I really have one resolution this year. It's different than before. Most of my resolutions tend to have to do with weight or writing. I'm really hung up on that W.
This year, I'm switching lower into the alphabet and going to Honesty.
I don't lie. I never have, really. White lies when I was younger and I always lie about being late but besides that I'm honest to a fault. EXCEPT when it comes to the things I don't say.
I don't say a lot because of how I will be perceived from the outside world. I am trying in some ways to build a brand. This means I'm often censoring myself in the real world and online. It is absolutely exhausting to be worried about something that does not even exist. A fake image. A cardboard cutout of who I want people to think I am.
I just don't care anymore.
Someone in my M.F.A. program stood up and said that you don't always feel good after you speak out but that doesn't mean you should stop. It's the same with therapy and working out, directly after you feel kind of like a chewed up piece of gum. Then, days and weeks later, the true physical and mental healing can begin. I'm going to be honest because I feel weighed down with all the heaviness life hurls at you. I'm going to be honest because I am sick and tired of caring what other people think about me.
I care. I do. But it doesn't matter. I know who I am and I cannot control what other people think about. I'll say it louder. I cannot control what you think about me. I can only be myself and hope that brings out good thoughts from you. Something I have realized in the past few years, is that other people's perceptions of my kindness, my problems, and my life is more of a commentary on them than me.
So let me list all the things I would like to talk about but don't:
1) Teaching - there are one million reasons I don't talk about teaching. It's painful to talk about a job where children are being so let down. I'm not sure if I'm somehow people will think that I'm taking advantage of my job as an educator. I am afraid to talk about race which is a big part of my job and something I would want to do eloquently because it's important and I think we live in a time where so many people are both willingly and unknowingly ignorant about race. I don't talk about teaching because there is an incredible amount to talk about.
2) My family - See last line above.
3) My boyfriend - He hates oversharing. Most likely because he is Irish and a ginger and hates a lot of things. Like people and cats. Kind of kidding about the people part. However, when he met me I was writing dating articles and was extremely honest about myself, so .. I guess you get what you pay for.
For my final project in my international writing class I wrote a very honest, almost brutally so, essay about my father. My boyfriend was aghast. "You can't turn that in. You practically accuse him of murder." I was nonchalant. I shrugged. "It's a story. I'm a story teller. It's what I do and besides, if he was here to defend himself, I would have written the same exact thing."
It's true. I would have.
I felt completely drained after I read that essay to my class because although honesty is empowering, it is dangerous. There is a definite advantage in keeping truths to yourself. That advantage is that nobody can hold them over you. Nobody can pretend that by having the private details of your life, they somehow have control. I have always been told, the more people know about you, the more they will try to use that against you.
I guess what I'm saying is "go ahead."
Use it against me.
I'm not perfect. Far from it. I forget to shave my legs a lot. Okay, that is a lie. This is about honesty. I do not forget to shave my legs. I purposefully postpone the process because It seems like a lot to have to do all that bending. I definitely don't arrive to the airport on time. The trash does not go out every week. I do a lot of things well and a lot of things not so well.
This year I vow that I'm going to be honest, even when it feels gross, even when I look fat, even when my boyfriend isn't the best boyfriend, and even when all the filters in the world don't fix those tiny little wrinkles that are being born into existence, marking the truth: my twenties are so nearly dead.
Honesty is important in this era of fake. Fake news. Fake people. Fake photos.
Cheers to 2019 and CHEERS to the truth,
What you'll find here:
A Dash Of Motivation
Emily Ann Hansen
I'm a writer and teacher living in Baltimore City. I'm originally from Chicago. I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Fiction. Instead of babbling, I will list a few of the things in life that make me happy: