Things I am afraid to tell you

It all started because of this (rather awesome) girl, Jess Constable. A couple of weeks ago she decided that she had enough of the “perfect perfectness” that blogs are showing us left and right these days, and the disconnect between that and people’s real world. So she decided to write this (rather awesome) post. And it set the blogging world on fire. The good kind of fire, that is.

A bunch of bloggers decided to get together, thanks to Ez from Creature of Comfort, and started this little movement called “Things I am afraid to tell you” as a way to try and keep the online blogging world more in check with reality. Today I am joining that group, and here are the thing(s) that I am afraid to tell you….

It’s the first time I’m talking about this really, so hopefully I can explain myself clearly. But really, it comes down to one thing, one thing that’s had a huge impact on my life: I am a wanna-be-cool kid. Have always been. Will always be. I’ve had that in me for as long as I can remember. Even since I was little I’ve looked up at other people and always wished I could be as cool as them. No matter how great I am doing with my own life, I always end up comparing myself to “the cool kids”. But I am working on it.

High school and college years were probably my worst years in that aspect. I was always the awkward kid, or at least that’s how I felt. I always felt different, not as cool as others….sometimes I tried so hard to do things that would impress others, that I’d forget what was true and important to me. It’s like I was listening to everybody else’s opinion but my own. When I was 17, I overheard a conversation between my parents and my dad say “Ah Audrey…..she just doesn’t have enough ambition”. His words hurt me so badly. Granted, he was probably right that I wasn’t being ambitious enough with my life at the time…but the wanna-be-cool kid in me was hurt so bad that soon after I decided to enrolled in business school so I could prove my father wrong. The plan looked perfect at the time, really. After all, didn’t all cool kids go to business school?! And needless to say, my father was proud of my decision….oh, I don’t regret getting a business education, it has served me well in many ways, but looking back I wish I had listened to myself more than to what others thought was cool and good. Maybe go to design school. I’d always been the creative kid, getting myself lost for hours and hours in art projects – but dropped it all and forgot about that side of me for years so I could be the perfect business student.

And I did great there. Had some fantastic internships, and after college joined some great companies in the online advertising space. Perfect in many ways…But it never felt right, and this feeling of unhappiness starting getting bigger and bigger…until I couldn’t avoid dealing with it anymore. I’d wasted too many years trying to be someone I wasn’t…So with the support of my wonderful awesome husband, I started making some changes in my life…and I have been trying to focus on what is really important to me even since.

It’s not easy, because the “wanna-be-a-cool-kid” in me still wants to show up pretty much every day. I’ll look at what others are doing and wish I could be them…but I am working on it. I am working on appreciating what I have for exactly what it is. On appreciating who I am. I know all of this may sound strange to a lot of people who have been following my personal blog and think that I have a pretty awesome life. And really, I do have a great life – and I am so so thankful for it. But the thing is, that’s also because I choose not to talk about the crying kids, and the small fights with my husband, and the messy house, and the moments when I feel so lost and angry and disappointed in myself. But I choose not to talk about these things because it’s just not what I want to remember 20 years from now. Because it is not what is going to matter in 20 years.

If you’ve read everything and made it this far….WOW! thank you. Thanks for listening to my rambling! And I swear, this was not at all me complaining and feeling sorry for myself. Like I said, I am SO SO grateful for everything I have in my life. This post is just an effort to bring more honesty and candidness to the blogging world. If you want to read the candid words from other bloggers, please go here for a list of blogs that are participating in the “Things I am afraid to tell you” movement. I hope you will be inspired by them, and even maybe write your own post? If you do, please send me the link or leave it in a comment, I would love to read it!

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