An Honest Confession

Call it narcissism, pride or just the plain, old fear of humiliation… but I have been withholding information. Real-life information that I could be writing about instead of waiting for either divine inspiration or for Lee, the neighbors or Stanley the cat to do something blog-worthy.

I have shared all sorts of embarrassing, self-deprecating information here but for reasons that I am not entirely sure of, I have been avoiding the subject that is probably weighing the heaviest on my mind as of late. My job search. I HATE looking for a job. I know, who in their right mind enjoys it anyway, right? But seriously… I really do hate it. And I feel like I have had a lot of experience in this arena, given that I have moved exactly four times in seven years.

I am frustrated that my phone is not getting blown up by every ad agency, retailer, newspaper, magazine, publisher or corporation to which I have sent my resume. But every day as I ritualistically rush to open my email, checking for word that I am indeed the most desirable graphic designer in the Greater Columbus area… Lee reminds me that I’ve been looking for less than two months (to be exact) and that I WILL find something when the time is right. He also smiles, tells me to stop worrying and chill… And then we watch the latest episode(s) of Wicked Tuna on Nat Geo or Real Time with Bill Maher. Thankfully, Lee is the calm and cool to my cracked-up and crazy.

Even though it has taken me exactly 258 words thus far to get to the REAL point of this post, I felt it was imperative to share with you my heartfelt frustration over the job search and just get that part out of the way. See, this entry is not actually about my feelings over the failure to secure kickass employment at the moment. But rather about WHY it is I’ve been so reluctant to share those feelings at all.

I guess it is one thing to share a story about the simultaneous appearance of acne AND crow’s feet or how I managed to ruin something as culinarily simple as mac and cheese. But it is entirely DIFFERENT to write about something of actual concern to me. There really isn’t all that much fun in appearing weak or vulnerable and admitting that something actually (and not in a fun way) kind of scares you.

I think the biggest reason that I’ve been afraid to put my admissions of fear “out there” for the world to read is that, as a woman (sorry ladies for what I’m about to say… but it is often true) I have been party to juicy conversations, discussions, gossip-fests, etc. regarding the misfortunes of others. For reasons somewhat unbeknownst to me, other people’s misfortune can oftentimes be a source of happiness to some.

Now, I’m sure there are deep-seated sociological and psychological implications in said behavior such as finding one’s own worth to be greater only when basking in the blueish cast of another’s less-than-stellar circumstance. I’m sure it’s quite similar to what your mother taught you about people who try to keep other people down in order to build themselves up. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that it is there. And that has been enough. Enough for me to be hesitant in sharing the truth about a real concern regarding my future.

Yet my hope in writing this is to once and for all peel back the covers on my own insecurity, step in front of anyone—friend or foe—who may or may not have my best interests at heart… and keep right on writing anyway. I’ve been withholding now for far too long.

Some Truth About Honesty

I have never regretted anything I have not said.

Words to live by. As a talker, this mantra has proved invaluable to me… and would be even MORE beneficial if only I practiced it all the time… every single day of my life.

We are raised on the principle that honesty is the best policy. That damage can be minimized—if not altogether avoided—by simply telling the truth… all the time… to everyone… about everything. If we would just tell the truth, everything will be better.

The truth shall set you free. Right? Another popular one. We are taught to believe that shining the light of truth on things will invariably and inevitably fix them. However, I am learning that this “honesty policy,” so deeply ingrained in us, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Trust me. I know. I have told the truth… the whole truth… and nothing but the truth many times in my life operating under the false assumption that it will make everything better, only to discover—through devastation of epic proportion—that I should have kept my damn mouth shut.

Now, before you go on thinking that this is an endorsement for lying and dishonesty, let me clarify. I am referring to the things that we DO NOT NEED TO SAY, rather than saying false things. There is a big difference. As a compulsive talker and an obsessive clearer-of-the-air, I cannot begin to tell you how many times telling someone exactly what is on my mind has come back to bite me in the ass.

I have done it in all areas of my life, and in all areas of my life it has—on more than one occasion—backfired. Big time. Just because it pops into my head or is nagging at me or causing me to toss and turn at night, doesn’t mean that I must spew forth the thoughts (no matter how true) like word vomit all over the intended target or anyone who will listen.

Sometimes “holding your cards close to the vest” or “not revealing your hand” or practicing the “silence is golden” rule really is the better option, even if it means that you are occasionally guilty of the sin of lying by omission.

Think before you speak… because on now and then… honesty is not always the best policy.