There is a movement of transparency and vulnerability sweeping the blogosphere, and I am joining it. If you have noticed I’ve been very quiet on the blog or have lessened my time wasted on Facebook, it’s because I want to make sure what I’m sharing is valuable and relevant, and I needed to take pause. Instead of posting a picture of the neatly groomed corner of my life I so often depict on this site, I choose to open the angle and share the messy and unkempt pieces of my life. Ez from Creature Comforts puts it so correctly: “I haven’t tried to be deceptive (I doubt other bloggers have either), but I think it’s human nature to want to shine the best light upon ourselves.” She started this movement to share the real, honest bits we often leave in the shadows. I’ve read several of the posts bloggers have contributed and Sarah’s story struck me as kind, gently and genuine, so here goes (inhale):
I haven’t been writing the full story. My kids are not perfectly behaved, the laundry is not folded and my marriage is not perfect. Everyone always asks me how do I do it all… The answer is, I don’t. I bathe my kids every three days (ew, gross, I know), and I don’t know what shoe size they wear because Hubby does most of the kid’s clothes shopping. Hubby and I still argue and sometimes give each other the silent treatment, and there’s a pile of unfolded laundry on the ironing board, the couch upstairs, the rocking chair in the nursery and on the sofa in the living room right now (well, not right now, but definitely at the time I originally wrote this).
The cleaning crew cursed when they saw the state of my bedroom, and the only reason I breastfed Miss C to almost ten months is because of the guilt I feel about how much time I spend away from her because of my work and travel schedule. I deliberately post pictures of myself sucking in the baby pooch, with salon fresh hair and eyebrows neatly groomed and filled in. Often times, I don’t feel like writing on here when Hubby and I aren’t on good terms because how can I write about our magical ‘spelhouseLove’ when I don’t feel like I’m falling in love with him everyday? But, what’s more important is that I don’t paint a picture of the ‘perfect’ family and convince you that what you’ve seen here so far is the entire portrait. If you’re trying to keep up with the Jonses, let me give you a better picture of what a real marriage looks like so you can peak into the image of an actual relationship instead of a mirage. Honestly, I think our marriage is healthy. But healthy does not mean perfect. I don’t want to create an expectation that cute kids, smiling spouses and being a ‘power couple’ is the goal at which to aspire. That’s an empty and unfruitful expectation.
It’s not so much that there are things I’m afraid to tell you, but rather, things I have not been courageous enough to share until today. I admire my fellow bloggers who share the mistakes they’ve made in their lives, and I respect their transparency. On this blog I feel compelled to balance the fact that certain people read this blog and may not applaud raw content, including my family, my manager and co-workers at my Fortune 500 career and my enemies. Of those three, I am most concerned about the haters. Those that do not need to know about my struggles because hearing about it makes them smile. Yuck.
So what does a day on team Victor feel like? Well, first you have to understand how we got here. On December 4, 2004 I got married on an altar and joined into a covenant with God and Hubby. That means I signed up to be a God-fearing wife, but more importantly, I’ve jumped on a journey to learn what that really means. We started with a great foundation: we both love God, we love family, having a wagon-ful o’ kids, traveling, education, our careers, cilantro and the Amazing Race, but even all those things don’t bring happiness. On day one of our marriage I thought he was supposed to take out the trash, kiss me with two hands cupping my neck, and rub my pregnant belly. Oh boy, was I in for a surprise when my husband did none of these things! And boy was Hubby patient and kind and when I was still participating in my ‘extracurriculars’ and still trying to live my life like a single lady. In a world that Hollywood suggests should revolve around my emotions, I surely believed that hype the first five years of our marriage.
The secret to a real marriage is that you love your mate regardless of their behavior. Yes, when I say regardless, I really mean it. Huh? Regardless? Even when they do things that you thought were deal breakers? Yes. If my love was conditional and depended on what he did or didn’t do, we’d have lots and lots of loveless days. Lately, the chief demon in our marriage is pride. Saying “I’m sorry” and forgiving each other hasn’t come as quickly as we’d expect after seven and half years of marriage. And then, sometimes we don’t act respectfully towards each other. We treat each other quite immaturely sometimes, and you don’t hear me writing about that. What are the signs that pride is deteriorating your marriage? Can you go days without apologizing when you KNOW you’re in the wrong? Pride fuels that. Do you have a running tally of all the things you would immediately correct about your spouse? Those thoughts can transform into nagging, which I am the queen of. Lord, help me.
Some days I am unapologetically sure that my way is the right way. I’m positive that I drive better than Hubby. My expert road handling and agility at 80mph (when it’s just the two of us) when I claim to be ‘going with the flow of traffic’ is safe, right? And if he questions me, get ready to hear my defense. Me being right definitely means Hubby is wrong. Where is my humility? How am I honoring and respecting my husband when I’m so focused on #winning! the argument. How can I be the first to give in, to soften my stance, to reach out and hold his hand, to initiate prayer?
So, I’m no Claire Huxtable and no Michelle Obama, but they still inspire me. I still love photography and will continue to share the photos and accomplishments as I work towards completing my 100 life goals. But now, I’m committing to sharing my failures equally as much as my defeats. I vow not to go weeks on end without writing because I haven’t said I’m sorry to Hubby for all the selfish actions that pull us apart. If you made it this far… Thank you for reading this, showing your support and not leaving. I appreciate you! Thank you to Ez at Creature Comforts for being brave enough to begin this challenge.