Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Transparency in the City

If you read my main blog, you know that I'm pretty much an open book. If I'm struggling with something (except in rare cases and usually when it would involve telling someone else's story) it's there. That's the way I blog. That's the way I write. That's the way I live. It's the only way I know how to do any of it. And it feels right.

But in this space, I have to admit, I'm a little scared. I started a post awhile back that's really not even that big a deal. It's not nearly the most raw thing I've written. It's a "sad" post, but nothing crazy vulnerable. I shouldn't feel worried about publishing it, but for some reason I do.

I think there are several reasons for this. I talked to Ashley and Carrie about it the last time we were together and that was really good for me. Basically:

1. I'm nervous about being transparent with my feelings because I don't want to seem ungrateful for this opportunity. I *know* this is not something that every family can do. Practically speaking, there aren't just a ton of jobs like retail pharmacy where you can just pick up, move for a year (or two...or three) and move back. The thing is, just because something is a blessing and a privilege doesn't mean you don't get to struggle with it and find tension in it. I learned this the hard way with mothering. God has a way of humbling me and he did it big time the last few years. I used to get extremely frustrated when I would here stay at home moms complain about how hard and long their days were. There was one lady in particular who would tell me how hard it was to shuffle her two kids around and I thought "Really? I mean, REALLY?" And now I'm all "Really. I mean, REALLY." And in one sense, I still do understand how it seems ungrateful at best and like privileged drivel at worst. But at the same time, it *is* hard. Just because I'm so fortunate I can stay home with my kids it doesn't mean I won't have hard days. And it shouldn't mean I can't talk about them. And just because Peyton and I get to do this and live our "dream" doesn't mean I don't get to struggle with the hard parts of it.

2. I worry that people will find my honesty annoying because obviously this was a CHOICE. It would be different if we had to move for a job, or we were called to the mission field or whatever. This is not those. But at the same time, many things in life are based on choices, at least on some level, and that doesn't negate the right to be honest about the hard parts of them. I mean it was a choice to marry Peyton and it was a choice to have children (I mean, kind was unexpected with Annie, but we chose to have most married people do). I talk about the hard parts of those things all the time.

3. It's hard for me to be completely open about my feelings because I've defended this to people SO much. Mostly, people are really encouraging and affirming in our decision to do this. But sometimes, I get the "are you crazy?" looks and "Are you sure?" comments. And to be honest, sometimes they're from people who know me well, who LOVE me well, and are just worried because they know it won't be easy. But, I get to state my case for why this is important, I get to share the the parts I'm excited about, I get to fill my mind with the happy things. And then I get to write scared.

I'm telling myself all this, mostly. And I know I'll probably look back on this post a lot over the next couple of years to remind myself that it's okay.

It's okay to write scared.

It's okay to write nervous.

It's okay to write sad.

But it's also okay to write happy. It's okay to write dreaming. It's okay to write optimistic. And when I do, it doesn't take away my right to write scared, nervous and sad.

I can do both.

I will do both.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.