I’m sure it’s become clear that I don’t have reservations when discussing my life…the good things and the bad…I’m an open book and I don’t lie. I just don’t have the energy it takes to make things up or keep secrets. To me…lying and keeping secrets feels like juggling 23 balls in the air…and I don’t even have the ability to juggle one ball let alone 23. Trying to keep up with what you’ve told one person versus another and keeping all the stories straight? Ugh…just writing that sentence made me tired.
When I first started this blog I asked my husband to read my posts before I published them. His colleagues were some of my early readers after all and I didn’t want him to be upset with what I was revealing. In the beginning he kindly obliged but eventually said he didn’t need to see them. He doesn’t mind my telling people about our lives because he too is an open book, is honest, and doesn’t have time for lies and secrets. I am a lucky girl.
While I may not share everything, I do share a lot, and it’s freeing. Just getting things off of my chest and being able to speak almost completely unfiltered…it’s like therapy without the co-pay. That said…it occurred to me this morning that there might need to be a line.
I was talking to a colleague I haven’t seen in a couple weeks. As sales people it’s common for us to be on the road day after day and to go several days without darkening the door of our office. We were catching-up and got on the topic of match.com (I have no idea how…this damn spring weather makes me sassy). I did both match.com and e-harmony for a month once. It wasn’t good. This, dear friends, is how I met the guy who told me that if his cats didn’t like me we’d have no relationship. Newsflash…there wasn’t going to be a relationship ANYWAY. He was only one of a hand full of douchebags who were portraying themselves as THE. ONE. I digress, my colleague and I were talking about our experiences with match.com and I almost went into more of my dating history when I realized it would be *highly* inappropriate for a) me to share my stories with a colleague that is just that…a colleague and nothing more, b) the workplace considering my office is mere feet from those of my manager and her manager, and c) 9am in the morning over hot cider as opposed to 9pm over my fourth drink. Jesus! I dodged the bullet, kept it professional, and moved on. I realized, however, that being honest and truthful and forthcoming? They are all good things…until they’re not.
There are things in my history I’m not proud of. Now…to be clear…I’m not saying I regret them or am ashamed of them. They made me who I am, taught me valuable lessons, and without them I’d be a very different and less wise woman. But they aren’t the kinds of things you share with strangers or mention as highlights of your character (unless you have a book deal and thus can afford the potential attorney’s fees).
Several years ago I had a close-knit group of girlfriends with whom I worked. This was the beginning of my friendship with Ess. Ess, D, J, and I were close and had so much fun together. We had another colleague who was kind of fun and who we invited to start hanging out with us. It didn’t take long for us to realize she was…how do I say…not one of us. She was struggling, though, and we all felt like we might be able to help. We decided to have a wine night with our little group at my condo and planned to watch Season One of Sex and the City. Side note: I still mourn the gaping hole that its going off the air has left in my life. We watched, we laughed, we exchanged “has THAT ever happened to YOU?” and “that has TOTALLY happened to me!” It was a blast. We spent the latter part of the evening talking with our colleague about the challenges she was facing in her marriage and gave suggestions on what she might do to try to make things better.
Fast forward 24 hours. The colleague we’d spent the entire previous evening trying to cheer up and support sent an email to all of us at work stating that a) she was appalled by the absent morals of the women on Sex and the City, b) that they were whores, c) that she’d never want to watch the show again, and d) that the whole evening made her uncomfortable. Ummm…after spending an evening in which my girlfriends and I spoke of relating to the “whores” on Sex and the City…wasn’t she actually calling us whores? Turned out…yes she was. What a hooker.
The point is…she wasn’t one of our close friends and thus sharing all of our inside info maybe wasn’t the best choice. When we stood up for ourselves and gave her a piece of our minds she found new office friends.
There are several (VERY VERY FUNNY) bloggers who don’t agree with me. They tell all and I appreciate it so because I can totally relate to their stories. But for me, there are topics that I save for my inner circle, and stories that (while I could think of them now and laugh until I cry) are best kept on the down low.
At least for now.
TODAY: What if, while being honest about my life experiences, I don’t need to talk about EVERY. SINGLE. THING. What if some things are best kept for the people who adore me unconditionally.