Radical Authenticity – In Words

I touched on today’s theme two weeks ago when I shared how I want to stop being what everyone else wants me to be. I also shared a picture showing the reality of my life and not the zoomed in version hiding the things I don’t want you to see.

Over the past years, I have shared my addictions with my readers (and there has been many addictions). I enjoy learning new things but then as soon as I understand it, my interest fades and learn something new. But the decade of posts where I showed what I wanted my audience to see gave everyone a false impression of who I am.

What did I show? My successes, the pleasant things, the one good picture out of twenty-five horrible ones, all while hiding the mistakes that got me to the success. Those people who don’t socialize with me, except on the rare occasion, only saw what I shared. They only saw “a Susie-homemaker” (Someone actually described me as that one time.), a great house and someone whose life resembled their Pinterest feed. But they didn’t see the messy house or the busy everyday life that turned the Pinterest feed into a dream.

And that is the problem with social media, we draw conclusions from what we are shown. If someone shares the dandelion wine they made we assume that their whole life is a DIY special because in the last post they made venison jerky. But we fail to remember the time between posts and we fail to observe the other things going on in their life.

But they are not a DIY special. Their life is work and eating and sleeping and dreaming, like everyone else, but unfortunately, we never get that false image of them out of our heads because we have already judged the person.

That is why I will only share the true me. My feelings, my day (even if it’s boring), all while being unedited. I hope you enjoy it.🙂

Radical Authenticity

Animal – In Words

Almost everyone has a pet, even if it is just a spider living in a kitchen corner that they refuse to kill. The reason you rarely see someone without a pet is because animals bring joy to their owners. You would think, because of that joy, you wouldn’t find abused animals, but we do. We’ve all seen the pictures or TV shows of rescued animals and it makes us feel like all the blood in our hearts is squishing out. But there’s another form of animal abuse not getting the attention it needs; unspayed or unneutered pets, especially cats.

I understand it sounds weird saying not fixing your pet is abuse since no one has touched them, but after seeing the results of what can happen to cats when they become feral is not a pretty site. I know this because, in my neighborhood, an owner left their unfixed cat behind while they moved away. What was one wild cat has blossomed into an overpopulation of felines: cats living under my house, in our garage (Its old and has holes, I guess it’s more like a shed), under tarps, or overturned wheel barrels. And unlike a feral cat on a farm with food to find in the woods or barn, they live in a town with limited food available. The cats in my neighborhood are scraggly and thin.

Every year a cat has a litter of kittens in our yard. This may sound fun and cute to see, but it’s not. If left untouched, they usually die leaving a pile of dead kittens. Even if you intercept capturing the kittens, feeding them yourself, half of them die due to already catching an illness from their mother. After living in my house for 16 years, I cannot even count how many cats I have seen die or found dead in an alley or somewhere else. My back yard is a giant grave for cats.

This story is not as heart wrenching as seeing a beaten up dog or a horse that is nothing but skin and bones, but it is sad. Sad because the solution, fixing one cat, something super easy to do, could have fixed the problem.

So, remember, fix your pet. If you are short on money, you can find free and reduced cost programs. Please, I beg you, remember this and remind others.

Do you have a story about feral cats you would like to share?


Outer Layers – In Words

Outer layer of skin. Outer layer of clothes. The two examples that pop to my mind when I hear the phrase outer layers. Both protect. Our skin protects us from bacteria, and from excessive water loss. Clothes can protect us from extreme weather. But the outer layer of our clothes, what is most visible to others, also serves as our protection, our wall, to the world. Keeping out what we don’t want and accepting what we want.

For me, I don’t want to be noticed. I’m an introvert and prefer to hide in the corners and shadows. Because of this, my outer layer puts up a wall protecting me from excessive attention. I don’t where graphic shirts that beg strangers to read it. I don’t wear bright clothes that catch the eye. I don’t wear trendy clothes that stand out. I wear simple jeans and a t-shirt.

It has not always been this way. When I was younger, between five and fifteen I wore crazy things. I remember a pair of hot pink corduroy pants and a yellow and black houndstooth blazer and they were in constant rotation. I was still shy, but everyone noticed my sister and not me. She was the pretty one, the one that my friends gravitated to like iron shavings to a magnet. My clothes protected me from being forgotten. Who could forget the girl wearing hot pink pants?

For the next stage, I wore white t-shirts, flannel shirts, and ripped jeans. This stage coincided with the interest in boys. Boys wore the same thing and so in my mind if I wore what they wore it would protect me from being disliked. FYI, it did not work one boy in my class made fun of me.

Then, I realized to get guys I had to dress like a girl and so my wardrobe changed to stylish feminine items. I remember tank tops with girly shirts over them and wide leg pants. This new outer layer protected me from being dateless and it worked. This might have been due to maturity but not wearing a t-shirt and a flannel shirt played a part.

After marriage, I moved to what my husband called my grandma stage. I wore baggy sweaters and loose clothing. This stage came after the weight gain that arrives with marriage and age. My clothing choices protected me from ridicule from everyone seeing my increase in size. It hid my shape perfectly.

Each stage served a purpose. To protect me from what I wanted to avoid.

How does your outer layer protect you? I would love to hear your story so please share.

Outer Layers