• Kat G

Transparency & Privacy

The idea of living transparently makes so many people uncomfortable because they think that in doing so you are telling people all your intimate details, failings, successes and losing all sense of privacy. It makes sense why this would make people wary; we all need and crave privacy to live our lives as our own and not on display. So, when I say I’m living a transparent life, let me clarify – I am not living my life on display and my every move on record; this may be a personal blog, but it is not my diary. With all of that said it is also completely realistic to realize that living this way will not be for everyone and that’s okay! If you find yourself being called to let go of the veils, masks and forced “social appearance” that we have become so conditioned to, I definitely encourage you to give it a try and do what feels good to you because in the end it is your life and you are the one who decides what it looks like and how you live it.

I remember telling the people closest to me that I wanted to start this blog. Many were very excited and happy for me, eager to read what I would write and share. Others were hesitant, not wanting to be included in my project or mentioned in any way. But like I’ve said before, this is not a gossip blog, a slam-book, a place I want to air all my dirty laundry or speak about anyone else’s life; this is about me.

Looking back I’ve tried to nail down a pattern or algorithm for how I decide what I share and what I don’t. I’ll be blatantly honest – I have A HORRIBLE memory, so this took so more time than I anticipated, combing through old posts and conversations. This is what I found –

1. It is rare for me to share detailed accounts of day to day activities that are directly effected by or effecting my mental health.

Being transparent doesn’t mean that I am writing my diary on social media, telling everyone my business or sharing my entire life publicly. It is quite rare for me to give a detailed account of anything specific in my life because I too like my privacy. I have found that I don’t need (or want) the whole world to know my life as long as I have a few personal confidants or “human diaries” as I call them, that I can pick up the phone and call when I need to vent, cry, scream or sing a happy song to when I’m feeling great.

2. I share a lot more about my actual feelings and acknowledging how or what I am feeling (sometimes with brief context terms such as in “at work” or “in my personal life”).

All the times I have had people reach out to tell me I am not alone or that they appreciate my candor is when I share more about what I am feeling and how I am coping (or not). When we speak in vague but honest ways about how we are feeling and what is going on in our lives emotionally or mentally, others can easily relate and find comfort in the fact that they too have felt that way at one point or another and they are not alone.

I think connection is so important and if my words about feeling stressed, overwhelmed, grateful, hopeful, lost, determined, etc. can connect with someone and make them feel relief or motivation – that is such an honor. Similarly, it is humbling to know that people I admire and think have these amazing lives as mothers, professionals or friends also struggle and find themselves connecting with my posts. It keeps me realistic that we are all human and all face our own battles so it is okay to not be okay all the time.

3. I do not talk about other people negatively or recount stories about those that have hurt me PERIOD.

This is a BIG one for me. I am very, very open compared to most people. I share quite a bit about myself without concern for other’s opinions because I am confident and comfortable in who I am as a woman and person. However, I do not like to take advantage of my candor and openness to tear others down, even unintentionally. Are there people that have hurt me and caused me pain? Yes – don’t we all have that? Are there stories that at some point an angry or hurt version of myself longed to yell from the mountain tops? Yes. Are there friendships I’ve lost or walked away from and selfishly wanted the world to know my side of the story? Yes. But ultimately, this is not the kind of person I am. As an adult, I have come to peace with the fact that I have always been a gentle, kind hearted person who wants to see others happy and at peace – maybe not in the heat of the moment – but after the dust settles from any given scenario, definitely. I do not want to live a life where I am telling someone else’s story, because it is not mine to tell. So again I reference you back to #2 – I will speak about how I feel, because that is the only absolute truth I know and can speak.

4. I share VERY openly and often about my mom life (good, bad, mental health, etc.).

Since becoming a mother and battling a very long, hard battle with Post-Partum Depression, I have found so much comfort and relief in speaking my truth. I’ll get into this in more detail in a future post, but in general and like so many other women, motherhood changed me on so many levels. Being able to openly talk about my mom fails, mom successes and share the ridiculously hilarious stories about my children are some of my favorite transparent moments. Not only because other moms can find comfort that they aren’t alone, but also because it is one of the key elements to helping me tackle mom-guilt and live in the moment with my children. Instead of getting lost in being “the perfect mom” being open and transparent about my motherhood struggles has helped realize that no one else can be THEIR MOM quite like me, and I am proud to get fill that amazing role in their life.

So, while this “algorithm” of transparency works for me – I challenge you to find your own, start small and see what happens. You don’t have to live your life on display for you to live a life free from masks and veils of perfection. Just be you, because you are wonderful – period!

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