Several months ago a friend/client phoned me and suggested that I tidy up my Facebook profile. She commented that it looked boozy (and all that other stuff). Fair enough.
I work hard on avoiding offense where none is intended. She was being courageous enough to share her perspective from a professional point of view. “You may not think you’re anyone in Dunedin,” she said. “But you’re actually really well known.”
Okay, I thought. Well Oil Beef Hooked…
For me, this profile was tidy. I now do ‘conservative’ really well. In my younger years I didn’t. I honestly didn’t undertand that conservative was something people ‘did’, not who they were.
For where I come from, I’m tidy, straight, moderate even.
But, working professionally, maybe she was right. And anyway, I like to try wisdom on. I don’t like to let it wear me.
So, I tried it. Cos she could have been right.
The thing is, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about being me, unless being me is causing me pain. I’m not actually in any pain, but I do need to consider the perspective of others as a potential source of life improvement. If I had continued to make my life choices based on my own personal wisdom, I would not be writing this now.
But there’s a problem. My friend judges me by the standards of her world. She doesn’t understand my people, and I don’t understand hers. People will,of course, judge from their own perspective and world view.
If I were to stand back and judge people by the standards of my world, I wouldn’t have friends. I wouldn’t even have people to admire. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to admire me.
So, professionalism is an aspect of me. I can present that. Its not negating who I am. Its probably a bloody sensible decision.
But recently I’ve been seeping out at the edges. Life is difficult. Sometimes, so am I.
There are people who are like me. They’re not necessarily gonna say the same things I say, but some of them are bloody glad I take time to.
When I speak my truth, messy with battlescars and profanities, there is a group of women who contact me and say “Yeah. Just like that.”
In this there is food for me. Nourishment. I know I’m not bad, or bawdy, or loud. What I am is truthful. There are people who dont like that truth. …They don’t need to listen (i.e. fuck off).
But to my comrades, the women who’ve lived what I’ve lived, done what I’ve done, learned some lessons, and found a majority of the population didn’t want to hear about them – we are here, we’re real, our experience is collective.
So, I’ve decided to present well by my standards. That means showing up, disregarding imagined consequences, and being authentic and brave, regardless of judgements.
Good enough by me.