A Year of Honesty

 Posted by on January 6, 2015  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Jan 062015

You know what I like best about Christmas? When it’s over!

I’m completely serious. I love when the house is cleaned up, everything is put away, and everyone goes back to their normal routine. Most people don’t understand why I feel this way, but I have a theory. I think that when you grow up with a lack of stability and routine, it either becomes the norm for you, or you go completely in the opposite direction, as I have, and actively seek it out as an adult.

My children went back to school yesterday, and I was rejoicing! In the past, when I’ve said this, I’ve been attacked by commenters with such gems as, “Why did you even have kids if you don’t want to be with them?” or “I just cherish every single moment with my littles!”

To which I say… give me a break.

I love and adore my kids, and I look forward to spending time with them, but when I don’t have a single quiet, peaceful moment in 14 days, I also like to have a break from them. This doesn’t make me a bad parent, and if you share my feelings on this subject, you have my permission to tell these sanctimonious types to put a cork in it. (Also P.S., you will not hear such blathering here. I promise). People really need to mind their own business. I don’t know when most of society collectively stopped doing that, but advice not asked for (on any topic, but especially parenting!) is taken as criticism. I blame the internet.

I have decided that 2015 will be the year of the Honest Heather. Not that I’m generally dishonest – on the contrary, I have always been a straightforward person – but I too often let people walk on me without ever speaking up. I’m done with that.

I sometimes waffle back and forth over what to write here because I worry about what people I know “in real life” might think. I’m done with that, too. Those who genuinely love me seem to stick around, and those who don’t should ask themselves why they continue to read here? For the love of Pete, don’t do this to yourselves! Instead, find a blog you actually enjoy reading, or better yet, write your superior opinions on your own blog!

One good thing about growing up in a family where every thought and feeling was shared – loudly – is that everyone always knew where they stood with everyone else. Dysfunctional as my family was, at least we got things out in the open, even if it meant yelling and blustering about for awhile. Then we got over it and moved on. I am of the belief that honesty is always preferable, and it’s better to be open and truthful about your feelings. You’re doing yourself a great disservice if you allow anger and hurt to eat away at you for years without end. Allowing resentment to simmer under the surface doesn’t solve anything. I have never understood the family dynamic in which all serious problems are glossed over or swept under the rug, never to be talked about or dealt with. How is this healthy or useful?

So, why am I telling you this? Well, if you’ll permit me to go all Holden Caulfield on you, it’s because as a blogger, I have my own resentment. I love writing this blog, but I’m not sure how to survive in the online world anymore without going crazy. I hate the phoniness I see in social media, and the internet in general. I can’t stand the posturing and pretending and “branding.” It’s all just so fake, and I find myself increasingly irritated by it. Furthermore, the internet has turned us into a society of oversharers with a complete lack of discretion, boundaries, or even common courtesy. There are parts of my life that I choose not to share here because I don’t feel that I need to air my dirty laundry, or that anyone who reads here is entitled to know every last detail about me. This is not dishonesty – it’s respect. I respect my husband, my children, and myself enough to know that some things are personal and private, and should not be shared with all of the internet for attention or headpats, or whatever motivates people to broadcast things that make me cringe with embarrassment. However, you can be damn sure that what I DO share with you here is real, true, and sincere.

I’ve written before about how I’ve often felt like a misfit. Though I’m a devout Christian, I always turn down invitations to join women’s groups – prayer, Bible study, or otherwise – because in the past things like this often left me feeling down. I never felt like I belonged, or that I could be myself, because no one else was. It’s not my intention to generalize here, but to say that in my personal experience, women in religious groups can be quite disingenuous, and I never feel Christian enough to hang out with them. I don’t speak Christianese, I have a sense of humor (which always seems to be a problem), and I just want people to be real with me. Why do so many Christians feel that they need to create a “churchy” version of themselves? Do they think this is what God wants? We should consider the reasons why Jesus came to earth as a man; He became fully human in order to redeem us (Isaiah 56:20), and also so that we can see ourselves in Him! He endured all of our trials and sorrows so that we can relate to and identify with him (Hebrews 2:14), and He can relate to and sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15). So, if we pretend to be perfect, holier-than-thou super Christians, how does that show anyone the love of Christ? Wouldn’t we do better to be our real, authentic, human selves so that people can relate to us and not feel so alone?

In all honesty, I feel like I don’t belong with the Christians, even though I am one, and I don’t really fit in anywhere else either. In recent years, this feeling has been amplified by some family issues that have come up, which lead me to believe that perhaps I don’t even belong in my own family. My values and ideals seem to be very different, and I don’t think we have much in common.

In the blog world, I seem to be somewhat of an anomaly as well. I just don’t care about things that most bloggers care about. I don’t tweet. I don’t have Instagram. I don’t shill crap that I don’t use or love, just to get free stuff, and I’m not looking for internet notoriety (though sometimes it finds me without me trying). My biggest reason for starting this blog was to find people with whom I could belong. I thought that surely, out in the world somewhere, there must be people who would understand me. People who wouldn’t look at me like I have two heads because I don’t believe in “retail therapy,” and refuse to borrow money. People who would understand why I’m happier off Facebook, and why I think it’s rude to text or talk on the phone while in a checkout lane. People who would agree that it’s wasteful to build a giant house for only 2 people to live in, and that people are more important than things. I grew up with a mother who put her boyfriends, and absolutely everything else before her children, so this is something I’m particularly sensitive about.

I think I have achieved my objective. I think that those who continue to read here, year after year, are “my people.” So, I know you will understand when I say that if you’re looking for glossy, Pinteresty photos, detailed articles about my sex life, or sponsored posts where you can win a KitchenAid mixer….I’m sorry, but you’ve got the wrong girl (yes, I’m 41 now but I forever reserve the right to refer to myself as a girl).

What you can expect from me is honesty, humor, and real reality. Nothing here is scripted because I only know how to be myself (and not the churchy version!)

I hope that’s enough.