We have a few mutual friends, you and I. So every now & then I see the two of you as I’m scrolling through social media and I stop.
I observe the big smiles, the perfect lighting, the fit bodies clad in coordinating outfits. And, for a second, I buy into the perfection. I see what everyone else sees.
But then I wonder.
As a blogger I'm frequently cruising social media looking for content to share on my page. When I find myself nodding in agreement or thinking "Amen!", I know that content resonates with me and likely will with my readers as well. In my scrolling though I've noticed a certain category of motivational memes & quotes lately--the "females empowering each other" brand--that, while nice in theory, have just felt...well...inauthentic. Ya know, ones of this nature:
Something's been bothering me lately (couldn't all my posts start this way? I'll just make this my header & save time): this glorification of not having a filter. Like it's a good thing to say anything and everything that comes to your mind out loud. It makes me wonder, what ever happened to just plain "rude"?
Customer/boss/neighbor/friend says something harsh, cutting, or insulting and when you tell someone what was said their response is "well, you know her, she has no filter".
And you think, "oh...well...ok, then...can I not have a filter too? Just say whatever heinous thing pops into my mind the second it does with no consideration of the consequences?"
And the answer to that, of course, is YES...you can. But some of us choose not to. Because, while we want to (and do) speak our minds, we don't like to go around carelessly hurting people, either. And so we continue filtering.
But it makes me wonder: when did having a filter become such a bad thing?
Last week I attended a Montessori conference and had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Timothy Purnell, the Executive Director of the American Montessori Society. With the kind of energy that gets a guy walking through the aisles of an auditorium instead of standing behind a podium, he talked to us about the importance of connecting & sharing about Montessori through social media--a platform that has the capability of spreading good through its enormous reach. It's through connecting and relationship building, he reminded us, that we are part of a movement. But to be a part of something great--to be part of a movement--you have to stop keeping the good stuff to yourself and share with others.
In other words, you have to "get off your island".
"You're so sensitive."
Three little words I've heard over and over again throughout my life. In Kindergarten I cried every time the teacher reprimanded the class because I thought she was surely talking directly to me. Kids in school said I didn't know how to take a joke. Boyfriends accused me of being overly sensitive when we fought. Believe me, I've been told on way more than one occasion that I need to lighten up or toughen up.
Do something to stop being "too much"--too sensitive, too anxious, too nice.
I spent thirty-some years being ashamed of my sensitive nature, trying to put on a front that things didn't really bother me when they did, acting as if I had a thick skin when I didn't, pretending jokes rolled off my back when they stuck to me like glue.
Addiction, in one form or another, has played a role throughout my life. Not because I've struggled with it so much myself, but because many of the people around me over the years have and, in turn, it's affected my life in a multitude of ways. Alcohol, drugs, food, spending...these addictions have all impacted my life in some way, whether it be through relationships with friends, family members, or romantic partners.
I've done enough self-reflection and Al-Anon meetings to understand that, in most cases, it was my codependent nature--my tendency to feel empathy for others, to want to help them--that attracted these people into my life. Just as an addict is never "cured" but forever in recovery, a person like me, whose tendency is codependency, has to take it one day at a time and be very conscious of how we interact with the people who continually impact our lives with their demons.
A few years back I was going through a box of old photos and came across some pictures of my college sweetheart. They weren't photos of us--they were photos of him as a young boy with his mom. We were together for a good while in my early 20's, so I guess at some point a few of his things had gotten mixed up with mine. Looking at them fifteen years later, having a young son of my own now, I saw them differently than I would’ve back then—I saw them through the eyes of a mother. I recognized the look his mom was giving him in the picture of them on an amusement park ride together, his toddler hair blowing in the wind and his mouth gaped open with joy. That look on his mom's face is one I'm all too familiar with now--it's the look of a kind of happiness that doesn't come from your own joy but of witnessing your child's: the deepest kind of happiness.
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Teacher-Mom life is rewarding but it's tough--we need fuel (& each other) to keep going. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul--uplifting & highly addictive ;) Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)