(If Britney were Midwestern)
I recently wrote a post about the emotional jet lag of changing some beliefs. I wrote that piece before I even listened to what we had recorded that week, before anyone else could listen to it either. Because I felt icky right away and I knew I needed to put words to what I was feeling and start dealing with what was going on. (In fact, we ended up recording an entire episode on this issue. Stay tuned for that one.)
A couple week’s ago we released our first few episodes, and it’s been interesting going back and re-listening to those early conversations that took place months ago. Last week, our movie review of Hail Satan? was released. I remembered it being a silly, giggly, totally candid conversation and I couldn’t wait to hear how it turned out. I was sure it was going to be my favorite.
To my surprise the ickies settled in once again. I have this feature about me that I really like… I’m pretty transparent. I spent my childhood feeling shushed, and since becoming an adult I’ve embraced saying what’s on my mind. Sometimes it’s beautiful stuff, man. Sometimes I share things and people will pull me aside or text me and say, “What you said meant such-and-such to me. Thank you for being so open.” That makes me feel important, to be perfectly honest. It’s makes me feel like THIS is one of my positive contributions to the world.
BUT… the vulnerability and consistency that is required to achieve those 7% moments means that I also have to utter some really cringe-worthy, Michael Scott kind of awkward things.
In this particular episode, I was trying to express my initial reaction to the film, which involved the appearance of many of the Satanic Temple members. When I was in high school we called people who dressed, talked and had these particular hobbies Metal Heads or Stoners, and they were persons who made me uncomfortable (more on my reflections why at another time.) Watching the film triggered those same feelings, and caught me by surprise.
Now, did I express it neutrally and rationally just like that? Well of course not. This was an unplanned discussion, I had no rudder, and I rambled on and on about “those people” for about 10 minutes. I think I said “those people” about a half a dozen times. It was so messy and gross. It was a front row seat to Valerie-working-her-shit-out and it was stunning to hear it myself. I was literally standing at the downtown city bus station, wrinkling my nose and saying in my head, “Oh my god will you just SHUT UP ALREADY? Someone stop her!”
Ahh… all in a day’s work when your hobbies include sharing your unscripted opinions.
I couldn’t get home fast enough to edit our Facebook post with with a disclaimer that I’m working through stuff so please forgive the crap I just said. For the love of god, people were going to hear me ramble on and on and sound like a total jerk. I mean, maybe I’m projecting my fears onto everyone else (hey, I learn stuff from therapy), but I wanted my bases covered. I’m a people-pleaser. More therapy crap.
Part of me wants to know, “When will I be done with this awkward growing phase?” I want to stop bumbling around, making messes and saying weird things.
The wiser part of me realizes that I never want to outgrow this. I never want to stop being vulnerable and open to learning… about new ideas, about other people, and about myself.
My daughter learned to walk when she was only 10 months old. For a couple years she RAN INTO EVERYTHING and was always covered in bruises and scrapes, but I couldn’t slow her down. Now she’s 17. She walks pretty well, and doesn’t run into things nearly as much (except for a grocery store incident that we like to laugh about) but had a skateboard injury the other week that resulted in an urgent care visit.
That’s how I think I’d like to be as far as growing and learning and changing my ideas and being open about it. Steady on my feet, but not afraid of the mess that comes with being adventurous. I’d be ok with teetering on a skateboard for the rest of my life. I want to grow and improve and learn and teach and expand. I don’t want to be afraid of the wipeouts that accompany the journey and I hope my tribe will be ok with that.
I think they will.