I don’t know if it’s the fact that I just binged watched all 6 seasons of Girls, or that I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks, specifically things in the Rachel Hollis genre. Or maybe it’s just that I have had a lot of introspection over the last couple of months and a lot of wine this evening. Apparently, it’s not enough for me to write endless social media captions for my business or papers for grad school. Believe it or not, despite what you might think of my shy demeanor in person, I have a lot to say. Regardless, instead of just writing it as a note on my phone, I’m going to write it here, just like I intended when I revived this blog almost a year ago.
When I was growing up, my grandparents always knew everything that I had done wrong- or at least that they deemed wrong. Let me clarify that when I was in high school the worst thing I ever did was send instant messages of a sexual nature to a guy I liked. Not photos, just words that implied that I was down to maybe play with his penis a little. Looking back, it was ridiculous. The only party I ever went to with alcohol was on graduation night and I left in an hour because I felt uncomfortable.
I was a freaking saint.
But I drove over the speed limit and I didn’t care about getting straight A’s and I talked back. They would always ask me about whatever it was they already knew I had done wrong and if I came clean about the thing, they were still furious with me, and equally as mad when I lied to them. There was no winning. I got in just as much trouble for a lie as I did the truth.
In college, when I had sex for the first time, my grandmother found out by reading my diary over summer break. I was 18 when I lost my virginity and apparently I thought this legal adulthood equated to a level of privacy I had not experienced as a child. It did not. Only a couple of weeks had gone by of summer break, when my grandmother sat me down and asked me if there was anything I wanted to tell her. I said no. Then she started asking about things between me and my then boyfriend. She point blank asked if I had had sex and my response was that it was none of her business. She kept pushing until I told her no I hadn’t. We both knew it was a lie. At that point, she told me she had read my journal “thinking it was a scrapbook”, which really just made us both liars.
Anyway, where am I going with this? Oh yes, integrity. After college, I learned quickly that in life, being honest is always the best option for one simple reason: Integrity. Even if that honesty gets you in trouble, you haven’t compromised your integrity. For me, I would rather be my authentic self even if that means people might be turned off by me, even if that means that the “cool kids” won’t like me or I have to admit that I totally fucked up. Owning your mistakes is far more impressive than crafting a good excuse in my opinion.
I think this shift really began when I was getting divorced. Yall I was a fucking mess. But I was too exhausted to hide it. Once I showed people that I was completely falling apart, my truest friendships were formed. The more honest I was, the better I felt and the deeper my friendships grew.
In business, I am always trying to do my best, but the fact is, sometimes I make mistakes. I have learned to own those mistakes and deal with whatever repercussions come with them. Because one thing I am just not willing to compromise is my values. I don’t have time for it. Instead of finding excuses for the mistake, I look for solutions. When you can own your mistakes but in the same sentence find a solution for the issue, I think it shows that you are a good human. That you don’t want to just be perceived as perfect, but instead are more comfortable being seen as someone who will always show integrity, even through imperfection.
We all want to show the world just how good we are doing, We all want people to like us. We all want to have our shit together. But honestly, we’re all just trying to do the best we can and the truth is, your best won’t always be enough- and that is totally okay. Own that. Owning and learning from failures and missteps gets you closer to success faster. If you never fail, you don’t really grow. But worse yet, if you pretend not to fail, you are actually moving backward. People catch on to untruths. Rebuilding trust is hard.
When a vase gets broken, you might be able to glue it back together but its never going to exactly the same again. There will be little chips in the glass that are lost. The same is true about trust in relationships. When you break it, there are little pieces you can never get back.
My point, own your gloriously flawed self. Own your mistakes. Own that you don’t have all the answers. Own that you are basically a total mess and you. And own when you are a total badass too. It’s okay to fail and to truly succeed.