• Kat G

My Journey to Transparent Living

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

“Transparency, transparent – jeeze Kat, this word is all over your page, but what the heck does that even mean?” Well nerd moment, according to Merriam-Webster -

Definition of transparency

1 : the quality or state of being transparent

2 : something transparent, especially a picture (as on film) viewed by light shining through it or by projection.

This makes me think of the old school

transparency sheets that our math teachers used to project up onto a white board or pull down screen from an overhead so they could work problems at the same time as we did at our desks. If you don’t know that reference little Gen-Z reader – it is what came before projectors and interactive smart boards.

But let’s be honest I’m not trying to bring back overheads or transparencies! So, I much prefer the second definition breakdown of the word transparent instead.

Definition of transparent

2a : free from pretense or deceit : FRANK

2b : easily detected or seen through : OBVIOUS

2c : readily understood

2d : characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.

It is funny because after reading this definition, I feel like on some level, I have always been transparent but the qualities in which my transparent nature expressed itself has shifted over time. When I was young, people would describe me as easy to understand or predictable. In some ways I was too openly soft and kind-hearted, so one of my best friends used to try to coach me on how not to be a doormat for people. So, while my younger self can really relate to 2b and 2c, now when I look at that definition, I see a reflection of who I am and the way I’ve chosen to live my life in the words, “free from pretense or deceit” and “characterized by visibility or accessibility of information”.

People often assume that if you are open, blunt, frank or easily read that you are bound to be taken advantage of and hurt. This can be true – and so often is; but I have found in my late 20’s that this only happens to me when I am not first open, blunt, frank and real with myself. For instance, if I am living in denial about my feelings and trying to ignore my gut instincts or intuition, then it is easy for people to bulldoze me and manipulate me with my truths or kind heartedness, because I am not protecting myself. However, when I can be really real with myself, process my feelings openly and face them head on within myself, I am better able to protect myself, defend my feelings and create healthy boundaries to help deal with the outside world and those who may try to take advantage of my openness and kindness.

There was a period in my life where all signs and my intuition were literally screaming at me to pay attention, to listen to my gut and to protect myself. I fought against myself, made excuses for other people and tried to “tough it out” because I wanted to be the bigger person. It is tempting to say I regret this time period and that I did not listen to or advocate for my inner voice, but honestly – I’m grateful for the lessons. After years of tuning myself out and masking my pain with fake social smiles and acting like everything was okay, I reached a point that I had had enough – quite literally a breaking point. This was when I started being real with myself, and don’t get me wrong this wasn’t a relieving breaking point where magically things got better – it was a %#&$, I can’t do this anymore, I need help, I need God, I need relief and I need to scream kind of breaking point.

I remember feeling so lost and defeated and honestly pretty stupid for allowing myself to get this far into a pit, but somehow instead of letting this breaking point BREAK ME (literally), I decided it was time to get real. I started talking out loud to myself and to God working through what my core issues were. I sought out therapy (I had already been on medication and seeing a psychiatrist, but I needed someone to talk to that wasn’t family or close friends). I started making time for me to be alone with my thoughts instead of avoiding them. And this is when my transparent life began – it began within me.

I slowly began opening up to others outside my normal circle, welcoming new perspectives, support and encouragement from other moms, wives, and women in all walks of life. I began enjoying my own company for the first time since I was a child because for the first time in literally decades, I wasn’t running away from my own mind and feelings. I began finding comfort and relief in removing censorship from my social media and speaking openly about my mental health journey. I remember being amazed by the outpouring of love and support I got from people I’ve known from all walks of life and how many people reached out to tell me I wasn’t alone. I remember the first time I got a message from someone asking if they could talk with me about their struggles and if we could start a prayer challenge together – fun fact this amazing woman is now one of my best friends. I remember getting pushback from people who wanted me to censor myself again, who were uncomfortable with my openness and honesty. I remember learning how to adjust my social media settings, so these people didn’t have to see my journey but remained steadfast in being an advocate because I could see what I was doing was good. The more I shared, the more free, happy and confident I became. I can honestly say, I am my favorite person and I love the woman I have become.<< HOLY COW I JUST WROTE THAT (and meant it!)

My journey isn’t over though; in fact, I like to think it has just begun. I still have bad days; I still miss my meds some nights and have a really hard time coping. I still try to ignore the dark, heavy stuff when it becomes overwhelming. I still make mistakes and I still question a lot. Living transparently hasn’t taken away my problems or made me Wonder Woman, but it has made me feel like anything is possible when I set aside all the bull-$%!+ and allow myself to be real with myself and with others. It is a reminder that when I live my life openly and honestly first with myself and then with others, I am happier and more able to see where I want to go and how to get there.

My transparent life is a journey and I’m excited to be sharing it with you.

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