I was busy searching for one of my favorite blogger's old posts when I came across all the ugliness: a handful of women who felt the need to let the world know they are NOT like this blogger and Proud Of It. She has a pretty, pretty life full of good things? Not me, said one such woman, I scream and shout and the kids annoy me and my dishes aren't done and the laundry is mildewed and I don't care. The chorus of hens in the comments all agreed and thanked her. What a liberation she'd just given them! One supposes that now they too could freely shout and scream and wave their ugliness about like a trophy.
It's not that I don't understand how we can grow to feel inadequate when we see others succeed at the goals they have set. It's not that I don't understand how some blogs are facades. I have felt those things too, and generally, I just quietly stop reading. The problem is either me and my own need to find contentment (or, to work harder and quit whining) or it is with the blogger who can't present an honest face to the world, and I am not going to help her either by buying into the pretense or confronting her. So I just go my own way.
I wonder though, at this need in women to turn on each other when one of us succeeds. The blogger I am thinking of is most criticized for getting too much done, for only showing the pretty pictures, for managing kids and home and marriage and business well. She can't be that perfect, one woman sneered, why can't she just admit she yells at the kids sometimes?
And why should she? I wonder. Perhaps we, as readers, would be better served to remember that everyone is the same and no matter how pretty the blog, we all have struggles and lapses and things we neglect and things we mess up, but also some things we do exceptionally well and some gifts and some talents and some beauties that are uniquely our own. Perhaps, when someone offers those gifts and beauties to the world, we could just accept them with gratitude and grace and not feel threatened by them. And then, perhaps, instead of being so proud of our ugliness, we could just quietly offer our own good things back to the world to be celebrated and enjoyed.
That sounds kind of nice, doesn't it?
To my blogging friend (who doesn't even know me and probably never will) and to all my other blogging friends, I wish I could give you a big hug and say thank you for all the hours you've worked to do your chosen job well, offering so much of your work freely to all of us, and for the ways in which you make me want to be a better woman and live a more beautiful life. Thank you.
p.s. You know I love authenticity and I'm not talking about the honest sharing of struggles or admitting to failings and weakness. Those things can help us grow and also keep us from forgetting our own humanity. Dear Adrie did a wonderful series recently on this very type of authenticity. It was wonderful and I was so encouraged. You can find the Get Real series at her blog. Thanks, Adrie!