Hanging Out My Dirty Laundry

February 16, 2018

Growing up I heard a saying: don’t air your dirty laundry. We were taught to handle our scandal behind the scenes, smile, brush the bumps from our ponytails and conquer the world. I believe it is a generational thing, keeping the struggles behind closed doors. But as our channels of communication multiplied and facebook and Instagram happened, so did our sharing.

All this sharing, however, can pose its own set of problems. I’m a strong believer in living authentically — but as we all know (cliché, cliché) the Internet is where we turn to paint the prettiest pictures of ourselves.

I’m guilty as well. I live in freaking Hawaii. The best beaches in the world where people travel thousands of miles to vacation at are now my home beaches. I get paid to snuggle dogs. I get paid (sometimes) to write. I hike in scenery right out of heaven. I love it. I’m living a dream.

Moments I post are filled with joy, wonder, adventure. They’re my attempt to share some of the excitement and beauty of my island life.

Yet not everyone gets a peek behind the scenes. Not everyone sees the dirty laundry before it’s hung out to dry. Being away from the hustle of the city has given me plenty of quite time to reflect and get honest with myself. And when I did, here’s what revealed itself:

  • The career path is in transition again… This time some prospects find me deviating almost entirely from what I have been comfortably doing for the past six years.
  • My ten year old self was doing way better with her lemonade stand earnings. Budgeting is h-a-r-d!
  • I miss my friends, like heart-wrenching miss my friends I’ve left scattered across the West Coast. Moving is exciting, goodbyes? Not so much.
  • My heart has a tendency to love and fall for sweet souls I can never hold forever.
  • Some days find me spending more hours staring blankly at my computer screen than actually writing.
  • Writing contest deadline is in 30 days. I have… 30 words. (But I work best under pressure, ya know?)
  • And when I was goal setting I kept shifting where I wanted to be at the end of next month, let alone the end of 2018. Getting real with yourself can be daunting.

Whew. There, I’ve said it. I hung it all out there, secrets deeper than telling you about the coffee-stained shirt I still wear, pretending I have just spilled my cold brew on it that very morning when in reality it’s been toast for 3 years now.

Yeah.

Some nights I can’t sleep because life seems like such a mess, while other mornings I wake up laughing at the absurdity of it all. Like today — I’m parked in the comfiest chair overlooking the mountains on Oahu, watching the palm trees rustle in the tropical breeze, relishing in the blue sky finally making an appearance after what felt like a 2-day hurricane. “It’s a Real Good Life” by The Mowgli’s is playing on Spotify and I can’t help but chuckle at the stark contrast to Tuesday, when I was experiencing one of the worst days of my life mentally.

I knew I needed to share the stark contrast of my recent ups and downs after I got off the phone with one of my oldest friends yesterday. Even from 3000 miles away, she could sense the lackluster tone weaving through my words. And when even another friend reached out about her behind-the-scenes troubles, I couldn’t NOT sit down to write honestly, authentically. I needed to continue to share my story, because we all have one.

These posts and pages aren’t just places for me to spill my guts or make my life look better than yours.

No.

The words I share here are meant to resonate. To cut deep into the heart of someone who needs to hear them now. It is my hope that by sharing my story someone out there feels a little less lonely in this messy-wonderful life we all get to ride together.

Next week I have two posts in the queue. They’re honest. They’re painful. They were hard to write and even harder to relive. But they’re truth, and they need to be shared. So come back soon, won’t ya? 

And in the meantime, go smile at a stranger or buy the guy in front of you his Saturday morning coffee. Stop and talk to the crazy homeless guy — he may have stellar stories. Venmo your friend for a Tito’s Moscow mule on you even though she’s across the ocean. (You know who you are. Thanks girl.) Go spread some semblance of kindness because sometimes that is all we can do to make this crazy world brighter.

In love & truth,

Aves

3 Comments

  • Reply paivi March 1, 2018 at 1:55 am

    Honestly, what helps me access my authentic self is reading reminder blog posts like yours, Cynthia. Self-censorship isn”t something I give a lot of thought to. That is, until posts like yours remind me to “look at what I”m doing when I”m in automaton mode. Like you, I swear, but almost no one knows that. My greatest area of censure is the self-talk that says, “Nope. You can”t do that. The best way out of that for me is freewriting, and writing my way out of that self-talker who is absolutely wrong-o wrong-o, if not outright ludicrous. The REAL me, the one I hope shows up more and more authentically, hears her REAL voice when I write that way. I”ll be saying YES more often. That”s for sure! Thanks for the reminders, dear friend.

  • Reply Hilde February 25, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

  • Reply Kate February 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Love this. I’m so grateful our generation has embraced vulnerability in a way our parents’ didn’t. It’s essential for human connection and I would be a miserable, lonely person if I kept it all inside and pretended everything was perfect.

    Side note, I want to visit! I’ve actually never been to Hawaii. Can you believe it?

    Looking forward to your next posts.

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