Being Real

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

There are two kinds of bloggers I hate.

The perfect ones–

and the perfectly awful ones.

The former never have a problem, float through life, always seem perfectly in control, always have a perfectly spiritual answer to everything that comes up.

The latter have lives composed of nothing but problems–they go where they’re thrown by circumstances. They emote directly into their posts and never self-edit. Their blogs are full of disappointment and venom and angst.

I have too much pride (and desire to stay employed) to be the latter, so I choose to self-edit. I write about my frustrations, but not in my frustration. I try to be wise with what details I share. I wait until I’ve cooled down to write.

But as a result, I fear my blog occasionally gives the impression that I’m the former–that I’ve got it all together. Sure, I talk about problems, but always in the past tense. I fear I’m like one of the small group members John Acuff lampoons on Stuff Christians Like for confessing “safe sins”:

“Someone will say, “I need to be honest with everyone tonight. I need to have full disclosure and submit myself in honesty. Like ODB from the Wu-Tang Clan, I need to give it to you raw!” So you brace yourself for this crazy moment of authenticity and the person takes a deep breath and says

“I haven’t been reading my Bible enough.”

So, just in case I haven’t been real enough, I’m ready to share a less-stellar, but really real incident that occurred about a week ago.

I intended to set up my computer, enter some grades, then go to sleep. Two hours later I couldn’t get connected to the internet, whatever I did. It felt like the end of the world.

I’d been doing some reupholstering of my computer chair since my computer was taking forever trying to connect to the internet–but one thing kept going wrong after another. The axle slipped from my hand and left a grease stain on my carpet. I was tacking in the new fabric and repeatedly hammered my finger and thumb. Then I couldn’t get the newly upholstered piece back into place. My screwdriver slipped and I gouged my hand. I was alone and I yelled my “ARGGH!” through clenched teeth into the empty house.

Now I’m crying again, bawling with anger, snot running down my face.

It’s not fair, I tell myself, the world, God, anyone who might be listening. It’s not right. Why does life have to be so hard? Why can’t anything go right.

I can’t handle it, I say, enumerating what must be done. Grading to finish and grades to enter–except, oops, my computer won’t connect to the internet. A lab practical to write and study tips to give my students. A shopping trip to complete, an angel food cake to bake, a lecture and a quiz to write. Don’t know how I’m gonna get that all done, seems how I don’t have the internet on the computer that has all my class files.

And then there’s the work I still need to finish up at my other job–sometime before I leave for Lincoln. I can’t work from home just now, since I can’t get internet on that computer. And there’s the matter of the house I have to get clean before Wednesday–the house I’ll now be cleaning with bruised and bloodied hands.

Lovely.

My self-pity goes further–I dredge up all the unfairness of this last year, of the choices that others have made that have impacted me greatly, of the hopes raised just to be dashed.

I write in my journal that I quit.

I can’t do it. I can’t. I really, really can’t. It’s too much. I can’t handle it. I need a break, I need some sleep. I need life to stop being so stinkin’ unfair–Yeah right. I don’t see that happening. You know that old saying, “Life isn’t always fair?” It doesn’t go far enough. Life’s never fair.

I hate it.

I really wish I could quit.

But I can’t. URGGHHHHH!

That was after I’d cooled down considerably, by the way.

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Reader Comments (8):

  1. I think there can actually be a lot of very good and valid reasons for some bloggers not to show “weaknesses” on their blog. Esp. on a public blog when you sometimes either know or don’t know who is reading (and either/or can cause you grief.) There are reasons to be careful, and since I know that no one is perfect, I never assume people have it all together. I just figure that blogging is a good way to be introduced, and e-mails and letters are a better way to learn.

    Just sayin’…..I don’t share a whole lot of weakness and I have some darn good reasons why.

    • bekahcubed says:

      You’re absolutely right, Carrie, there are plenty of reasons why bloggers don’t share all their weaknesses. I recognize that–and perhaps I should have clarified what I meant by those “perfect” bloggers.

      It’s one thing to purposely limit the scope of your blog away from more personal topics (which is how I feel Reading to Know works.) On the other hand, I used to read certain Mommy Bloggers that I eventually got fed up with because they represented their lives as perfect and acted like they had parenting and home education and home management and you name it down–and were always giving advice on just about everything. It drove me nuts–like, just admit that there’s something you don’t know!

      For my part, I think I do go into personal topics–and do quite a bit of “preaching”– here on bekahcubed; so I want to be careful that I’m not pretending that I’ve got everything all together.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for sharing! It is hard to find those who are “real” in the midst of false fronts. There is a hard balance between sharing enough and not too much. I think sometimes it is pride preventing from sharing the weaknesses and failures-at least in my own case. However, if shared, God can use all for His glory and to encourage others.

  3. But there isn’t anything I don’t know.

    ;D haha.

    Yes, I see your point and I agree with you there.

    There is a reason I write about books. I’d LOVE to be more personal but I’m actually unable to. So I throw in a bit here and there but I do tend towards not mentioning bad days, etc. Sure they exist though. I think a pure mommy blog would be interesting. And I have no IDEA what I would say because, as you say, who has it all together? No one.

  4. Anna says:

    I’m so glad that the internet was fixed simply and your grading is almost over and the house did get clean!

  5. Anne says:

    I know what you mean about ones who seem to have it totally ‘together’. I feel such a failure when I read them! But – you know what?… I am who I am – it doesn’t mean I don’t try and improve where I ought to (and there are plenty of areas I need to improve on, I can assure you) – but in the end, we have to balance between being content not only with what we have, but with who we are, and – on the other hand – aim to be better Christians, mothers, wives, friends etc. I write a mixture, I think, but I’m not sure I feel in a position to give advice. Eeek – too far to go myself, I think! x

  6. I do NOT have anything “all together” and if I ever EVER give that sort of impression you have my permission to shoot me a disciplinary email. In love, of course. ;-)

    I like bloggers that are real. Real in their joys, real in their passions (like Carrie and books, for instance), real in their struggles, real in their desire to live for the Lord (or, not, as the case may be).

    Thank you for this real post!

  7. Monica says:

    THANK YOU! Some times I follow a blog for awhile and it will make me feel totally inadequate as a wife and mother. I don’t quite measure up to what others expect me to be. “Life is wonderful” and I am screwed up because mine isn’t always a walk in the park. And I’m a pastors wife. Aren’t I supposed to have all the answers and do everything perfectly?! Thanks for being real. I love your blog and your family looks like a great place to be!

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