I Hope You’ll Know Me As I Really Am.

julettejoonengaged-094


Lately, I’ve been trying to be as super-vulnerable as possible, even if it looks inelegant and clumsy. Even unprofessional or unkempt. Even if it looks sort of crazy.

I don’t mean over-sharing or crossing boundaries or being silly for the sake of appearing relatable. I mean just saying exactly what’s going on inside. Every neurotic little twitch and concern. Every fear and hope and held-back giggle. What my needs are. All the conflicting emotions and motives. The whole mess of it, the gritty weird details down to the inner guts.

Sometimes in the middle of talking, I’ve been backing up and saying, “Actually, I didn’t mean that. I just said it because I was processing out loud and I sort of winged it right then. Or maybe I was trying to impress you. I really don’t know anything about what I just said.” I’ve been catching myself when I know I’m about to exaggerate or cover up. I’ve been rewinding myself when I might have said something sketchy or incomplete or disingenuous.

None of this is as romantic as it sounds. It feels like weakness and it’s painful. It’s a turn-off for most people when we’re this raw and naked. It’s also frustrating because everyone says they want this, but the second you try, you get burned badly with a door shut in your face. Authenticity is such a buzzword these days and we talk about being “true to yourself” and “real” all the time, but I’ve learned that most of us only accept a version of acceptability until it becomes inconvenient or annoying. Maybe we’re so used to maintaining a photoshopped exhibitionism that actual, sleeves-up honesty is frightening. We like the sound of realness until we’re actually there, and then we start calling that person a dork or a hipster or a show-off or “he been reading too many of them self-help pamphlets.”

It’s hard. It’s difficult to lower our guard and to be our slobbery, sloppy selves, at the risk of getting fired or looking incompetent or saying with aplomb, “I don’t know what’s happening right now and I’ve been making some of this up as I went along.”

But it’s exhausting to do all those loops of lies. I get tired of flexing fake strength all the time. I just want to say I’m scared sometimes. I want to say my heart is beating pretty fast and I might need you to come pick me up, and I don’t mean to be defensive but please let me explain the conflict inside before you judge me, because I do feel judged, and yes, it does hurt a little bit, and I’ve been losing sleep about some of these things, and I need your encouragement and a high-five and maybe some coffee right now.

I’m hoping you’d know me as I really am, is all.

J.S.

Photo by Angel He, from my engagement photos

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9 thoughts on “I Hope You’ll Know Me As I Really Am.

  1. Love this! I feel the same way, but I’ve learned to keep it inside and doubt myself more from criticism and judgment over the years… that’s why it’s so hard for people to be real. They are protecting themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes, that’s the unfortunate truth. Some will cry for authenticity, but shoot it down the second someone risks it. It’s the precious few who reward openness, no matter how slobbery it gets. If you’ve seen my ugly cry-face, we’re friends.

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  2. I think this is very well-said… Too many people are quick to judge others, when what we really need is a little bit of Grace – or a lot of Grace. All of us are hurting in some way, so rather than hurting others in order to make ourselves better, we should be showing them the love that we need.

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    1. Right on. Grace is harder, takes more investment, requires all of us to fight our initial judgments and to understand the whole story. I can see why grace is not always extended, because it cost more — but without it, we become so much less.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. J.S, your rare honesty is quite the inspiration and encouragement that I need to keep living life from a place of openness and authenticity and heartfelt introspection and conversation, even though it may initially not be the comfort zone that is so safe. But, freedom to live from that heartfelt place is worth far more than ‘safe’ or ‘labelled’ state. Be encouraged that you are not alone in this quest for freedom, and that your soul is made richer from living in this naturally-freeing place. Blessings! 🙂

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    1. Thank you Brendaline! I think working in the hospital has almost yanked me right out of safety. So many confess their regrets over words unspoken, how fears are almost silly in light of who we could be, if we were unabashedly ourselves. It’s hard, but I’d imagine harder living in a box that others told us to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow JS Park! Yes, definitely working in a hospital would uniquely allow for you to experience and empathize the gamut of raw human emotions — regret and fear ranking as the higher ones! I am glad you are able to provide comfort to those suffering with inner turmoil during their time of need and vulnerability. More so, I am glad that you too are able to gain comfort in light of the creation of your blog, the self-reflection and healing that words can do to and for the soul. Thank you for sharing your super-honest words of appeal with us. Continued blessings to you today, and everyday! 🙂 ~ Brendaline

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