Today I watched a few videos by Leslie Hall. I know there is a kitten playing with a squirrel, while being guarded by a liger somewhere in the world. I love how free she feels to have fun, make fun and invite others into her fun. She puts it all out there, by putting herself out there. I needed the laugh today, the belly-busting laugh that gives me a minute to enjoy the craziness around me.
I’ve never been known as the quiet girl or the one who kept her opinions to herself. I usually go all out and say what I’m thinking. This isn’t always good and I’ve been accused of being crass, volatile and (gasp) annoying. Personally, I don’t care. I have super friends (yeah, the ones from the super friend’s club) and they actually like me. Today, I’m going to remember who I really am, that girl that shares it all, yep, ALL of it. I don’t know the meaning of TMI (Too Much Info). For example, I was at a girl’s night out with a wide variety of women, old, young, moms, singles, uptight, super loose, etc. I shared a little about how I had been missing sex, because my husband was deployed. I heard a collective gasp from some of the gals, they couldn’t even make eye contact with me.
I wondered if they were embarrassed for me, because I sure wasn’t embarrassed for myself. I just smiled, finished my story and then something amazing happened. Another girl opened up about her current struggles with her husband’s deployment. In that moment, we connected, we had put it all out there and found that we weren’t alone. Sometimes, we as women, want to seem put together, in all ways. We strive to fit in, assimilate, put on the happy girl image, but most of the time, if we are honest, we feel alone. Do you ever feel like nobody gets what’s really happening in your life?
I have an extremely diverse group of friends. One is married to an alcoholic, who will probably never change, but she loves him and can’t bring herself to leave him. My very gaylicious friend is an amazing entertainer and puts it all out there to encourage other gay men to be who they are, with pride! A friend of mine recently divorced her husband and is happy for the first time in a long time. Divorce may not be a big deal to some, but to her it felt like she was letting the entire world down and that she had demeaned her entire system of value. I have too many friends trudging through their second, third and even seventh deployments. They long to have their husbands home, to have the one person they love the most just come home every day. They’d give anything to hear him snore again or throw his dirty clothes in the floor. Yet, they want to remain strong for everyone around them and sometimes they just want to yell that they aren’t ok and life sucks. My friend who just can’t seem to find a man worthy of her tries to remain strong in the face of life alone. She puts on her big girl panties and aspires to be the single woman of the year. Inside her heart is breaking and for just a little bit she finds comfort in knowing it’s ok to be disappointed with life.
I appreciate their realness, that they aren’t afraid to share their secret thoughts, hurts and lives with me. Imagine how we would feel if we could see the part of people they don’t show. The beautiful, thin girl who struggles with an eating disorder, looks a lot like our friend down the street. What would happen if our kid’s classmate’s mom took off the makeup and revealed the bruises from her abusive husband? What about the single mom who desires for her son to have a father figure, because his own father left and never looked back? If we all just shared a little more of ourselves and put it out there, maybe those people would know someone cares.
We can’t fix anything for someone else, most of the time, we don’t need to try. Just a small hug, a kind look, a bottle of wine and a sappy movie help. These are the things we can do just to let someone know, “I get it and I’m sorry.” Let me share a moment with you, just so you know, I support you, no matter what. I’ll keep your secrets, I’ll listen to your tears and I’ll be here no matter what.
Go put on your sparkly pant suit, grab your dancing shoes and put it out there today. Make a new friend, laugh at yourself and find someone to hug.