I recently had someone challenge me on the WHY. Why blog Kate? Why take the time and pour yourself out there for everyone to see (ahem, I actually think it’s like for no people to see, love you all, thank you for continuing to read me, all 3 of you). Isn’t it just adding to your list of stuff to do? Isn’t it being a little bit self-serving to write all about YOU? And then…and how do you take the time to fill yourself back up after pouring it ALL out? How do you allow grace back in?
In this place, I have written a few (lots of) things about mommy-hood; about surgery and weird lumps in my neck; about being brave; about running– that people have responded to and been like YES, thank you for saying that, for telling your truth, cause mine is also a little lumpy and yelly. I have been surrounded lately by this narrative of women, these really powerful truth tellers who are like “LOOK AT ALL OF ME” not because they want a spotlight, but because they realized that there’s freedom in showing the world what’s hidden inside (ahem, In Other’s Words) and that very often, it’s way more powerful to go “off script” (Glennon, preach) and provide a place for other women to go “ME TOO.” The me-too’s are why I have been writing more lately. Why I finally pointed people to this little space of ours. The me too’s are the GRACE, they are the filling up.
There’s a moment between finishing pouring out all of me, right after clicking “share” that gets really silent and creepy. Like oh SHIT should I have said all of that? And then oh it wasn’t really THAT bad– it was only mostly crazy and truthy and out there. Crap, now they all know. And then women start saying, “ME TOO” and I can breathe again.
There are stories all over the place right now about Malala, and women apologizing to others about treating them poorly at work before they themselves were mommies, about “leaning in“, about MEN who lean in… it’s a buzzy time about women. It’s almost like it’s trendy again to be a woman (please note mild tone of snark). And to admit fault. To admit that we HAVE treated each other poorly. That we still don’t get paid enough. The world is LEANING IN all over the place… we should be like BOOM! That’s right! LEAN IN MOTHER-F-ERS! And yet, in small circles of daily interaction, there’s still this palpable feeling of needing to hold it all together: be skinny, be wise, make organic bento box lunches, be a master yogi, place in the 5k, get promoted, AND make wild, spontaneous love to your partner at least 3 times a week, because you are SUPER WOMAN. It’s like we feel we need to keep the world spinning by sheer force of woman and mommy will power alone– that’s a) impossible and b) freaking exhausting.
What if we all stopped for a minute? What if we all just sat and held space for each other? Listened to each other’s stories? REALLY HEARD our sisters?
For one thing, I got all weird and brave and auditioned (for the second year) for Listen to Your Mother here in Charleston. I don’t know if I’ll be cast; I wasn’t last year. But the power for me is in showing up and telling my story. That other women heard it and laughed a little, and nodded their heads in solidarity at the sad/scary/truthiest parts. I did a brave thing, which has a ripple effect in the world.
So, I am going to keep showing up for my friends. I am going to read their stories and cry and laugh with them. I am going to tweet the crap out of beautiful quotes and share their power with the world.
I am going to blurt out all the things right here. Cause dammit, you all said ME TOO.