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keeping it real

I’ve had a lot of great conversations lately with people who, like us, struggle to understand how other people are “getting through” with seemingly so much more panache, or grace, or even just without scmootz on their blazer…

Here’s what I actually think: they are not real.

They are our perception, or a delicately built facade meant to impress us – either way – why are we so interested?  Common – you know you ‘re interested too.  You’re supposed to be in bed/at work/paying attention at that dinner party but you are trolling google to read more, or can’t stop thinking about that person – and how they do it all.

And then there are the people who would never admit to being interested – whether it’s for lack of time, interest or because they are that self-fulfilled.  Are they for real?

I don’t understand why we have this built in fear of what everyone will think.  It’s so powerful.  It shapes so much; our response, our choices and ultimately the mask we put on for the world.  Whether it means not admitting to that time we forgot to pick up our kid, or the time we lost it and cried in the bathroom for an hour, put a cup of salt in the soup instead of a tablespoon, bombed a presentation, or went for an epic drive to try to see if one really could just run away… Or that we only post on facebook when things are super fabulous, when we won the race, had perfectly polished kids, or an amazing vacation.  Why do we do it? I know I’m totally guilty.

And yet when I laugh with my sister about my little blog with no commenters where I spill my guts to an audience of 6 – she admits to me that she’d never put so much of her life ‘out there’ for judgement.  Colleagues and friends say very similar things – they have these brilliant ideas, robust lives and real experiences – but only the pretty is shared on facebook, instagram and email.  It might be because these people have more respect for your time, and don’t want to bore you – but I think it’s much deeper than that.  I think there is a fear of what you’ll think….

Do you think you’re better than me because I spell poorly? Because I place high value domestic efforts? Because we had 3 kids within 17 months?  More importantly … who are you and why do I care so darn much what you think?

I care.  Not because I want to – but it’s just a part of my dna.   I have those vacation photos and pretty kid shots on f/b because I want to share that wonderful part of my life with you.  And because I care I have grown to respect the real people SO much more.  The friend who looks like she’s got it all figured out, and is not at all afraid to share she doesn’t.  The stranger who doesn’t offer advice or a judgemental eye when I’m struggling to get my screaming kid out of the grocery store, but instead chooses to give me a smile and say ‘been there – you’ll get through it’.  The senior leader who admits to the failings in her personal life as the expense she was willing to pay (at the time) for her success in business.  The quiet clever colleague who has the whole mess figured out but doesn’t need to stand on anyone elses’ back to proclaim it.  You are the person I choose to respect and admire.  Your honesty and compassion and humility is refreshing and inspiring.

So, tonight I raise a glass to the ones who keep it real (and in the spirit of that I’d admit that said ‘glass’ is actually a spoon full of chocolate icecream).  Thank you.  You inspire me to try, and to be a little less afraid of what everyone will think when I do.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anonymous #

    Love this Ker!

    April 23, 2014
  2. Gloria #

    Kerri, just read latest blog….girl you got it right . It is all a facade . No one copes as well as they seem to. And the ones looking the best are spending the most time making it look that way. You two are the masters of coping. Now cut yourselves some slack. Please do what makes you happy. If that is playing with those wee babes good. If that means you want and take some me time … that’s not wrong and those wee ones will be better for it. You have nothing needing proving . Why are you so interested in what other say think do? Because that is our programming. Now just accept you will question periodically…. find you more than measure up and keep on moving forward. Remember… If you ask yourself the questions you see in others eyes and your answer is fully satisfactory for you…… Enough said. Doubt is what keeps us on track. At those times drill down and know that your truth is all that matters. Those who love you will always be there to help guide you if you lose the way at times.

    Know that you …and your wee family …. are OK. Love, G

    Gloria Buschel (Sent from my iPad )


    April 23, 2014
    • Lorraine #

      Well said!

      April 24, 2014
  3. Lorraine #

    I am proud to be 1 of your 6. Thoroughly enjoyed this post – emotive and real. Cheers to keeping it so. And, I’m using a real glass of yummy red…not ice cream.

    April 24, 2014
  4. Julie E #

    Wow Kari – you hit the nail right on the head. I am sitting in a hotel room tonight my third night away from home and my second work trip in 2 weeks and am reflecting on how to make it all work, career, family. I actually unfriended a good friend today from Facebook as I felt so awful every time she would post about her beautiful children and how well they got along, all the wonderful activities and volunteering they do and the awesome outfits they wear. Never once did I see a post on how they kids won’t wear anything other than mismatched leggings and tops that are too small, how trying to get them to brush their hair so they don’t look like a deranged cave girl, or how their pre-teen has discovered how to talk back, and is embarrassed by her parents. I love this friends and her wonderful girls, but it is so discouraging! Why do we only talk about the good things our kids do? Why don’t we share the trials and tribulations of parenthood and support one another instead of trying to create the facade of the perfect family? I spend a great deal of time pondering this – I do have a handful of good friends that we can be “real” with one another and discuss our failures and disappointments as parents and support one another and for this I am very lucky and thankful. I am happy to see that I am not alone in this feeling – thank you for you honest blog 🙂

    April 24, 2014
    • thank you so much for the note, Julie. I always recall you having tiny babes in our time working together and my always trying to piece together how you did it all. I love and share all your questions, I likely also share a few similar photos of cuties in shrunken ‘belly’-tops with faded stains and mid-matched leggings with giant snorting laughter…not on facebook – but those are some of my favorite happy moments. thanks for reminding me to celebrate those ones more!

      April 24, 2014
      • Julie E #

        Just realized that spell checked picked up the wrong spelling for your name – my apologies! Would love to get together and catch up sometime.

        April 24, 2014
  5. This blog is so amazing and deserves eyeballs. Just to keep it real, today a colleague picked something off my butt. I told her it was banana. I think it was banana. I hope it was banana.

    Sometime (read: everyday) I let Mini watch The Doodlebops over and over again because it makes the tantrums go away.

    Our house is embarrassingly messy, we’re homeless in two weeks because we can’t afford our next house.

    I have no clue what to do with my unruly child that loves to hit and refuses to sleep past 4am, and I’ve written several blogs breaking down that I can’t do this anymore and I’ve deleted them all before I post.

    You, Kerri, have always been a mentor to me and you always will be. You are amazing, talented and gorgeous. I read your blogs, even with the bad days, and feel like I could never achieve or create what you have.

    Your blogs are very much appreciated and looked forward to.

    April 24, 2014
  6. wow. thank you for the wonderful comments! blown away. I almost didn’t post this for a whole day. so glad i did, and so appreciate that you feel the same way sometimes (it was totally banana Kel). Going to grab that glass of wine now – with a big smile thanks to you. And I think this makes 7 readers – so yay!

    April 24, 2014
  7. Eryn #

    Make that 8 🙂

    April 26, 2014
    • thanks Eryn – it’s fun that you read it – I look forward to hearing about all the adventures you and Steph are up to with the kids!

      May 1, 2014

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