Posts Tagged With: be honest and unmerciful

write it down

On his first day working from home, YBW said to me, “I wonder if I should be documenting this time?” His voice got all ‘movie trailer guy’ and he said, “YBW working from home: day one.”
I giggled, then encouraged him to document.

I told him about reading this interview with University of Virginia professor Herbert ‘Tico’ Braun.
In an email encouraging his current and former students to document their lives “during this unprecedented time” he wrote:

The mantra of our course is, ‘Write it down.’ When you do, much of your life and who you are will be different than if you don’t.

He tells his students, “You do not write alone.”
He’s so right!
We don’t write alone. Especially here, in this blogging community.
LA is sharing her life in this time. So is Maggie. Ellieejay and Betul shared theirs at Pointless Overthinking, Claudette is sharing her’s too.

What I love about reading these posts is that in an anxious and fearful time, these ladies are being real. Speaking their truths. Being honest and unmerciful with their thoughts and feelings. And using humor to their advantage.

I thank you for documenting your lives in these ‘unprecedented’ times. It helps us realize we are not alone, however shut away from the world we are. We are a community of human beings. And no matter how far and wide we are spread, we are all in this together.
By sharing our lives via the written word we begin to feel more connected in the immediate, and as time goes on these words will be powerful documentation to look back upon.

I’m choosing to journal about what I think and how I feel about this time in our world. It looks different than my blogging, but I approach it with the same level of honest and unmerciful truth, and a metric-fuck-ton more sass and complete disregard for proper grammar.
Regardless of where I write, I’m choosing to acknowledge fear and anxiety, flex my humor muscles, and embrace a whole lotta love, grace, and gratitude.

We’re all in this together.
Thank you.
I am truly grateful that we do not write alone.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“No, thank you.”

I’ve finally spent some time at school subbing.
I like it.
I like the social aspect of being around young people.
I like the freedom it gives me.
I like being able to go to school when it suits me.
I like being with the staff and kids I care so much about.

The principal came to see me in a classroom the other day to offer me a part time position.
The position is to shadow a kindergartner.
This little boy has epilepsy. Because he has epilepsy, his physical development is delayed. He has almost no use of his entire left side. He suffers mini seizures throughout the day and occasionally can fall over while simply sitting in his chair.
I spent about an hour with him on Thursday. Cognitively he’s on it. Socially too. He’s got a great little personality and quite the sense of humor.
The principal and classroom teacher are eager for me to start working with him. They’re fighting to get his part time assistance to full time assistance.

After spending time with this little dude, I know I can help him. I know I can provide the support he needs to be successful in the classroom.
However, if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s more labor intensive than I want. It’s more responsibility than I want. If something happened to this kid on my watch? I mean, just NO!
I want to substitute teach. I want to spend time in different areas of the building, with different kids and adults. I don’t want to be responsible for this little boy.
I want to have the freedom to choose. And if I committed to this kid there would be no choice for me.
Subbing fits perfectly into my life right now and I’d like to keep it this way.

I’m going to say no.
I’m anxious about saying no.
Why is it so hard to say no?
Is it because I don’t want to offend, or disappoint?
Is it because I think saying no will change other people’s opinion of me?

I don’t know how honest I can actually be.
I don’t know how what I say will land.
And the biggest part of me knows I must speak my truth, but there is a small part of me that doesn’t want to offend or whatever.
I’m thinking of all the excuses I can make. How elaborate must they be?
How much explanation will be enough to assuage my guilt of saying no?

It seems to me that saying no is particularly hard for women. I mean, doesn’t it feel like we’re trained to be compliant from the youngest age? Like we’ve been bred to feel so bad and guilty about making decisions for ourselves that we are borderline incapable of saying no? Like we’re not meant to have the power to decide what is and isn’t right for us?

I must remember my work.
Where I have power.
Be honest and unmerciful.
Create healthy boundaries.

It doesn’t matter why I don’t want to accept this position.
Only that I don’t.
I can say ‘no, thank you.’ without worrying about how to excuse it.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

be honest and unmerciful

The other day when I was writing about covert incest, I sent Thing 2 a message letting her know I was writing about that subject matter. That I was keeping her personal work private but that I was discussing her and I wanted to make sure that she was OK with it.

Her response?

One of my most beloved scenes from Almost Famous is a late night phone call between William and Lester Bangs in which the latter says, “Be honest and unmerciful.”

Thing 2 is a also fan of this movie, and that particular line.
I love that about her.

Honest and unmerciful.
I feel like that’s my current state of being.
Perhaps it’s Thing 2’s state of being as she does the hard work of self?

Recently, I attacked a situation that’s given me great grief, with an honest and unmerciful look at myself. I came up with an (equally) honest and unmerciful plan on how to proceed.

Y’all might be questioning the whole ‘unmerciful’ bit.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t blame you.
Unmerciful sounds a bit…what?
Cruel? Harsh?
Sans mercy.

Here’s the thing though, when I say ‘honest and unmerciful’ I’m using it the way I feel Lester Bangs did.

I believe it’s my job to be honest about who I am and what I’m doing in my life.
I’m no longer trying to be what other people want or expect.
I’m being honest to myself, and unmerciful with both the beauty and ugliness of my truth.

I am viewing everything I was, am, and shall be through this honest and unmerciful lens.
It makes me a more real me.
It helps me bring my truth to the world without feeling guilty, or fearful, or shameful.

Not like, ‘This is me. Like it or lump it.’
More like, ‘This is me. I see me. I present myself to be seen.”

If I am honest and unmerciful with myself, I become a better human, because what I bring to the world is as true and real as possible.
Yes. That’s it.
I will be honest and unmerciful as I look at myself. At my life.
For that is the mark of a true (and uncool) friend.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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