I have recently rediscovered Pinterest. And by rediscovered, I mean become obsessed with.
Am I late to the game? No, no I am not. I was down with Pinterest shortly after the late 2011 explosion. However, it took me very little time to realize that the main push of the site, at that time, was not really my jam. Let me go ahead and tell those of you who don’t already know. I am not crafty. At all. Like zero. I am not a good accessorize-er. I don’t do funky scarves without looking a wreck. I cannot elegantly frost a cake. I don’t know how to pull colors together in a room with properly shaped and proportioned throw pillows. My “DIY a weekend project” is most likely going to result in calling a contractor (and probably my homeowners insurance company) to fix the big mess of shit I got myself into.
In short, I, and my kindred out there, am the reason #pinterestfail is even a thing.
However, like all things, functions and offerings ebb and flow and pinterest and I have found our way back to each other. She with her witty offers of animal memes and insightful quotes on writing. Me with my understanding that I do not need to pin the “Justice League cupcake party in 5 easy steps” pin as it will only jack up my “picked for you” suggestions and seriously, what do I really need that for anyway?
Pinterest has offered quite the plethora of writing inspiration lately. And as I was going through the pins from the weekend road trip, this was how two of my recent pins appeared on my screen…
As I scrolled through, this particular juxtaposition caught me as extremely interesting. These pins were saved relatively close together in time as they are close to each other in my pin feed. I saved them both to the same board – it’s labeled “Truth” and houses those pins that I find I relate to on a real level. Nearly same time, nearly same resonance , pretty different sentiments. The law of noncontradiction starts tugging some where in my brain but no where in my spirit and that is always a feeling that needs to pondered a while.
And I think about myself and what I am learning here. It also called to mind a few journal ideas I had over the weekend while on a mini outing with the children to Wild Adventures. I won’t get into those here, but suffice it to say that they too dealt with contending thoughts in the same head space. And I thought about The Many. And I thought about my tendency to roll depressive and roll manic. And I thought about all the differences in all the places of my personality that I know, have known, and are still discovering.
And it occurs to me that this cute little war of the spirit is probably pretty damn common. It is more than likely more common that not. I am thinking that the desire to be true and authentic without regards to the limits placed by others, while battling the need for approval and positive acceptance is simultaneously both the single biggest hurdle that most people face in their day to day lives, and the one denied the most.
I am also thinking that if none of that last paragraph is true for another single person, it is wholly true for me.
Even right. This. Second. I am editing what I say next as to not offend or upset. Why? Because I don’t want to upset. I am often taken as irreverent and say what I think. Why? Mainly I think it’s because I have no problem using the work “fuck” and publishing some of what I think. But the truth is, fuck is just a word I think has a particularly nice mouth feel so I use it and I probably publish less that 1% of what I actually think.
The truth is I have spent nearly my whole life caring an awful lot about what an awful lot of people think. You can call that whatever you want and I’ve already read the millions of articles about how that makes me a lesser person. How I am weak because what people think affects me. How I am a lesser brand of woman because I seek attention and approval. How I warp the ideas of my true self because I place stock in the ideas of others as it pertains to my person hood.
An interesting note about that. Older folks are right. You eventually hit an age where the noise that goes on around you becomes less of a thing. You eventually start giving less fucks about the bloviating others and more about your own bloviating. It looks like mine is 40.
What I mean to say is you can think whatever you want about the way I’m wired. The collective they has been getting on my nerves for a super long time any way. The bumper sticker writers, the “10 ways to be a” authors, the “must stop doing” hacks – the folks that take base emotion, add to it some cement character trait, and then pedestal it as some keystone of personhood – yeah, no.
And before this post comes off as incredibly salty (because it is starting to feel that way and that is certainly not how I feel and not what I intended when I started touching the keys this morning), let me let you in on a little bit of how I decide what the 1% of, “yes I should publish that” is. If I think I have identified in myself an emotion, thought, idea, struggle, that is uncomfortable to me because I feel it makes me less than the awesome person I know I am, and if I think I am wrong about feeling less than, and if I think that there are other folks feeling less than when they are not, I like to publish the thought. Because when we realize we are not alone, shame has a harder time living where we are (thanks Brene!)
The truth in the pins for me is I am still really hard on myself. Some of that is warranted.
Some Most of it is bullshit put into my head by the ideas of others. That me that I am really hard on is flawed and not really fit for public consumption. I would prefer that wasn’t the me you see. It’s not my finest hour.
I am also fully aware that, while I have (and if I am lucky will always have) room to grow and get better, much of me that I am really hard on doesn’t really deserve the abuse I put on her. And if she doesn’t deserve the abuse I put on her, the person that loves her the most in the whole world, then she damn sure doesn’t deserve abuse from anyone else.
So I would rather you not see the me pieces that I see, those I know that I am working on and feeling out and maybe haven’t smoothed the edges yet. But I have also found some edges that I think I’d like to keep, and I’ve decided I don’t really give a fuck what others think about that.
And the jury is still out on whether or not I will consider this a #pinterestfail redemption. I’m thinking I might 🙂