I spent half the time with arugula hanging out of my mouth, as both of us tried to convey a lifetime of what and who we are, the two of us, open and eager to see where our paths met, and where they diverged. It was a great couple of hours.
We talked about blogging and just how open one could be in a post, without feeling like someone was spying on you through the window, while you were getting naked to take a bath. I guess for me, this blog has never really made me feel vulnerable and exposed, because I’d never write anything I wouldn’t say to someone I’d meet in real life. We acknowledged that not everybody is an over-sharer, but that’s it’s like a cool breeze coming at you on a hot August day when you meet someone who is.
I think for myself, I was sort of born that way. I despise the idea of being judged by who I look like I am, rather than who I am. I think we all do the-judge-a-book-by-its-cover thing at first pass, it’s pretty hard not to on some level, but it’s a bad, bad habit to get into. During high school, people thought that things were pretty easy for me, when what nobody knew was that I had an impossible dad at home, whose alcoholism was messing with my self-esteem at every turn. But see, that’s not how I looked. How I looked was like a girl who had it all together. Nice clothes, and good hair and a boyfriend gave an impression that was completely false.
That’s why it’s important to me to be truthful, to masquerade around as myself, and nobody else. That person isn’t someone everyone likes, or thinks is interesting, or cares to, say, know about my vagina and the trouble it had during my bout with infertility. And I am so ok with that, just so long as my outside and inside synch up. I’m a mom, and a hard-core liberal Democrat, a lover of antiques, sunshine, and stories and family, and diving deep into the psych. I am a beach person, a gardener, a reticent cook, a person who lives for fashion and interior design. I’m Jewish and Italian, which means I’m often guilty, and always make too much food.I love to dance, and my jeans. I am devoted friend, who adores my morning coffee, and my kids, celebrity gossip, and traveling to places I’ve never been. I think laughing is always the best way to spend your day, and I will probably be five pounds more than I’d like to be until I stop breathing. I believe in global warming, committing fully, love, and gratitude. I love dogs (especially mine), thinking, passion, reading, and the word “fuck”. I hate winter, and Fox News, and people who are unkind, and selfishness, and dishonesty, and unreliability, and those who give money, but not time, and oh yeah, ANN COULTER. And I’m unapologetic for all of it.
I’m grateful that the older I get, the more and more ok I am being my flawed, sometimes too revealing self. It’s a pretty big gift with an oversized bow, to know that showing your true face to people, means you’re giving them an opportunity to accept or reject who is really inside of you. There are no false positives. You don’t wind up with a lot of people floating around your life who got there because they thought you were someone else. Being ok enough with yourself to be who you are, no matter who that is, is everything. Authenticity, baby.