Ah, it’s a beautiful thing to have purpose and passion as my fingers click-clack away on my keyboard. I’ve been here before. I was a part of a wonderful blog about 6.5 years ago and since then, I’ve been searching for something worthy of blog posts. I expected out of myself perfection. I expected whatever I wrote to be just right. Anyone else like that out there?
I am currently in a season in my life where I feel God is pushing me to lean into the imperfections of life and embrace them. So here I am, attempting to reveal some of the mess through a blog.
It’s hard sometimes, being the perfectionist and having to admit defeat. It’s hard to acknowledge the messiness of life when we’ve spent our whole lives attempting to keep things neat and tidy. A pimple? Throw some concealer on that bad boy and make sure you pack that concealer to reapply throughout the day. Less-than-perfect appearance when you’re going to see someone that day? Be sure to apologize ahead of time and give a valid excuse as to why you look the way you do. Running late? God forbid you acknowledge that you, for once, pressed the snooze button. Instead, formulate an excuse. Need help? Here are some in my repertoire: “Agh that school traffic really messed me up!” (It should be noted that this is only a valid excuse if it’s a time of day you’ll hit either the before or after school crowd). “I plopped the address into my nav and it took me a funky way.” Note: “nav” should be used in “navigation” because it sounds more relaxed and shouldn’t let people know that you have a stick shoved too far up your bum.
I sat down at my computer today after texting back and forth with a friend about the rabbit holes we go down sometimes. I have always loved to write. I love writing. Now, writing is not my job, nor do I think it will ever be. However, writing is what sets my soul on fire. My job as a speech-language pathologist is my passion but writing is what makes my heart beat fast while simultaneously providing a sense of calm and purpose. I’ve been wanting to write more as I’ve entered this new season in my life (more on that later). I keep telling myself to write and others keep pushing me to write as well. “UGH, what in the heck do I write though? What do I have to say that’s worthy of writing down?” So I did what any sensible millennial adult would do and asked Google. I typed into Google “how to figure out what to write about”. Truly. You can’t make this stuff up, friends. I clicked the first link. It mentioned something about answering one simple question. Isn’t that what Google is best for? Quick fixes? Still waiting for Google to give me the quick way to have Cameron Diaz’s body with Natalie Portman’s face, but hey, that’s a story for another time. Anyways, I skimmed through the article because, like, how dumb is it that someone who loves writing as much as I do would have to ask Google how the hell to figure out what to write about. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Blah, blah, blah. Ah yes, there was the question that will help me figure out what to write down. “What have you been avoiding?” Messiness, I answered to myself. What the hell? Messiness? No, no. I had bigger beasts to slay. Grief. My journey with my faith. My recent relationship ending. My trust issues. My self-confidence. These were the monsters in my life, not messiness.
What did messiness mean anyways? I mean, my apartment is messy. Am I avoiding cleaning my room? Well, yeah. I’ve never cleaned my room. Is that what I’ve been avoiding? Am I supposed to write about my lack of desire to clean? Because, friends I am not one of those “cleaning soothes me” people. Cleaning pisses me off. I digress. I needed to know what this messiness was that I was avoiding. Then I remembered what a coach of mine said to me during my collegiate volleyball days. “Dani, you like things to be just right.” I remember shrugging that off because, well, I didn’t really understand it. That statement has stuck with me years after she said it and today, it helped me realize what I am supposed to write about.
I can assume I’ve probably always had this desire to keep my life (not my room, remember) looking neat and tidy. I can pinpoint where I think it became an actual problem. We’ll get to that later. I’ve had two serious relationships end in the past two years. You know what I heard most after news of the breakups got around? “I had no idea you guys were having problems.” Well, no kidding, I’d think to myself. I don’t air out my dirty laundry to the rest of the world. I prided myself on that. I told people that as if it were something to brag about. But was it? Nobody knew how sad I was or how lonely I was feeling because I didn’t tell anyone. What I thought was something to be proud of is something I’m realizing has confined me to things and/or people that are no longer serving me. My refusal to “get messy” has held me back in my adult years. Has it ruined my life? Nope. Has it ruined relationships? Not really. What it has done is ensured that I will keep people at an arm’s length and I will never fully embrace and love myself. It has portrayed to others that I am not struggling or even worse, that I have it all together. Fun fact: nobody has it all together, especially the girl that looks like she does. By portraying this to others, the expectations were set high. Dani was struggling in a class? Oh crap, now everyone should panic. Dani, you’re late? Wait, are you feeling okay? Dani, you’re not all smiley and bubbly, everything okay? Yeah, I’m fine, I often say while the voice inside my head screams “no, I’m sad. I am hurting. I am struggling.” Are these expectations others have of me real? Hardly. I think they’re self-inflicted expectations that I assume others have of me, because I have them of myself.
As I’m writing this, I feel my shoulders tense and my heart squeeze. This is hard. I am fearfully walking through this process with the hopes that it will help make the rest of my life better and help me tear down walls, let people in, and embrace the messy, sinful human I am. It’s not easy to look in the mirror and point out all that’s screwed up about you, especially when you refuse to accept the messiness that is life. Spoiler alert: everyone’s life is messy.
I haven’t the slightest clue what the content of this blog will be. I think it will end up being purely therapeutic for me and to me, that’s a successful blog. If you’ve made it this far into the post, thank you. I’ll gladly be a writer that never shares a thing, but man is it something special to share my words with others.
I anticipate this blog will have a lot of word vomit about my life as an SLP, a Christian, a woman, a CrossFitter, a human. I want this blog to be real—I want it to be messy.