I am shocked. I’m not saying that to be dramatic. And I don’t mean shocked in the way people tend to throw that term around. I mean I’m utterly, completely, thoroughly and absolutely SHOCKED…dare I say, FLABBERGASTED.
Let me back up for a moment.
As evidenced by my content on this site, I have no issues openly expressing my thoughts, comments, concerns, and issues. Even if I wanted to conceal such things, my resting bitchy face would never allow that charade to occur. I’m pretty much incapable of putting on an act.
But this post isn’t about me at all.
This post is about a brave soul, someone very close to me – Melissa, my closest friend and partner on this blog site. She is kind, compassionate, sometimes stubborn and super self-critical, but always supportive, hilarious, clever, realistic, and thoughtful.
I’ve long known about her internal struggles. I’m also acutely aware that she doesn’t share much because she doesn’t want to be perceived as trying to garner pity. But knowing what I know about her, I have been and will continue to be in absolute awe of how a person could function so well in this world and be so lovely with such chaos in her head – and without most people being the wiser. It would be difficult for me to put into words just how impressive she really is.
Which brings me back to my current state of shock…
Earlier today, Melissa did a post about running on this blog – a post that was unlike any other post she’d ever written. I had no advance notice of the content of this post (she has absolute creative freedom on this site). And it is not my intention to add anything or take anything away from Melissa’s words published here today; rather, to call attention to the elephant in the room…
As I’m sure you’ve gathered by this point that the content of her post wasn’t the cause of my current state. Here are the actual causes:
- For a number of reasons, talking about herself is about as far outside of her comfort zone as Melissa could possibly get; and
- The bravery it takes to put that information out there for the world to see – and potentially judge and criticize – is EXTRAORDINARY.
Much is made these days of making accomplishments appear effortless, doubt is often viewed as weakness, struggle as a sign that we’re somehow broken, and failure as a fatal condition.
Many have disagreed with me on this point, and you may as well, but there is no inspiration to be found in perfection, invincibility or natural God-given talent. Why? Because it’s very black and white – if you weren’t born with it, you’ll never have it.
Sometimes being a fallible human being IS your strength – because it’s the one thing that every single person on this planet has in common. It’s the thread that makes us all the same. So a beautiful thing happens when we admit to being human, struggling, having doubts and fears, and screwing up – we connect, we relate, we promote self-acceptance.
I wholeheartedly applaud Melissa for talking about her struggles. Once again, she has inspired me and many others to be brave and own their story.
In reading her words, I truly hope we find that we’re not so different from each other after all and we are certainly not alone. I also hope we all, in our own way, follow Melissa’s lead and stop giving these perceived “weaknesses” and the desire to appear effortlessly perfect or unbreakable have any power over us.
And for the record Melissa, yes, you are enough, you do enough, so much more than enough…and even that is a massive understatement.