Airing the Dirty Laundry

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"I am not a stranger to the dark, hide away they say because we don't want your broken parts. I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars, run away they say because no one will love you as you are."

The first time I saw "The Greatest Showman" my eyes swelled with tears listening to the lyrics of "This is Me". I know what it's like to feel like I need to hide my broken parts away... As someone once close to me said, "Society doesn't openly share the things you share Britney, there is a reason they don't air their dirty laundry."

By sharing my story I'm not airing my dirty laundry, I'm owning my truth. Telling my story how it is.  And I've never been one to follow what "society says" anyway. 

The interesting thing about owning your truth is that while you might have a couple naysayers saying not to "air your dirty laundry", I found that owning my truth allowed others to love me as I am. No "pretend Britney". No mask. No layers to uncover. Just me as I am. Britney. The same Britney with her best friend that she is to a stranger on the streets.

In the social media culture there has always been a push to show the "good side" of everything. Paint it however you want, but never sharing vulnerabilities on your platform is a choice that you knowingly make. It's a choice to show your life in a certain way, because you want others to perceive you in that certain way. In fact, I'd venture to say some of the most self conscious people are the ones who are too afraid to ever share vulnerabilities or struggles... which in reality makes me sad for them.

When you are confident in yourself you don't worry about sharing your vulnerabilities. You KNOW who you are, you LOVE who you are, and you could care less whether or not someone is judging you for SHOWING who you are. You know your heart and you know your intentions, and THAT is enough. When you are confident you don't need reassurance from any outside source because it comes from within. You can't outsource confidence.

I've chose to let others in on my struggles out of hope that someone else could find hope on my story. I share my struggles because I find it EXHAUSTING trying to cover up what is really going on in my life. Sometimes I wonder if I could have some kind of disorder because I literally can't lie or even pretend to lie... I'd be a terrible actress. 🤔

Sometimes your "story" can overlap with someone else's "story"... and in those cases I try to respect that line as much as I can.

If some perceive sharing your scars as "airing the dirty laundry" then let them live in their ashamed and hidden life. But as for me I'm not ashamed of my scars... scars only form on the living. A scar means, "You survived". I've survived the turmoil of the last 6 months. We are warriors! Have the confidence to own your battle wounds. Own your story, the ups and the downs. You never know how hard someone else may be gripping on to it for hope.

"Look out 'cause here I come. And I'm marching on to the beat I drum. I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, THIS IS ME".

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are
But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me

Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in

We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that's what we've become (yeah, that's what we've become)

I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me

Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

This is me
and I know that I deserve your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) 'cause there's nothing I'm not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who I'm meant to be, this is me

Look out 'cause here I come (look out 'cause here I come)
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I'm gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
This is me.

Why I Decided to Leave Instagram

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This will be one post of a few posts about my thoughts on Instagram and the Instagram culture. I've had my hang ups with Instagram for a long time but I've kept holding on because of the good of it, and there IS good to it. I met one of my best friends because of Instagram. I've met so many good people because of Instagram. Because of Instagram I was able to spread word about my friend's little girl's leukemia diagnosis and with your help and generosity we raised 33,000 dollars for her and her family. There IS good to Instagram. Including you guys! You guys have helped encourage me to put one foot in front of the other and keep going in my hardest times. You've told me I helped you, but in reality you have helped me. You have offered me connection when I felt I didn't have much of any, and for that I'm SO grateful.

I'm an INFJ personality, have you ever heard of the Meyer-Briggs personality test? It categorizes you into 16 different personalities and then describes you to a T. It's incredible really. All my life I've kind of felt like I just don't really fit in anywhere... for multiple reasons. Apparently INFJ is one of the more rare personalities so it's helped me realize I'm not just not a total weirdo... or rather maybe I AM a total weirdo but at least there are other total weirdos out there like me. I have a mind that's constantly brewing with depth but a voice that can't always portray that as eloquently as I'd like. Apparently this is common in INFJ personalities (Halle-freaking-lujah... I'm not the ONLY ONE). 

Instagram gave me a platform where I was able to spit out those thoughts and WRITE them in an eloquent form that allowed me to portray my inner self in ways that I couldn't always speak. Because #introvert and #shy and also #terribleatpublicspeaking.

It also allowed my introverted self to connect with thousands of you within the comfort of my own home. Social interaction while I'm laying at home in my pajamas?! Sold. 💃🏼

Between it giving me a platform to write my thoughts and also a way to easily stay connected to the outside world, it became addicting.

Now, this isn't something new for me. In high school I'd sit on MySpace for hours, in college I'd sit on Facebook for hours, and once Instagram came around I'd sit on Instagram for hours.

On that note, stop what you're doing right now. I want to show you something. Go to settings on your iPhone, click on battery, scroll down and then click on that little clock to the right of where it says "last four days".

That's how much time you've spent on each of those apps in the last four days.

Are you shocked?

Yeah, I was too.

That's how much time you've wasted neglecting something in your life. Maybe it's just the laundry, maybe it's just the dishes, maybe it's your friend who needs a helping hand, maybe it's your grandparents sitting in the nursing home wondering when you're going to visit again, maybe it's your kids looking at you with your phone in your face wondering why you can't just play with them, maybe it's your LIFE.

You know, that little thing called life that's constantly ticking by? No resets, no rewinds, it's moving forward whether you want it to or not. It's brutal really, unrelenting. It doesn't care if you're ready or not because it's going and it's going NOW.

We have become SLAVES to our phones. It's an addiction. And if you're an introvert like me, chances are the social outlet that social media provides has likely become an an addiction too.


Because it's EASY.

Scroll down, double tap, leave a comment, refresh to see who has commented on your last photo or instastory. It makes you feel wanted. Makes you fee involved. Makes you feel seen.

And if it's at a healthy level for you, congrats! These next few paragraphs aren't for you.

But tell me, are those people you have never met that you are double tapping and giving your precious attention... are they going to be by your side when the going gets tough?

When you have a miscarriage, are they going to sit with you at your house and cry with you?

When you have a divorce, are they going to check in on you to make sure you're doing ok?

When you're home alone and crying because you feel like everyone you once loved has sided against you, are they going to be there for you?

Chances are they won't.

And honestly, even the ones you HAVE invested in in real life might not be there for you. Which sucks. It freaking sucks. But in the end you're better for seeing true colors now rather than later.

But back to my point, I've just realized when I'm sitting at home with tears streaming down my face about the trials I'm currently walking, the only ones who could really be there for me were the ones who were physically there with me.

And I began to realize that while I may have had thousands of smaller connections, at this time in my life I just needed a smaller number of BIGGER connections. Ones that I could call and have a listening ear, ones that would go out to dinner with me just because they knew I needed to get out, ones that could offer me comfort in ways that social media is limited.

A book I read recently described this at "watering down the milk". There is still substance and involvement from those connections in your life, but it's watered down and not as rich because social interaction through your internet friends is limited in obvious ways. At no fault of their own, I wish I was real life friends with everyone I connected with through Instagram but the reality of it is that it's not possible... as much as I yearn for it to be it's just not possible.

When the going gets tough, we need real life connections to connect with. And that's why I decided to leave Instagram. So tell me, what did that little clock say? How much time did you spend staring down your phone. How much time did it eat away into your life? Minutes, hours, and days we will never get back. Was it worth it? When you're at the pearly gates and they are replaying your life... how much of it is going to be you sitting their looking at your phone?

It's been five day's since unfollowing everyone on instagram. Five days since my last post. Five day's since I took a good hard look at my life and rearranged my priorities.

And it's already healing me.

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