I had a mother from The Healing Center tell me the other day, "Brian, if you are anything like the person you are here outside of The Healing Center...I bet you are always fun to be around." I smiled at her, laughed, and thought to myself..."Maybe you should talk to Michael about that one." ;-)
I've been thinking a lot lately about the fact that each and every one of us has our "public persona" and "personal persona." I know that there are quite a few people who insist that they are the same person regardless of the situation they are in. And to that I say....Porpoise Poop! I don't believe that one bit and here's why. At home we are very much "tell it like it is." When out in public, most of us (stressing MOST) tone down ourselves in order to fit more snugly into society.
I know this is hard to believe, but I can be quite the outspoken person. I'd like to thank my wonderful mother for that quality. :) I'm never one to shy away from confrontation either, that is if it is deserved. I'm not out to pick fights, but I am not afraid to defend. But we all have those times when we know that it isn't socially acceptable to truly be who we are. Why do we do this? Why are we so afraid of being ourselves?
It makes me think of dating. When you first start dating someone you always make sure your shirts are free of wrinkles, your hair is done up just right, and your breath smells like a field of mint. :) Fast forward 2 1/2 years...most mornings I put on the same shirt, I wear a baseball cap because I'm too lazy to do my hair and lets just say some mornings my breath could make paint peel.
So what does all that say about being who we are? Comfort level. When we find ourselves comfortable around people we seem to shed our "public persona" and let them into our personal side. And you always can tell the people who never seem to turn that off for anyone. And then you also find that there are people who exist who don't seem to have a "public persona," which can be a bit much at times.
Where is all this going? That's a good question. I'm sitting here at the kitchen table wondering that very same question. As I was sitting here this morning trying to figure out what to write about it hit me...people think they know what my life is like. People see the house we live in, that I'm cooking, that we have dogs and chickens. People see the "public persona." I always smile to myself when people say, "Wow, I wish I had your life. You have it so good."
I smile because, yes, the outer appearance does make it seem like I have a great life. And to be 100% honest, I'm very happy and content with my and Michael's life together. But as most of you can see if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, life isn't always butterflies and baby bunnies. And I've tried on a few occasions to be very real with you all. But I won't lie, at times I feel a bit uneasy or embarrassed to let everyone in to some of these parts of my life.
I guess it's like this...I'm an open book, but you have to search through the pile to find my book. And by that I mean that if you take the time to get to know me, search me out, I'll let you in. I have learned over the years that I can't be the book on the top. I need to bury myself a bit otherwise I'll get hurt. I think that is why we as humans put on a "front." We greet each other with "How are you?" But in all honesty, do we care? I make it a point never to ask "How are you today?" if I don't want or care to hear that persons answer. Because when I do ask that, I truly want to know.
There is a new show on Bravo called "Married to Medicine," and it's trashy LOL. But there was one good line from the pilot episode. One of the women said, "I'm married to my husband, but he's married to his patients." And that hits the nail on the head. While my husband isn't married to his patients, he is married to the job.(and I do NOT mean that in a negative way) I think there is this "romanticized" view of being married to a doctor. But even Michael will tell you that its one of the worst things! He told me when we first started dating that everyone says they can handle his schedule, but it always becomes a problem for them. He feels so bad that he's never home, we don't see each other often. And even when he is here, mentally he's trying to process his day or wind down.
I've learned to try and keep my day to day life very flexible. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to volunteer and be a housewife. And I don't take either of those for granted. But no matter how I feel about myself, I find myself putting on this front because I don't really know what other people think. I get the, "Wow, I wish I could stay home and do nothing all day." comments...as well as "Must be nice, I wish I didn't have to go to work." I usually just smile, even though inside all I can think is, "You don't even know..." I keep meaning to make a shirt that says, "No, I don't work. And, yes, it IS nice!" ;-) Not sure how that would go over though! :)
As this blog post comes to a close, I wonder if I made any sense throughout this? If not, welcome to my world! :) If it does make sense, good! I know that most of you know what I'm talking about, and that there will still be those who won't. And that's fine. I guess what I'm trying to say is this...if you were to see this certain mother from The Healing Center, who made the comment I spoke of at the beginning, on the street...you wouldn't have any idea of the pain she is trying to navigate through. Most days I think all of us have to put on a front just to get through. Think about it...
Oh, and...How are you today?