If one woman told the truth…

Screen shot 2013 12 22 at 5.44.28 AM If one woman told the truth...

Muriel Rukeyser‘s quote has been on my mind.

It’s rattled around my head as Ive read posts & articles about FAKEBOOKing and artfully arranged Instagram photos designed to create a veneer of perfection which will elicit envy from others.

I dont wholly agree with the assertion these writings are intended to make others covet perfect lives—often, I believe, they’re as much for creator as viewer.

Done by people in an effort to manufacture for *themselves*, too, the reality they WISH existed.

I view it as more as a form of self-deception than anything else.

Regardless of intent, these writings and photos *and* status-updates wear a thick layer of fabrication.

This year was not what Id hoped.

And, since my forties have brought about a filter-free me,  Im confident anyone who knows me (virtually or in “real” life) is aware of that fact.

For reasons Im quite willing to share—yet cannot yet place into words—Ive struggled.

Although I often failed to be *able* to express my under-the-surface struggles, I know no other way than to tell the truth about my life.

I cannot pretend (for you. for myself.) everything! always! rocks!

I’m incapable of doing anything but living my truth.

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life is gets messy here.

I’m unable to create an outward persona of I’m so awesome I rock my own face off! while quietly falling apart below the surface.

Muriel Rukeyser’s quote has been on my mind.

There was chatter last month about choosing a word for this year’s backdrop.

Selecting one word to serve as reminder of what we aspire to and what’s important to us in the 365 days to come.

In the past Ive chosen RUN or CLARITY and, last year, went rogue and selected an entire phrase (we can all see how well that went down).

I had no plans to join in the word-picking.

I spent time reworking mission statements and the thought of *one* word felt stifling not empowering.

Muriel Rukeyser’s quote has been on my mind.

I thought of all the amazing women in my life and how we’re *all* striving to be more kind to ourselves.

I daydreamed how the world really might split wide open if we were candid about our struggles & the unspoken truths of our lives and rallied to support each other rather than tear each other down.

Or always pretend everything is always OK.

20131221 054555 If one woman told the truth...

(thanks to Diets in Review for creating)

My word for this year is truth.

  •  It’s about blogging my truth.
  • It’s about staying truthful to my path/the person I’m working to become.
  • It’s about remaining committed telling the truth about fear & challenges which accompany me as I leap into the unknown.
  • It’s about realizing and celebrating with truth comes stronger and more authentic connections.

It really *is* too damn exhausting to try and be anyone else other than who you are.

What would happen if one woman an entire Tribe told the truth about their lives?

I can only hope the world would split wide, fantastically, and authentically open. 

I’m ready.

Are you?

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Comments

  1. says

    Bravo! I love the idea of everyone jumping on that bandwagon. I think your word unknowingly is also lead, b/c you are a leader by example.

  2. Wendi says

    This is why I keep coming back to your writing.
    You tell the truth.
    You are willing to split wide open.
    I am trying to get there, too.

  3. says

    Authenticity draws me into people- and I strive to live an authentic life as well. Love your word choice- you do it so well, and this is a great reminder for all of us to be real and vulnerable!

  4. says

    I agree that ultimately, all this embellishment is SELf-deception!

    We are trying to feel good about ourselves, and sometimes, retelling the story in nicer-than-reality words (or nicer-than-reality pictures) really helps!!! LOL

    There’s a balance to find between self-depreciation and making up a life that isn’t ours. :-)

    Nice post!

  5. says

    The biggest compliment anyone can give me is to tell me that my blog IS me. Some days rock, some days suck. The beauty of life, right? ;)

    I feel as though I would say the same about you. I cannot imagine you being ANY different than what you present. So that’s awesome.

  6. says

    i’m in and loved your year. Although it didn’t go as “planned” for you, that’s why it’s good. It kept you UBER real and GROWING. And for me, i saw that and APPRECIATED your raw-ness.
    TRUTH!

  7. says

    I think most people present a veneer of their lives rather than the truth. Whether telling it like it is would be valuable, I’m not sure. I probably feel it is, knowing my style, but I do know one thing, it ain’t gonna happen!

  8. says

    Great post. And I’ve become (almost) filter-free in my 40s.

    I am not 100% sure if its self-deception. The truth is, I try to stay positive and focus on the positive things in my life. And, I try to foster as much positive influence in the world as possible. Bothin incoming and outgoing :) That said, I don’t hide the crap when it hits – ala being laid off in Sept after 9 years. I also received a LOT of support from “the community” in 2011/2012 when I tweeted/posted about my sister’s near death and being in the hospital for two years. HOWEVER …. I also noticed a tremendous falling off of engagement after about 2 weeks of that. People don’t want to talk about it, confront it, or hear about it.

    So, I think a healthy mix of honesty and positivity is what we need in our lives. Don’t sugar coat the rough stuff, but stay focused and create more of the good stuff!

  9. says

    YES!!! I was noticing the other day a girl that I work out with and the way her pictures make her look completely different…what’s wrong with the way you look in person? As always this is a post of fresh air!!

  10. Ida says

    I think my world would split wide open and I wonder if it would be good?
    I have a carefully constructed image I present.
    It isn’t all of me :/

  11. says

    I love this. I’ve found that when I’m honest on my blog about the way things are, I’m more honest with myself and in real life too. Truth is a great word and I do hope 2014 is better for you!

  12. says

    I know this year was tough for you, that it did not go as planned but I know you & you survive & this posts shows that – I love that…

    You also know that although I don’t hide me – I do NOT filter my gym pics as I cut off my head… I say things are tough, money is tough, I have made many mistakes.

    I don’t say all that turmoils within me – not sure I can right now. I don’t think people want to hear this quite honestly as they are too busy saying that we can overcome all… workouts/fitness is an area I can excel at overcoming but the personal crap & the mess I made out of the financial situation – well, not sure I can share that.. just trying to pick up the pieces if I can without falling apart..

    HUGS Carla!

  13. says

    YES!! I do agree with Matthew that a healthy dose of looking at the positive is truly needed in this world. However, I am also the same person that pretends everything is okay and that I can do it all. I need to work on the balance of that. Ahh, that balance word comes up a lot for me.

  14. says

    Love this. We can all use more truth in life – not only in understanding that things aren’t always perfect and putting on a persona, but also in learning about who we truly are and honoring that.

  15. says

    Love this so much! I try to be as honest as possible. I hear ya on looking at Facebook and seeing how others lives just seem so perfect. It’s easy to portray that. But I don’t want to be that way. I’m not perfect…no one is. Great post Carla!

  16. says

    I think you know me well enough, and have read my blogs long enough, to know how raw my posts get in my effort to keep it real. I never saw the world split open. I did get a lot of criticism for being a “Debbie Downer”.

    As bloggers, we’re often “punished” for being honest (not that that ever stops me)… and perhaps it’s going to TAKE an entire tribe, not a few voices speaking into the media noise, to be heard.

  17. says

    I think people often don’t tell the truth because they view vulnerability as weakness or even shame. Shifting that view is really empowering and does “split the world open” or at least the person telling the truth, it splits it open so that you can finally be free. Freedom is power! Happy new year to you and yours Miz! I’m looking forward to following your journey in 2014 !

  18. says

    I love this. I have struggled with this, especially since getting sick and trying to be honest, but positive. As a blindingly optimistic person I really believe that putting out positivity spreads it to others. But not at the expense of honesty. Sometimes the bad and good come and hearing how other people I admire and have gotten to know through the webworld deal with life lets me know they’re real too. I started blogging to have a place to just speak and babble and vent.
    I too am looking forward to sharing your journey in 2014 :)

  19. says

    I have no filter. At. All. And sometimes I think it makes it hard to be my friend (online or real life). Do you ever feel/worry that being “unapologetically yourself” gives people the impression that you’re an elitist of some sort?

    I struggle with whether its better to add a filter, or keep the filter off and just change the delivery– which is hard to do in written format.

    Much to contemplate.

  20. MIZ says

    Do you ever feel/worry that being “unapologetically yourself” gives people the impression that you’re an elitist of some sort?

    Ive (been blogging about this all morning too! for next week and) actually found precisely the opposite.
    The more comfy I grow in my own skin and the more OK I am with who *I* am the more others feel at ease with me.

  21. says

    Hmmm. Food for thought. I always always put a positive spin on everything. Not because I want to be fake, but it’s how I survive. My word of the year is WERK. Seriously. Because my year is going to be filled with a whole lotta work, work, work. Hard work. But I welcome it, it’s everything I’ve always wanted, so it’s WERK. Lol. I don’t know, maybe I’m a fakebooker. I am trying with The Paleo Homestead to be honest and open about our whole process, but it will always have a positive spin because I used to have SUCH a negative bent I just don’t go there…rambling rambling. :)

  22. says

    LOVE this. And so true. Keep reading about social media phenomenon which makes people feel like their lives are inferior/not as good as other people because of what they see on social media. However, nobody shares pictures of themselves looking like hell or tweets about a big fight with their husband. It’s a little bit of the celebrity life, glamorized by everyday people.

  23. says

    Yes…? Ok, maybe. I think I try to be pretty honest, but I also don’t like to share a lot of the nitty gritty. Hmm. I must think about this some more.

  24. says

    I loved your post and it was particularly fascinating to read the comments and the various ways ‘truth’ is interpreted. For some it’s tell all, but not for others. We all have truths that are not what we’d hoped. It’s about learning and growth, right?

  25. says

    I like this a lot!

    I think I am honest with myself and others, but I also want my blog to be a place of positivity and inspiration for myself and others. There were some real struggles in my life last year that I didn’t blog about or mention anywhere, and I think people could easily assume that things in my life are a lot easier than they really are. I have to think about how to deal with this going forward…

    I know I have said this a thousand times, but you are ALWAYS an inspiration to me because you are YOU!

  26. says

    AMEN.

    while at the moment I feel I want only the fluff and ease after a year of being too real. I am one that does not share all, and I am still exhausted by what I did share (not necessarily in a bad way, I know it helped me!).

    I COMPLETELY agree with all of this. and no – being real does not = elitism, it breaks down those walls and brings comfort and relate-ability to others.

    a GREAT example of comfort and ability to relate: I belong to a group of women who get together for friendship, support, venting and career advice. Recently one brought up a BIG issue she was having, and we all gave her support around it. This made another open up about something she had been struggling with, and feels better to have ‘let that go’ with us.

    This could definitely be the start of something big and true and GOOD.

  27. says

    Truth. I like it.

    I think I tell the truth. I certainly don’t make an effort to put up fronts of “everything is ok” when it’s not. I do omit a lot on facebook because if I don’t, I get both sets of parents calling me with sympathy and questions and it’s a whole ‘nother issue that I don’t want to deal with.

    However, sometimes, maybe I convince myself I’m happier than I am because that’s where I am. That’s worth a think.

  28. says

    I am ready. The past 4 months have taught me a lot. About myself, my husband, and my friends. Some of it hurt and some of it was surprising, but it was real and that was what I needed. Cheers to 2014!

  29. says

    READY! I’ve promised to live my truth on my blog since I started it last May. I mean if I don’t do that then what’s the point? Thanks for starting the crack that will lead to the split!

  30. says

    I spent so many years living (pretending) to be something that I’m not. I was raised to believe that my real self wasn’t good enough and it was better to pretend.

    It is exhausting.

    I’m not going to say that I’ve learned to be authentic..but I’ve come a long way and I have no intention of NOT getting there.

  31. Mandy says

    I need to get back to blogging because, strangely, that’s where I can be honest. Too often in my real life I’m too busy supporting everyone else and trying not to make waves that I hold back and I’ve missing the freedom of blogging (of course, it’s only freedom while I’m anonymous!).

    So this year is the year I restart my blog because damn, there be a lot of SH!!T going down and I need to be free.

  32. says

    I think one of the best gifts we can give ourselves is unrelenting honesty. Where I stumble a bit is that the lens with which I view my life gets blurry sometimes. I frequently have to borrow Dr. Dyer’s question: “Is This True?” (from ‘Excuses Begone!’) to keep myself from getting too high in the clouds. Or too low in the other direction. :)

  33. says

    I love this!
    Growing up the only thing I really ever got in trouble for was lying – at the time I didn’t fully appreciate the lessons I learned as a result of that but as an adult I definitely have. I have never been able to tolerate fakeness or deception.
    I like your idea of it not just vein one woman but an entire tribe!

  34. says

    Truth — i love bottle raising orphaned kittens, and i also love the winter months when there aren’t any babies on the bottles. It’s nice to have a break from even doing what i love.

  35. says

    This has been on my mind a lot lately. I find myself editing myself on my blog more often than I should. I write a post but go back over and over again to “fix” it. I don’t want to offend anyone so I censor myself. I’m making this year more about letting my truth out rather than sugar coating it.

  36. says

    I always try to be open. Sometimes you can be too open on social media. Some things aren’t just meant to be shared. I actually much prefer to read about people’s foibles and how things didn’t work out, because that is so much more interesting than a perfect life.

  37. says

    I just shared via an Instagram challenge that “truth” is a word that I’ve tried to live by since taking my sorority pledge back in 2002. One of the lines from our creed is “to serve in the light of truth”. It’s funny how it’s stuck – and even gotten stronger since I started a serious yoga practice. It’s just a very good place to live from – it allows you to tap so much further into that person you’re really meant to be.

  38. says

    I think for the most part that people who present a 100% rosy picture of their lives don’t do it to create envy, but because they are unhappy, sad, lonely, whatever, but they aren’t ready to share it with the world. I believe in truth, but don’t always tell everything. For one thing, I have to respect the feelings of the other people in my life, who don’t always believe that “sharing everything” is a good thing.

  39. Andrea Barol says

    Mizfit- you are so real and so different and so easy to read. Really your words come at me in little staccato bursts, When i follow the link to your blog I hardly know I’ve read anything at all only that I find myself thinking in the same rhythm and instinctly picking up on your style. I think the word is unassuming and genuine, and of course.. It’s the honesty. You give your readers a moment when theyvdont know what you will say next – but everyone knows it’s gonna be good. Needless to say I was somewhat taken aback by this post. Muriel Rukheyser spoke of a different generation of women. And I’m not sure whether you simply struck a nerve with me or what. But I feel like i got trashed. Please know that many of us are following their own truths. There are many many of us today who have lived their lives as far out there as humanly possible.

    • MIZ says


      Thanks so much for this comment.
      I definitely had no trashing intent—more a call to action for those who are not (and I’m sure I’m one of them many days!) for us to all support each other.
      In a sisterhood.

      So glad you shared what you felt.

  40. AnnG says

    I think the thing I love most about you is your honesty! I never have to worry about what Carla is thinking, or is this for real? or how does she not get tired being so awesome? You just come out and tell it like it is. Life is tough, being a mom isn’t always a cake walk, sometimes you just wanna whine a little! I am blessed to call you a friend because of your honesty!! xoxoxo

  41. says

    This just sparked something in me, and I can’t put my finger on it – but just know that these words reached me, and I’m so ready. There has been way too much fake in my life, and I’m done with it.

  42. says

    As Grandma always says “honesty is the best policy”. I give my readers honest posts, reviews and my truth. Do I share all about my life and family trials and tribulations? No I don’t because my family didn’t sign up for that. I respect their right to privacy and only include photos or information that they give me permission to share. I do feel like there is a great deal of over sharing with all of the public forums available today. Where does one draw the line when it involves the young children who don’t have a choice about what is being shared about their private lives. I would love to read your thoughts about this.

  43. says

    Truth is hard but you express yours in a very wonderful way, Carla and it is inspiring.

    Although, my phrase for this year is “How am I going to be an optimist about this?”, I could only pick this phrase because I am so often the one that finds the struggle in things. I’d love to be a bit lighter, gentler and a better version of myself this year.

    I’ll continue to blog about this as well and I look forward to following your continued journey as well.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  44. says

    I recently read a book about being authentic…it’s not always easy to put ourselves out there in the “raw” so to speak, but we should!

  45. elchim says

    This just sparked something in me, and I can’t put my finger on it – but just know that these words reached me, and I’m so ready. There has been way too much fake in my life, and I’m done with it.

  46. says

    I love this so much! The feeling of inadequacy that comes along with seeing all of those photos and fb comments can really get to a person. We forget its a tiny glimpse into a 24 hour day. I am with you on living my truth it something that I do think 40 bring on if you’re open to it :)

  47. says

    Although not a pretender, my positive storytelling focus helps me to thrive and push through the muck of life. It’s an outlet for me. It’s self preservation. It’s an escape. Yet I’m a very open book about the greediness. Greedy Greedy Greeeeeeedy. Greedy NOMS, baby.

    Love you Miz. xo

  48. says

    Wow! This came up in conversation yesterday with a friend of mine – interesting coincidence!

    I don’t think I “fakebook,” but I do filter to some degree, I’d like to think with good intentions. But maybe there’s something in how we I write that’s comparable with how photographers work: their body of work that they share with the world is often only a small fraction portion of the shots taken. In my case, I have to try and pare it down, otherwise it’s snoozeville! ;-)

  49. says

    This is very true. I don’t tell the whole world about my life on Facebook, good OR bad, because I don’t need the whole world to know. I might mention things here or there, both ways, but personally I think social media has gotten out of hand. It’s almost like people think they need to prove something. But we don’t need to prove anything to anyone except ourselves…I think we’ve lost sight of that. And honestly, those people aren’t fooling anyone but themselves. My closest friends know what is going on in my life, warts and all, and my Facebook page is a happy medium.

  50. says

    Awesome post…. I post some stuff but not all because I either don’t want to be a downer (and it attracts to much attention) or I don’t want to appear to happy/perfect (as that’s definitely not the case in my life these days). So I’m brief.

  51. says

    Amen sister.
    Amen.
    I was told once that if anyone tries to sell you a perfect life, they’re full of s*ht.
    Nothing is sacred on my blog (within reason since some things are meant to remain offline). I found that opening up about my struggles with postpartum depression and then subsequently bipolar disorder and all that’s in between, I realized I wasn’t alone. People who I thought had it all really didn’t.
    God, if the world just said “Hey, sometimes I’m not ok and sometimes I wear pj’s two days in a row”…the world would open up. But the sad truth is, it won’t.
    So keep on posting your perfectly plump ass shots Kim Kardashian…
    I’m glad that you’re going to keep it real. You don’t know how many ears will listen, shake their heads in a agreement and really connect with you.

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