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Lying with Truth

One of my earliest childhood memories occurred on a playground in summer camp. I was playing kickball and peed on myself at 2nd base.

I was 8 years old, so I knew better.

I didn’t do it because I was engrossed in the game.

I didn’t do it because I had a bladder disorder.

I didn’t do it because I was vying for attention.

I did it because I was shy.

I stood at second base and peed on myself because I was too shy to ask where the restrooms were.

In some circumstances, I’m still that shy kid who peed herself on the playground. I tell people what they want to hear. I avoid conflict. I don’t do anything that could make others feel uneasy.

The 8-year old me only appears during difficult conversations. Most frivolous conversations we have every day — about the weather, a new work assignment, opinions on the latest news headlines – I speak my mind, with little regard to how my truth makes others’ feel.

Take Care of Your Body

But difficult conversations – when I have to confront a friend or respond to a question in a way that may hurt another’s feelings, I am reticent. I imagine the worst case scenario of what could happen if I speak my truth.

Recently, someone asked me to plan her 20th wedding anniversary. I knew it was a big deal for her and her husband. I also know how much work it would require and I was not up for the challenge. But the way she asked – with puppy dog eyes, insisting that I was the best one for the job – I just couldn’t say no.

I am now planning a party I don’t want to plan.

I perpetually avoid conflict. It is a behavior that permeated my 20-something life. I never wanted to rock the boat and make a friend mad at me. So I’d keep my thoughts to myself, letting my them fester within me. Unspoken words have put strains on my relationships.

Now, at 33, I have no time to waste on being phony. There is a goal that I am aiming to achieve. I want to be a better version of myself and I cannot be better if I am not authentic.

The truth sets us free! I am living proof.

In January 2015, I was a Master’s degree holding professional working a minimum wage dead-end job. I had applied to many jobs in my industry, connected with former classmates, friends, former employers, and other associates. I went on more interviews that I could count. I followed all the typical job search tips and still could not land a job in my industry.

Take Care of Your Body (1)

Emotionally, I was exhausted. I was lonely. No one could relate to my misfortune and would stylishly blame my mishaps on me. Frustrated and slightly depressed, I shut down, refusing to discuss my job struggles with peers who I perceived to have thriving careers.

In the midst of my turmoil, my friend called one day and challenged me with these words:

What are you doing at that job? You have a master’s degree. You’re too good for that job. Why don’t you return to school and reboot your life?

She went on to say what I already knew. My current job was never going to promote me. If I stayed, I’d never do anything more than answering the door and accepting FedEx packages.

I was angry when we hung up the phone. I didn’t speak to her for several weeks.

My friend, on the other hand, was unbothered. She knew that my hurt was temporary. She knew the truth would ultimately propel me into the career I deserved.

The conversation occurred four years ago and since then, my life has changed immensely.

Take Care of Your Body (3)

I graduated from the program she recommended. I launched a fulfilling career in healthcare administration. My role offers a lot of room for growth. My compensation is commensurate with my education and background. I have the most career fulfillment than I’ve had in a very long time. I am eternally grateful to my friend for opening my eyes and confronting me at my lowest moment.

Truth always pisses me off initially, but after some time to reflect, I usually realize what I needed to do in order to become better.

In the past, I would avoid truth-tellers. They always made me feel uncomfortable.

Nowadays, I seek them. I embrace the truth-tellers in my life. I rely on them to tell me when I am wrong. I rely on them to tell me when I am being a jerk.

I also aspire to become like them, so I can cultivate more meaningful relationships, and perhaps pay forward some of the insight that I’ve acquired from truth-tellers. Afteral,  you have to be cruel to be kind.

So, S&T what’s your relationship with the truth? Are you the truth-teller in your circle? Let’s chat in the comment section below!

Fitness Journey Updates:

Some of you inquired about my fitness journey so I will be sharing my progress at the end of each blog. I have been working out for a total of 10 weeks and quite frankly, the scale has not budged. I gained 2 pounds of muscle and lost a couple pounds of fat. While I welcome a toned physique, I am not satisfied with my progress. OrangeTheory kicks my butt 3 to 4 days per week and I feel that my body doesn’t reflect that. I will spend the next couple of weeks changing my diet. The experts say that weight loss and body sculpting is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I wish I realized that sooner.

6 thoughts on “Lying with Truth

  1. Bravo!!! Bra — freakin — vo!!!!! I absolutely LOVE this!!! Gosh, it’s so good to have you back girl —- I feel inspired to go drop some pieces of my heart on my own blog!

    But back to your question — Extending my hand into the air like an eager 2nd grader…. That’s me! I’m the truth teller in the circle. But I have to say, it’s with FRIENDS — people I actually care about! SO your friend who sort of “told you about yourself” — I hope you’ve sent her flowers and said “Thank You” — even if it was for a gesture she did 4 years ago.

    As the “truth teller” in my circle, I have to be mindful of HOW I deliver the truth and WHEN I deliver it.

    How —- I’m an avid believer in how we say something matters more than WHAT we say.

    When — I have to be able to discern when my friends just want me to listen, and when they’re sharing parts of life because they WANT advice.

    With the general public, If you ask me what I think — that’s exactly what you’re going to get from me. — And sometimes even when you don’t ask, I might still offer my thoughts…lol

    Yaa Yaa honey…. you’re in a sweet spot of revelation for your life. I hope you learn to use that magic two letter word, even when you get hit with the puppy dog eyes, sooner than later. Cuz girl, planning a party that you don’t want to be —- Shheessh… I can’t imagine. The only time I struggle to say no is when I’m being offered payment for my service… and even then, I have to weigh how much of my time is this going to consume.

    Anyway, I’m done — Great piece!

    Glad to have you back 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mac!! It is always so good to see you in my comments.

      I thank my friend every chance I get. I’ve also returned the favor many times in the last few years. With her, I try to be as authentic as possible. I let her know what I’m thinking in regards to her and her decisions. Whatever I say about her to others is the same thing I say to her face. But honestly, I don’t think that is enough. I’m not sure how I could ever repay her gesture.

      I agree. The truth-teller has to deliver it in a way that others can digest. I normally use the sandwich approach: Good feedback, followed by bad feedback, then back to the good feedback. I find that most people can handle the truth better that way, but sometimes my bad feedback gets lost.

      One thing I appreciate about the truth-tellers in my circle is that I don’t have to worry about what they’re thinking. I don’t ever second guess what they’re saying because I know that their no means no and their yes means yes. I trust truth-tellers more.

      You’re right about knowing when friends just want you to listen. I do get a little frustrated when my friend gives advice when I’m trying to vent. When I want to give unsolicited advice, I always say something like, “Do you what to know what I think?” or “I don’t know anything about this subject or how you’re feeling but here are my two cents I’m sure you don’t want to hear…” That way I’m being honest but I’m also downplaying my thoughts.

      I’m getting there slowly but surely and with your support, I’m sure I’ll get there sooner rather than later 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey again, Girl!

    Okay, so we may be sisters or something because I totally have the 8yr old syndrome! Like totally. I do find myself a little intimidated or scared to ask certain questions, questions that other people will gladly ask without a second thought!

    I hate confrontation so that’s where the little girl in me hides behind the curtains hoping no one sees her or even hears her. I’d rather find out something and go around in circles multiple times sometimes before I ask someone a question in regards to it. I am bolder in some retrospect but a total coward in others, still working on that.

    I’m glad your friend gave you a wake up call. We all need friends like that, that will give a good kick in the rear, not to hurt us but to help us and look, it definitely helped you. Glad about your exercise routine, I know what you mean about the scale but maybe changing up your diet will help move that scale. Great Post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sis! It’s so good to see you. I really admire people who are direct. I have friends like that and I want to be more like them when I grow up. I’ve run around so many bushes and sometimes, I get tired of running but I’m still not comfortable enough to address the issue. It’s something I’m working on as well.

      Yes, I’ve changed my diet and I am noticing some changes. Maybe I’ll even feel comfortable one day to post a photo. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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