Hello everyone, welcome to the internet and today’s meeting. Wherever you’re joining us from, we would like to extend a special welcome to all those first timers out there. If you could introduce yourself to the rest of the group?
..Oh, umm, who, me?.
Are you new? You look new to us. Who are you?
Well, I wasn’t really prepared for this…do I have to do it now? …I do? Well, ok…so, hi everyone, umm, I’m a 20-something London Lady, and umm, I’m online, I guess.
Honesty is integral to self improvement. Not the instagram #nofilters kind of honesty, or the “bitch please – I’m not rude, I’m just honest” kind of honesty, but a purer and rarer form. A deep and intimate honesty with the one and only individual whose approval should matter to you – yourself.
My recent, and ongoing, Quarter Life Crisis (more on that to come) has caused me to confront my complicated history with honesty. I have made a nasty habit of “ostriching” my way through life, and I’m finally realising the extent of how destructive this can be.
WARNING! SYMPTOMS OF FREQUENT OSTRICHING MIGHT INCLUDE:
- a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach that keeps you awake late at night
- a heartbeat racing so fast it concerns you people can see the thumping
- being unable to find the saliva to swallow the hard dry lump stuck in your throat
- blurred vision, hot ears, dizzy spells, deafening white noise, nausea
Spoiler alert; this blog may contain posts with references to mental health issues, or posts that may have come into contact with mental health issues during preparation.
The reasons we may have for writing are as varied and unique as the writers themselves; sometimes we ask questions, sometimes we have the answers. Sometimes we want to teach, sometimes we want to learn. Sometimes we are in need of confirmation, sometimes we are in need of confrontation.
Today I write with a desperate urge to lay myself bare. To start a fresh page with a fresh outlook – I’m aware that I am unable to remove the indentations left behind in the paper from previous scribblings and scrawlings, remnants of those words remain and no slate is ever left clean. Experiences mark and mould us, and untreated wounds can fester into un-ignorable scars.
Lying awake last night, watching Saturday’s hours drag on into Sunday’s, my mind stuck revolving around two dirty words. “Guilt” and “shame” chased my thoughts, hot on the tail of each memory as it surfaced; regardless of the initial seeming purity, all drowned in a sinking feeling of dread and doom. Feeling guilt for not being more honest in my recently ended relationship, and shame for how I treated my ex in the process of discovering that honesty; guilt for not being closer to my family, and shame for not recognising their need for support; guilt for not taking more risks with my career, shame for always taking the easy route; guilt about my white privilege and shame about my middle-class background; guilty for sitting back and watching our world, mine and yours, crumble and decay; and an overwhelming shame for pitying myself and my self-inflicted “problems,” when they pale in insignificance to the struggles of those around me.
As dawn dawned, it dawned on me that my problems lie with my inability to be honest with myself and those around me. Simple! Honesty! Bang, and the dirty problem is gone! Umm, no. Easier said than done.
Honesty makes you weak, but am I ready to be vulnerable in that way with new people?Honesty allows people to see you for who you really are, but what if you don’t actually really know who you are either? Honesty creates the freedom to discover what you really enjoy, but how can I pretend my likes and dislikes aren’t all preordained by the norms and conventions of my society or influenced by my upbringing and lived experiences which, let’s face it, got me here in the first place…?
One thing is certain; nothing can be certain anymore.