For those of us who are bloggers or personal essay writers, I think there is always the question of how much do we reveal? Like most people, I have a public face reserved for work and social gatherings. Then there is my private self, reserved mostly for family and close friends—when I can let my guard down and be more my true self (full of moods, desires, dislikes).
So who are we when we write about our own lives to an audience we may not know well? When I share myself and my life through writing, I want to be authentic so people can relate. I write about following dreams and finding balance in life, but I’m certainly not an expert with all the answers. Some days I am successful at achieving that balance, and other days I am one hot mess, crying into my pillow and doubting everything I do (happened just last week). I have days where I know there is no possible way I am going to get everything done I wanted. We all have times where something really pressing needs our full attention, and other things are going to have to go. What do we choose? Depends on your priorities.
For me, it’s house cleaning. So there’s a truth about me: my house is not tidy. It’s not condemnable or anything, because I have my “daily” chores I make sure get done (pets, plants, garbages, kitchen, laundry). But I rarely dust, mop, scrub the stovetop, or wash windows. I sometimes leave clothes in the washer overnight, and in the dryer even longer. I will have piles of papers on my counters, plastic totes stacked in corners, and clothes strewn about. I don’t do this in hopes someone else will take care of it. When it’s my mess and my responsibility, I’ll take care of it, but in my own good time (later today? In a week? It’s anyone’s guess! 😂).
This would drive some people nuts, but it doesn’t bother me. I say life is too short to concern myself with such details. Being a less than stellar housekeeper has other reasons behind it, which leads me to my next disclosure: learning to be an adult has been difficult for me. Facing reality has been challenging. Most of my life I lived like a character in a novel, waiting to see what would happen and how I would react. I still tend to wait for life to make choices for me and steer me in a direction, rather than making a decision and going for it. I’m not good at considering the long-term, so I don’t often plan for the future or think about how what I do now will affect me later. It’s something I’m working on, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I tend to keep my head in the clouds a bit more than I keep my feet on the earth.
Fortunately my long-time partner, Paul, is a planner and thinks about the future most of the time. This is one way we balance each other. Sometimes we need other people to create the yin/yang in our lives. I strive to get better at adulting because it is necessary in some ways, (having goals, planning for retirement, etc.), but I may not have had it all wrong to begin with. Adults can get so caught up in responsibility and planning, forgetting to have some fun along the way. Adults forget about their dreams and stay focused on reality.
As with everything else, there should be a balance. A balance of how much of ourselves we reveal, and how much we save for privacy; between letting our guard down, and protecting ourselves; between planning for the future and living in the moment. It’s good to know where you’re going, but you’ve got to enjoy the ride because life is unpredictable, and what if you never make it to the destination?
So what are you willing to let go? How much of yourself are you open to revealing? How do you feel about reality? I’d love to hear—drop a comment below!
Also, apologies for the light text on my captions. I reached out to Word Press, and apparently I’m going to have to learn some custom CSS! That should be ….interesting. 😬