Just Enjoy Him on her blog “blogging is powerful” wrote some word that exactly mirrored what I wanted to say this week to and as she expressed better than I could, I have quoted her here –
My latest favorite quote is this one:
If you ask me what I came to life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.
~ Emile Zola
Blogging is, in a sense, living out loud. Being honest about ourselves — our strengths and flaws — is living out loud. Being open to the ideas of others is, I think, living out loud. Stating who we are, even if it’s only at that moment in time, is living out loud.
Living out loud is sometimes scary, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the only way I know to live an honest, authentic life which is the only way that I know to get some peace in my life.
I find I’m also drawn to people who live out loud, who are honest and authentic and allow themselves to be vulnerable, no matter what others might think of them. I’ve met some of the biggest Live Out Loud people via blogging.
Yes, blogging is powerful. It’s a life — or, part of a life, anyways — lived out loud, the only way I know how to live anymore.
She is another woman who like me has had to face IBC – and there is something about facing one’s own mortality that wakes you up to the fact that you need to live life more authentically.
This blog started as purely a way to let people know what was happening with me and my treatments – ‘My battle with Gertrude’ but along the way it has become also a way of me being more honest and open about how dealing with ‘Gertrude’ has made me think and feel.
It may surprise some of you to know that at high school I was very quiet, shy and reserved. I felt very much an outsider – that I didnt fit the mold of all the other girls. Some people thought I was aloof or a bit stand-offish but in reality it was because I didnt think I fitted in… and I spent a lot of years beating myself up for being ‘different’. My family tagged me the emotional/temperamental one and so for many years I was very wary about letting my feelings out. It took a long time for me to realise that by talking about my feelings and acknowledging them instead of bottling them up was the way to live a better life.
Two things happened since I last wrote a post that very much validated this new view of life I have. One of them is the very strange coincidence that one of the people I was quoting for one of my University assignments turned out to be one of my first boyfriends -as I explained to him “it was all a bit of innocent fun – procrastinating over doing my assignment and having seen your name in the text book – thinking to myself “wouldn’t it be hilarious if it was the same person I knew” – oh just for shits and giggles I’ll type in “____ _____ health social work” and see what happens – oh my god it is the one I know!!” This guy I “went round” with when I was 14 – it was all very sweet and innocent but I felt like we had had a real connection. I wouldn’t necessarily say he was my first love but he was someone really special to me, but all of a sudden he didn’t want to hang out with me anymore and I never knew why. We became friends ‘sort of’ again when we were in our last year of school (when I was 17 – by then I had had other boyfriends and was with what could be termed my first more serious one). Now I hadn’t seen him for approximately 30 years when I made contact with him last week by email. I had debated whether or not to email him because I would have to explain why I starting to do a Bachelor of Social Work at this stage of my life – i.e “oh by the way my youngest daughters got special needs and I’ve just been dealing with breast cancer” is not something you want to write in an initial email. Oh and just in case you are wondering OH knows all about this correspondence. Anyway he wrote back so I bit the bullet and told him why I was doing social work and what had been going on in my life and I admitted that I had thought about not telling him or not emailing him because I knew I would have to tell him – anyway the upshot of the fact that I had been honest with him was that he was honest with me back and said “oh by the way this is what was happening with me in highschool”. So its a bit weird but I’ve got closure on something that happened over 30 years ago and I have my friend again. The old me would never have been bold enough to email him but I am so glad I did. Thank you D!
The other thing that happened was that Bro was up visiting this weekend. We had gone out to dinner with him and his wife, SisM and SisMOH, and niece S and her partner J, OD and her R and over dinner I had a conversation with SisMOH about how sometimes he has read my blog and thought that I have been very honest and authentic and at times he’s thought “hey yeah she’s right about that” and it is stuff people dont tend to say out loud too often. The honesty theme carried over into today when we went out for a coffee/lunch with Bro and wife R. We started talking about family and we got onto the subject of how we got on with our father (who died in 2001). I loved my dad but I didn’t like/respect him very much and for the first time today I actually said to one of the family how much I resented being labelled the temperamental one etc growing up when Dad had more problems than I did. Its the first time I have said that out loud to someone other than OH .
Its really is liberating living a more honest, authentic life – I just wish I hadn’t needed Gertrude to come into it to fully realise it.