Should everyone be authentic in both their personal and professional lives? Yes, I believe so. By that I don’t mean I think I should say every thought or opinion that pops into my head. Nor should I upset others unnecessarily. But I believe in living your life honestly. Once you’ve tried it (trust me!) it’s so much less stressful.
Even though my nursing career is behind me I am more than just a disabled person. I am a wife, mother, daughter, friend, blogger, writer, and skin care consultant (along with my husband). I am part of two huge extended families. For the past two years I have been completely and deeply authentic on my blog and all Social Media outlets. Not that I’m encouraging everyone to do this to the degree that I have . . . but consider taking it up a notch. I blog about recipes, parenting a teen, and frugal tips, but I also blog about chronic pain, depression, and my suicide attempt. I blog about faith. If you see a bit less of that here lately it’s just because I’m also blogging with my pal Kerri over at Obstinate Hope.
I like to think that being authentic, expressing my true feelings will help someone, somewhere to feel less alone. To seek help. To know what to expect. Something you don’t get from Little Mary Sunshine stuff that ignores the negative in life. But within the last couple of months I have had a close family member say, “Don’t blog about that.” I’ve had a business associate verbally ‘slap my hand’ (her words) and say, “Don’t post that on FB.” I actually deleted both the post and the comment, but now I regret it.
The post was a very well-researched one about what is appropriate attire for a graduate at an academic event. I found it fascinating, and thought-provoking. The comment was in response to a post in which a “leader” was calling out some of her teammates for not attaining a particular goal. I identified myself as one of those not currently attaining it, explained why, and asked for suggestions. If a leader isn’t looking to help, why point out shortcomings? Shaming? Not a leadership skill I will ever aspire to.
In short, I’m not deleting posts, comments, tweets, pins, or any-fucking-thing else to please someone else ever again. Because did my deleting that post keep my husband from being treated like shit by the people he was afraid it would offend? Oh, no. Did deleting that comment cause my leader to be more helpful or motivate my team in any way? No. So I’m keeping it real. I will tweet obscenities during The Walking Dead and post about the realities of being disabled and under fifty (in short – you’re screwed).
By that I don’t mean I’m not the person to take shopping with you – just the opposite. I will tell you if a color or style doesn’t suit you and dig through racks until my fingers go numb finding you the perfect thing. Because I believe the best kind of wife, mother, daughter, friend, blogger, writer, and skin care consultant. . . is an authentic one.