Saturday, June 26, 2010


We have been partying it up over here!  The girls were invited to two birthday parties, an end of year pool party and an end of year ice cream social!  It's been never-ending!  But lots of fun and I am glad that they have great friends!  I was also really glad for the opportunity to talk openly to their friends' parents about the possibility that we will homeschool for third and fifth grade and to ensure that the parents would still be interested in getting the girls together, something that is weighing heavily on the girls' minds, as they both have many wonderful friends in public school that they do not want to say good-bye to!

I have been very open with all of their friends' parents about wanting to home school and why and they have all been very supportive and have all assured me that if we do this, they would have no problem with our kids remaining friends.  This is the NUMBER ONE reason why the girls are apprehensive about the whole homeschooling thing.  But this week we are going to a park date sponsored by one of the local homeschooling groups and we have plans for two dates in July to meet with actually two different home school groups--there are a lot when you start looking into it!

The thing, I guess that is really on my mind though is the facade we all put up.  I think we all do this.  Or, maybe, more accurately, we are all aware of our own messy emotions: our fears and worries, our heartbreaks and upsets, our concerns and the things that keep us up at night.  We all have things about ourselves that bother us.  We all probably get annoyed more often than we show it or get upset more often than we show it.  We all probably put on our game face and try not to be someone who is the big complainer or whiner.  We are not necessarily aware of what our friends' and acquaintances' or even our family members' concerns, fears, worries, upsets, and heartbreaks are.  We don't know the fights they have with their spouse or how much debt they carry or what their family life is REALLY like.  We don't know what happens behind closed doors.  We are left with what we see.  And we all want to show the world the best possible side.  Sure, if you are lucky, you do have some wonderful people in your life that you can let your guard down around.  But for the most part, we show off the shiny exterior.  Maybe I am gullible, maybe I am naive, maybe I wear rose colored glasses, but I believe the shiny exterior.  I believe that everyone has the great, wonderful, happy life that they portray.  And I admit it, sometimes, I envy them; sometimes I am jealous.  Here I am concerned about the emphasis on standardized tests, fretting about public school vs. homeschool vs. parochial school, worried about my mom's health, stressed over whether or not we should buy a hybrid car, annoyed about the cost of orthodontia, wondering how we are ever going to pay for college and weddings for our girls; my husband and I argue; I wish I was more patient; I wish I could lose 10 pounds; I wish I would discipline myself to do yoga more and hold on to that centered feeling I get from yoga; I want to simplify my life; I want my life to look like those people whose pictures came pre-loaded on my mac or the people in realsimple magazine: simple, clean lines.

In the last few days, I have had conversations with several people who have made me realize that underneath everyone's shiny exterior, there is a lot of messy emotions.  I am not the only one with problems. I knew that there was always someone worse off as far as poverty or illness, things like that.  I am talking the day to day things, the regular life things.  Just because someone seems happy on the outside doesn't mean that they aren't carrying around a satchel of sadness.  Just because someone seems to have it all together doesn't mean that they don't have a mountain of debt or insomnia for worry or despair so deep that they will never get over it.  Just because someone seems to have it all together doesn't mean that their life is going the way they want and that there are not areas of their life that they want to change.

My mom always told me that I was no better than anyone and that no one was any better than me.  I took that to mean that I should treat people kindly, not look down on people, that sort of thing.  Do unto others...but I do think that somewhere along the way, I started to believe that when someone appeared perfect, that they actually were.  Or that when someone appeared to have it all, that they actually did.  Or that when someone appeared to have those clean, simple lines that I strived for, that they actually were better than me.

It almost makes me wonder, if when people are going through something really big, they put an extra coat of shine on that veneer, they really play it up well to make sure everyone thinks everything is the way that they want everyone to think it is.

It makes me sad to think that we as human beings can't embrace that we are not perfect or can't let our guard down. What do we think will happen when we let our guard down?  I'll tell you what, I feel better around people who can admit that their life is not perfect; I feel better knowing that they have problems, than I did when I thought their lives were perfect.  I feel like we have opened up a door to being human in our relationship and it is so liberating to walk through that door and to know that things are not always what they seem.

It makes me sad to think that people have to pretend their life is something it is not.  My mom said it is a coping mechanism, they can believe their life is that way for that time that they are acting that way.  They live in a fantasy world.  But sometimes when you do that, you aren't facing your problems and they escalate, they snowball.  I guess that could be true.  I guess, though, that I think it is just competition: who has the best life.  Sometimes I feel like people are so competitive, striving to have the nicest house, the biggest SUV, go on the best vacation, have the smartest children, appear to have the happiest family and the most fun and the perfect marriage.  I find people like that toxic.  I can't handle the one-upping, it's destructive.

I don't know what my life appears to be like from the outside, but I think that is why I blog, so that I can look at my life objectively when I read my posts and see how it appears.  I am honest about my concerns, my worries, my fears, my fights, my happiness and my messy emotions.  I want to look at my life and see the whole picture, the messy emotions and what it looks like on the outside. I think that is also why I blog, to be honest, to keep it real, maybe I will encourage others to do the same.  I have been feeling as though my blog is all over the place: homeschool, yoga, what we did on a given day, etc. I will keep it about all of that, but at the same time, I will strive to always be real, to show the messy emotional underbelly of life.  So that this blog can be a true indication of what real life is all about.