Friday, September 16, 2016

Hello from the Other Side...My Musings On Truth Telling

L.O.V.E

Hello?

It's me...

I've been wondering if after all this time you'd like to meet?


***

My gosh, I have been dying to write for weeks and weeks (how many has it been, exactly? Ugh) and as you may or may not know, writing (or, more specifically sharing) is almost compulsive for me and as essential as water or food to my mental well-being. 

In short, sharing is a salve to my soul.

So, while I have nothing particular to say, enough was enough and I decided, "Well, I will just write what I am thinking at the moment..."

So here I am.

***

When I am not chasing our very cute, very loud, and very exuberant brood or wasting exorbitant amounts of time on Facebook (Don't judge! Sometimes I want to just veg-out, chat with my girlfriends, look at pictures depicting impossibly perfect lives and read articles that either support or negate what a great mom I am...etc etc), I read...books. If there is one thing that inspires me, it is a really good writer. I read every night before bed (unless I hit the wine too hard, which - let's be honest - has been known to happen) and I polish off about two books a month this way.  I just finished most of the the works of Pat Conroy (wow), and have since delved into The Nest but, two nights ago, in a last ditch effort to find inspiration and creativity in what has become something of a slump, I started "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Sigh. The Queen of the truth tellers. These people, another of which is the equally inspiring Glennon Doyle (of Momestary fame), are the ones who speak scary truths with incredible bravery and transparency about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. These are the kind of people who I like to associate with, the kinds who inspire me to no end. The kind of person I want to be.

I've been thinking a lot about truth-telling for a number of reasons (it seems to be all around me in some way, shape or form) and how amazing it is; not only is it incredibly freeing it's the very thing most people want. Truth-telling breeds connections which grow deep friendships. Raw honesty is what sows the seeds which feed communities. An open heart is what allows for metamorphosis. And yet, truth-telling and being completely honest with ourselves and others is often the hardest thing to do. Believe me, I know.

But I digress...

If I a) know you b) like you and c) trust you (it's a gut/experience thing) - you will attest to the fact that I am 100% honest. Not in a judgey, "I'll tell you what no one else will" kind of way, but in the way that I will share with you my experiences with raw, honest, grittiness ("Oh, yeah. When my twins were born I 100% understood why and how some woman could drive a van into an ocean...") and you will feel less alone because YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THOUGHT THAT. It's amazing to me how, when I am being honest with people - even strangers ("Man, I really wish I was a lesbian sometimes because today I really hate my husband...") - I can see a relief wash over them. It's like, "(Sigh) We don't need to do the pretend bullshit thing here and it is SO refreshing." It's why I know the deepest and darkest secrets of many friends (new and old), it's why a mom I meet in passing at the park becomes a dear friend, it's why my girlfriends and I are such a great tribe - we are honest and real with one another without judgement or jealousy, we shower one another in love and support. We have each other's backs in the biggest way and it's the way it should be.

***

It's easy for me to be a truth-teller in person among people who I trust and who share back with me (like anything, it's a two-way street). Where it get's tricky is here, on the world wide web where my audience is no longer a fellow sister who I am commiserating with, but thousands of faceless strangers who I do not know. I have been applauded before for being very open and honest about the good, bad and ugly of the cruising life and and I think more people are starting to follow suit... But there's always room for more honesty, more truth, more sharing and less judging and I am on a mission to be even more present and candid in what I write and say. I am working on living this truth myself and, believe me, it's not easy and - sometimes - really scary. None of us are perfect, in fact our flaws and struggles are what make us the most relatable, so why not expose them so that others can help us heal and so we may help another not feel so alone? It's really so simple. And yet...so hard. Because: FEAR.

Striving for truth means solidarity with the people who will make us better. The person who look at my kids in horror when they throw tantrum in a store, as opposed to the one who looks at me with eyes that say, "I FEEL YOU", is not the kind of person I want in my life anyway, so why aim to please that person? I want to seek out the fist-bumpers of the world and the people who truly understand that our greatest strength lies in true connection and togetherness. None of us can please everyone, and as hard as that can be sometimes, it is the way it is. In the infamous words of Taylor Swift, "Haters gonna hate". 

***

I have recently had several people meet me (via this blog) and tell me that my life (or the one I portray, anyway) looks a) pretty perfect,  b) that I look like such a great mom, c) that my marriage looks idyllic and d) our children seem so well-behaved. These things, while not lies, per-say, are not 100% accurate. Sure, we have some pretty awesome moments (and these are what are predominately shared on Facebook and on this blog) but they are only a small snippet of the picture. Please let me address these misconceptions lest you think the same:

a) On being perfect: Rest assured, if something looks "perfect" it most definitely is not. 'Nough said.
b) On being a super mom: I think I'm a pretty good to pretty great mom most of the time, but just the other night I lost my shit on my four year old so bad we both started crying. Momming is haaaaard.
c) On having an idyllic marriage: HAHAHAHAHA! (Excuse me while I wipe tears of laughter...) Oh, marriage. No. Just, no. Working on SO much here. There is love and there is good, but there is work and struggle and I have wanted to call it quits MANY times. Any marriage that calls itself perfect is either a lie or between two unicorns.
d) On our well-behaved children: Our girls are smart, adorable and the loves of our lives, no question about that. But they, too, are far from perfect. Just today I had to drag Haven out of TJ max because she was throwing a fit of such epic proportions I was afraid they were going to call the cops to intervene (you have never heard a scream until you have heard our Haven's). Spirited? Yes. Perfect? Nope. They fight, they scream, they back-talk and they melt down just like any other kid. And that is okay because it is normal.

So (wiping hands together) that is my little bit of truth for today.

And this is my goal. To become more of a truth-teller. To write more regularly. To cover more topics. To see where it takes me...

***

Anyway, it's naptime right now and I may or may not have had some sauvignon blanc so this could very well be a wined-up missive from the very sleep depraved hinterland of my brain, but maybe just maybe I am on to something here.

Either way, HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE! I have missed you. There is more to come (but, lets be honest, probably not anytime soon.)

8 comments:

Emily said...

Your most truthful posts are always my favorite. Whether it be rants or just babbling, it's always good to read that even though our lives are nothing alike (I have never sailed in my life), I can relate to the struggles of parenthood, judge @ssholes, etc. Always love your writing!

Katrina Schiro said...

Love, love, love this...made me smile and giggle, shake my head in that 'boy do I know' kind of way! Bravo to you love...keep it up!!

Norm Walker said...

I see a lot of these comments on the other blogs I read. If anyone thinks someones life is perfect they only need to spend a day with them to find out differently.

When I was a kid my family was poor. I had a friend that lived in a big house and from then outside seemed like an idlyic life. One night I stayed over night at their house. The father grabbed my friend out of bed and beat him for something he had said earlier in the night.

Even at 10 years old I realized my poor family in a rented house was better off then where I was that night. Remembering this still brings me to tears and helps to cement my determination to be the best Father I can be.

Keep up the truth as they say "it will set you free".

Chris on S/V Radio Waves said...

Hell yeah being a mom is hard! Some of my funniest stories from when my kids were growing up are probably the times I "lost my shit" (to quote you, lol!). You think you're doing pretty well and have everything under control, and then BOOM, all hell breaks loose. Did I mention the time I put my then two year old son in the kitchen trash can cause I was just so fed up?!? (No worries...he's a healthy 26 year-old who's doing well these days!). Anyhow, keep on keeping on and hope to catch up with you guys again someday!

Sailing LunaSea said...

Great post - love the honesty. I always enjoy your posts, and am glad you are writing again when you can - but I always prefer these rambling, conversational posts the most. It seems to help break down the anonymity of the 'net, and creates more of a "chat between friends" (even though we're total strangers) feel. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for trying to keep it real. Keep 'em coming!

Natalie Turner said...

Hi there, I am going to be in the BVI in mid October as one of those bare boat charter'ers. Is it possible to meet up for a chat? My husband is a yacht captain by trade and I am a firefighter/paramedic. I am eligible for retirement in 5 years. My Dad just died last month and it was like this light bulb of urgency just went off inside us to get out there! I really enjoy your blogs and was hoping to talk to someone out there really doing it with kids. Hope to hear from you and enjoyed reading about the realness of it all. Natalie travelgirlee@gmail.com

Scott and Kim said...

Just happened to read your post right after watching this video. It seemed like they meshed, so I hope you don't mind me posting a link here: https://vimeo.com/167796382 I think you guys will appreciate it.
"If you have the truth, you know what reality is like. If you don't, you're ignorant of reality." Reflecting the fantasy that people always want to hear can be tiring and clitché. The truth is definitely much more interesting. It's the backbone of a real adventure. Nice work Brittany.

Carly Zaniboni said...

I love that you make me feel I've known you (in person) for years but yet we only have met up for a day or two. I must admit the Brittany that I thought you were was way different in person. I thought you were perfect with the perfect kids and perfect husband. That type of person makes me want to be a better person but not one I'd like to hang out with because you'd make me feel like a crap mum and wife. But we met and you're totally funny and awesome. I like that you share mostly positive experiences but it's good to know you're not all glitter and rainbows. xx

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