As we reflect on the past year and look forward to the next year, reviewing promises we made to ourselves of things we were going to drop or add from our lives in 2018, I reflect on why I write.
Why do I share deeply personal stories, experiences, and feelings for anyone and everyone to read?
Why do I share these personal stories, all of which are attached to so much shame and embarrassment?
I share these stories because anyone who has gone through, is going through, or will go through a challenging experience needs to know they are not alone.
Maybe the experience won’t be as fucked up as a secret second life, maybe it will be more so. Maybe it will look entirely different, but the emotions will be the same – failure, shame, embarrassment, self-hatred, hurt, betrayal, loss…and, sometimes, when having a particularly hard day, what can make all the difference is seeing/hearing from someone else who has gone through something similar, who has felt something similar, and realizing you are not alone.
You never know what someone is going through. To some extent, people get to choose what the world sees – the curated social media posts, the happy family out doing things together, the impressive job and nice house and car that go with that. But everyone struggles at some point. Everyone feels like they are alone at some point.
You are not alone. You are not the first person to experience hurt/loss/fill in the blank, nor will you be the last.
The holidays and New Year (financial debt, food and drink hangovers, short, cold days) can be incredibly hard for many, many people and may increase feelings of discouragement.
So, I write because the more we show our scars, the more we heal through storytelling and shared experiences, well… maybe one person out there will feel encouraged and empowered to get up off the floor and forge ahead. The more we stop only showing what we want people to see and will ourselves to show people what is real, the more we can all work together to make this New Year, this clean slate and opportunity to reach professional and personal goals, a year of true personal and societal evolution.
This is me.
Stripped down, vulnerable, and proudly showing my scars, for it is our scars that define us and mold us into survivors, it is our scars and experiences that mold us into the humans we are. Because perhaps nothing is more human than wearing scars.
It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.
~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Here’s to 2019.
To doing the things that scare you.
To turning your scars from markers of hurt and loss into badges of strength, overcoming, and resilience.
To letting go of the things that are a disservice to you.
To learning and healing through storytelling.
Run on, my friends.