Tag Archives: friendship

I Want You To Know…

– Contributed by Wee C

Today, a woman I deeply admire bore it all. She wrote a blog post that is as honest and exposing as a blog post (or a conversation or a story) can be. A woman, who is an overachiever, who has demonstrated nothing but success and whose appearance is always impeccable was brave enough to tell the world that things are not always as they appear. She shared stories about real, legitimate anxiety attacks. She openly wondered how this could happen to HER; how she could be the girl leaving the doctor’s office with two mental health prescriptions in hand. And she admitted to being the lost girl who so many thought was found.

I can only imagine the feeling she experienced as she guided her mouse to the “Post” button on the draft page of her blog. The anticipation of knowing that sharing this blog post would be like standing naked in Times Square during rush hour traffic. You see, for those of us who blog, writing in draft format is liberating; it’s like a journal that’s under lock and key. But pressing “Post” is like leaving your diary wide open to the deepest, darkest page in the book.

“I’ve spent the majority of my 32 years being THAT girl. The one who has to have every moment of her day jam packed, planned and neatly lined up in front of her. The girl who cried her eyes out in a McDonald’s drive-thru because the plan was to go to Wendy’s. McDonald’s wasn’t the part of the plan and so, overwhelmed with anxiety and lack of control, she sobbed the whole way through her Quarter Pounder. True story. That was me.”

So why am I paying such homage to this woman, aside from the fact that she is more remarkable to me today than she was as her pristine, flawless former self? Because today was a big day in her world. Today she took a step that many of us would never be brave enough to take, let alone be self-aware enough to articulate. And because today was a big day in her world, it’s a big day in all of ours. Today, she took the pressure off those of use who know exactly what she means when she says: “But the truth is, I’m still losing myself on a daily basis. I’m over committed and I’m striving for perfection in each and every task on my to-do list.”

Perhaps most importantly, she implicitly said something that I believe more of us need to say to one another. To anyone who reads her post, she said: I want you to know. I believe that for all of us to be able to cope with the human condition, we need to tell one another what we feel, as ugly and unflattering and dark as it may seem. We need to let others know that they are not alone. We need to share our experiences so that we can learn and grow together. We need to talk openly and honestly and not be embarrassed by feelings and situations that no one (not one single one of us) is excluded from having (knowingly or not).

So, today, here’s what I want all of you to know:

  • Anxiety, depression, or even just the blues can happen to absolutely anyone, no matter how cheery you were as a kid, regardless of how many wonderful people you have in your life, no matter how perfect your home, job and family may or may not be. And, from personal experience, simply opening your mouth (and perhaps your mind) is the most profound experience you will have on the road to recovery, even if you just say it aloud to yourself.
  • Here’s the secret about perfectionism: it’s a completely and utterly unattainable goal. You will not reach it in this lifetime. Stop trying. Someone remind me of this when I wake up tomorrow, will you?
  • And, thirty-somethings of the future, I want you to know that your life will not be more fulfilled by over-filling your plates when you are 18, nor will you achieve greater successes by being a martyr for your job than you would if you lived a life of balance, and you certainly will not have a more full life by allowing stress to lead your life rather than peace. Yes, strive for excellence in what you do. Yes, work hard to be an accomplished individual. Yes, push beyond the status quo whenever you can. But do not prostitute your own life for the sake of being an overachieving workaholic. It will catch up with you, I can guarantee it.

And so, dear readers, over to you. What do you want the world to know? Please, share your wisdom. We all need it.

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#24: Channeling William Hung?

– Contributed by Wee C

To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I’ve never sang karaoke. Sing in my car? Yes. Sing in the shower. On occasion. Sing in front of a group of people in a bar who are all predisposed to ridicule, judgment and making gagging motions? No thank you. I already assume that people are judging me when I’m sitting in the back of the bar, minding my own business, hoping no one has noticed that my outfit isn’t quite perfect. A self-centered, sociopathic way of thinking, you say? Need I remind you that I have somehow come to believe that everyone has nothing better to do with their time than to focus on all of my multiple flaws?

Needless to say, karaoke ranked right up there with going to a strip club on the “saying yes to things I would normally say no to” meter. In fact, one of the girls who joined Big L and I (yes, this was a 30 thing for Big L, also) summed it up quite nicely. “Even if someone paid me $10,000 to get up there are sing on my own, I wouldn’t take it,” she said. I didn’t come home $10,000 richer the other night, but I did come home without a voice.

As I was toiling away trying to select the perfect song and preparing myself to get up on “stage”and do my own impression of William Hung, my name was called. Huh? But I haven’t put my name in the cue, yet. “Wee C? Is there a Wee C in the house?” I heard Laurie the Guy ask (that’s right, Haligonians, we were at the Lion’s Head). “Wee C get up here! I see you’re singing I Touch Myself!”

I TOUCH MYSELF???? I wouldn’t use those words together in everyday language, let alone in a song. Singing karaoke. In front of other people. I TOUCH MYSELF???? This is what I’m supposed to sing?

But, as I got up, not sure what to do, the four other girls I was with – Big L included – got up to join me. What better way to fully embrace karaoke than to do a completely ridiculous song with a group of fabulous and supportive women? Yeah, it was a shameless SATC 2 re-enactment. Only can you imagine if Samantha had been singing I Touch Myself instead of I Am Woman?

Our second act was equally classy – My Humps. Do you know how many times you sing the words “my humps” in that song? Simply tragic. And no, I did not pop my behind out towards the audience and slap my ass. Although that would have been a 30 thing all on its own.

At #24 of 30, what I’m learning is that we could all stand to channel William Hung a little more often. Letting go and acting silly is better medicine than Advil and a lot more fun than watching from the sidelines scared that someone will judge you. And here’s the secret that everyone needs to know: people cheer for you when you’re on the field. It’s living life on the sidelines that you really need to worry about.

My alter-ego.