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Let’s Start Talking About It

Sometimes everything is just not ok. You’re going through something tough, have been recently hurt or disappointed, or just feel angry or alone. However, you don’t want to seem ungrateful for the good things in your life, it’s not all doom and gloom. Maybe you’ve got a stellar best friend, a steady paycheck or a pint of your favorite ice cream in the freezer.  Maybe you had enough cash for a new shirt and you were complimented by a stranger. You may have so many things, big and small, to be utterly grateful for that you can’t count them all on your fingers and toes, but still have just as many reasons to feel down. To worry. To be upset. To find yourself depressed.

Up’s and down’s. That’s life, right? Or, is it? The life that I often see around me tends to be wildly exaggerated one way or the other. Folks are either spewing sunshine like they’ve never seen a grey cloud or crying out for help to heal the pain. Everything in the middle seems to get lost or kept quiet. It’s hard to be subtle with our feelings, so when you’re in between the good and the bad, maybe you just don’t know what to say or who to say it to. You might not want to worry your family, trouble your friends or spend that extra hour with your therapist. Maybe you’re just like me.

So, here’s what I’m doing about it.

I’m telling you, yes you, right now: I am not always ok. I’m not abundantly happy right at this exact moment. My list of things to be grateful for is growing by the minute – and you’d never guess anything was wrong by my Facebook and Twitter feeds. But at the same time, I’ve got my reasons to be sad. No reason is too big or too small here. I’m telling you like this because this is the iamnotyourguru blog, where imperfection is celebrated and honesty is everything.

I am now inviting you to tell me. You can be anonymous, or not, and say anything you want about what is bringing you down or what you’d like to change. It can be anything, and I’ll respond. Why? Because you’re going to be helping me too. You’ll be showing me that I am not alone, and that it’s courageous, not crazy, to set up a blog dedicated to complaining and airing your worries. A blog entry where it’s ok to vent, to not be strong, to not share your light. A blog that is not about how wonderful life can be if we allow love in or find gratitude. I, for one, am full of love and gratitude enough already, but I still cry sometimes.

There it is. I hope you’re with me. 

Photo Credit Unknown


36 responses »

  1. I cried almost all day yesterday about the death of an aunt I hadn’t spoken to in two years or seen in in over 10 years. It was more about my perception of what she missed in life, leading me to then selfishly think about the things I feel I’ve missed doing and living in my own. I don’t believe in death, I think we keep going, but her death brought my mom and dad’s eventual death closer to home. . . I still spewed a few bursts of sunshine out of my butt, albeit they were a little muted.
    You’re so bright you still shine through the sadness. Love you!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Gene-Manuel, and for being the first commenter. I think transition is one of the hardest things we have to deal with. I am glad you took the time to consider what her transitioning means, and how it may apply to you. I don’t think it is selfish at all to think of it as a bit of a wake-up call for what is important to us and what we want to do and feel in our own lifetimes, so that we can be the best version of us while we’re here. You’re a ray of light just because your intention is always to be so. Love to you!!

  2. Spring is coming, and with its vitamin-d-enriched sunshine, so is my happy mood. While surrounded by people who love me, a slowly-inching degree of success in bold italics on my res, and contentment confidently posted on my “blogs,” I find my inability to snag a lasting/loving relationship to be crippling my confidence. And I have problems with run-ons…

    • Thank you for sharing “Rocko!” I hadn’t even considered that spring might be coming, and I know what you mean about the resume’. There is something about sharing the exciting news and even everyday little successes with someone special that seems like it will make all the difference, right? I truly believe that what you want is on it’s way, and I’m grateful to be in your life for the before and after!

  3. Thank you for this invitation. I have many blessings, but I am feeling conflicted! I’ve dated guys who were out of work for months on end, and that sucked. I’m married now and my husband works — no exaggeration — 80 hours a week (12 hours a day 5 days a week would be an _easy_ week) and we have a 2-year-old at home. I was told NEVER to tell a man “you work too much” and just be grateful he’s working. I bought the advice, and I bite my tongue, but the pseudo-single parent role is not ideal and I feel especially lonely eating 90% of my meals alone.
    I end up communicating the desire to have him around more in a negative bitchy way that sounds like a guilt trip… but it tends to work and then we have a date night or a family outing once every 3 months. How can I accept reality gracefully, forgive and love unconditionally, and communicate effectively? How can I get out of this buildup & release pattern?
    Thanks for listening! You’re brave and inspiring!

    • Thank YOU! I also find you brave and inspiring. It’s not easy to share like this. My thoughts on your situation are three-fold. First, I think that accepting reality gracefully is not something that you can just choose to do when you’re in pain. You’re hurting, and that is *also* a part of your reality. I also see that you are completely aware of how important it is that he works this hard, and you’re not lonely because he’s out with the boys every night or choosing to be away from you for no good reason. You know what’s going on here, but it still hurts. I want you to let yourself be hurt, and not feel guilty for it. Your feelings are valid, and it has nothing to do with making him feel guilty either or expecting it to change things.

      Secondly, there is such a thing as “working too much.” You need him to continue to provide for his family, but if over time the stress will make him sick and he will look back and realize he missed out on the moments in his life that he can’t get back, the future won’t be any brighter. If there is ever a “right time” to have a calm, rational discussion about what can be done about his hours or his position, if not now, SOMEDAY, perhaps it would make you both feel better if you at least saw an end to the madness in sight. Sometimes if we cannot change our reality currently, having something to look forward to or just starting a plan for change in the future can bring a real ray of hope to the situation for both of you. Someday will look more like this ________. *Whew*

      Lastly, “forgiving and loving unconditionally” is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever considered, thank you. I truly, truly believe that if *that* is your intention, you are 90% of the way there already. Your life is complicated, but your intentions are not, and that makes all the difference. If you catch yourself sounding “negative or bitchy” the next time you bring this up, try to remind yourself that even the bitchiest of comments you make are deeply rooted in LOVE. That’s powerful. xo

  4. Just read this quote and wanted to share it here:

    “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~ M. Scott Peck

  5. Thanks for writing this. I was just second guessing a little rant I just posted on my blog about my treatment decisions. It’s so not my style, but good to let it out. Glad for the validation.

    I hope your happiness grows!

    • TMS Therapy Mama – I hope your happiness grows as well. It is always OK to share the unhappiness or negative thoughts that make us human. Thank you for being a part of my sharing and I wish you all the best in treatment.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s pretty much exactly where I’m at right now myself. Good things and sad things. Gratitude and anger. Great post, my lady. Yes, it’s rarely all one or the other. I think what makes it hard sometimes is exactly all those feelings living in us simultaneously.

    • Thank YOU JulieHop – It really is a challenge to live like this on a daily basis, but all of these comments are so encouraging, thank you for sharing and reminding me that we’re all in this together. xo

  7. I find it amazing how sometimes one sad thing could effect all the happy. I have tons of things to be grateful for: a condo I own and love, a job I enjoy doing, great family and friends. I’m healthy, I have passions and dreams, goals to strive for. But I sometimes feel it all means nothing without someone to share it with.

    That is my biggest sadness, the lack of someone to share my life with, to share all that happiness I have. And it’s not for lack of trying. I get out there and try new things (online dating, rock climbing, even going to try speed dating) and it’s not working. I’m frustrated. It brings me down a lot and I can’t seem to stop it no matter how much I try to change my way of thinking.

    I am happy in my life except for this one thing and it’s a bummer.

    Thanks for the post. It’s always good to know I’m not alone.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Melissa. You have no idea how badly I wish I was your wing-woman or could at least be close enough in proximity to share your experiences with you. I still find you to be one of the happiest and most confident woman I know, despite how you feel deep inside. I believe that you deserve love, and I cannot wait until you find it. Until then, Jason’s moving in. 😉 Love you. xo

  8. If you want to talk or vent give me a call. I know you have my number.

    You asked so I’ll be honest. My constant overwhelming feeling is anxious. Not excited but anxiety. Life is alright. I’ve got great people in it. Somehow though, somehow I anxiously worry about every single thing I do all day every day. My body is tingling with anxiety in this very moment with moist palms while I think about rehearsal tonight and fear I won’t be good enough or I wont finish this project at work properly and also, why did my friend start acting strange? Did I do something? Oh my God what did I do? How do I fix it? Am I calling my dad enough? Does he feel neglected? Am I participating enough in this company? Did I forget a birthday? ….Do I need a life coach or Xanax?

    So yeah. Thanks for the outlet.
    P.S. I love you.

    • I love you too. I’ve recently discovered that anxiety is what I’m feeling a lot of the time too, and it’ a new thing for me. I, for one, have all the confidence in the world in you. Thank you for being honest too, how often do we really get to talk about this stuff? Maybe it wouldn’t exist quite as much if we did. xo

  9. Hey girl. I’m with you on this. I’m all about the gratitude and heading down the right path and having a loving family, boyfriend and amazing friends, but shit is HARD right now. I keep telling myself I’m just not used to working this hard….and that may be part of it, but at the end of the day I often cry. I feel as if I have to learn how to “handle” my emotions all over again. I beat myself up a lot too…”I’ve been a teacher for awhile. I know what I’m doing”. I often get defensive…ugh. It’s the worst. Sometimes I just want to shut everyone else out and do my thing…not have to deal with other people at all. I never ever thought I would feel that way…so of course I beat myself up about that too.

    Honestly, it’s nice to just vent. Lately, I’ve been having great days- but I’m realizing mainly that means I have energy and I’m not crying at the end of the day 😉 I am so grateful and I feel the changes in me, but I’m missing some parts of my life that I used to enjoy too…I believe it will all balance out. Until then, I will keep on keeping on.

    THANKS for this!

    • Wow, I COMPLETELY relate on the idea of wanting to shut everyone else out and just do your own thing. I did that this weekend, and it back-fired a bit with my family. Ah well. What I’ve learned from that though, is we can’t always do the right thing and sometimes that will upset people we love, but that’s a part of life. Hang in there Jessica, you are working hard and you are doing the best you can! Thank you for sharing. xo

  10. As always hon, you are so inspiring! Of course we all have bad things mixed with the good to such a degree in our day to day lives that we just suck it up and drive on. I, for instance, have a tremendously wonderful family. Despite whatever little arguments we have we pull together and our there for each other. What’s really great is that we also communicate that gratitude to each other. For instance, when my brother told me how happy he was that I was back home at my Dads because it finally felt like there was life back at the house again. We’ve been laughing and joking together despite the reason why I’m there. Basically, I’m driving down the road and sign ahead says “Splitsville, population- You!”. It’s actually weird to be happy, when most of the time I feel so horrible. Yet I still make everyone around me laugh and smile like nothing’s wrong cause maybe at that moment I don’t feel the pain.

    • It’s clear to me that we don’t talk enough, or at least not about the right topics. It sounds to me like you’re making big changes, and trying to take care of yourself and your future, and for whatever it’s worth: I am proud of you for that. You’re a very strong person who I’ve always thought tends to put others first, and I hope you are taking care of yourself now as well. You really deserve it. I love you and hope you remember to cry when you need to and laugh your ass off when you need to as well. Let’s talk soon. xo

  11. p.s. (pre-script) you are an awesome writer. and your honesty is amazing and helpful to a lot of people, probably more than you know.

    I am blessed. more than some people could dream of asking for. my husband, my CHILDREN, I have a job and my home is filled with treasures and memories. Unless the bank takes it back.

    I had to borrow a large sum of money from my parents so the bank would not start forclosure proceedings on our home. We sat down to sort out our finances so after this rescue we dont’ fall behind again and realized that with our combined take home income (some 3 times over that of qualifying us for ANY assistance ie. childcare subsidy) pays all of our bills and leaves us with about $.35 a month. and that doesn’t take into account any liquid savings, car repair, gifts, medical expenses… so you can figure how that math adds up. We can’t refinance because our house is worth about $50k less than we paid 5 years ago. We are stuck. We have been living in denial about it for a while and are really bad with follow through so my hopes for climbing out anytime soon are bleak. Plus I have been told to expect a decent size paycut next year.

    I feel sick to my stomach that we HAD TO ask for money and we are still exploring lots of soul sucking options like me waitressing a few days a week again and Hubby going back to Home Depot part time and staying home with the kids to save on child care. Oh and the job I have doing the only thing I have ever seriously wanted to do in my life (besides be on Kids Incorporated)? I hate it. The evaluation, the testing, the DATA, this is not teaching.

    But my children are my JOY in life and I feel so blessed to have them, even when it is impossibly hard, they are better than anything else. And I am so lucky to have their amazing dad as my partner. I know we will find a way or make a way eventually. But right now it is not really OK.

    So I am with you sister, thanks for letting me type away this long vent, it felt good. Now back to trying to make some money! ❤ ya

    • Totally brave Kim. Wow.

    • I agree with Rocko. Totally brave. It’s funny how sometimes we want what other people have. I have always wanted the husband and kids and, I admit, have been jealous of that part of your life. I love being the aunt Missy who supplies your children with their first teddy bears. I am always grateful for the role you allow us to play in their lives. I am proud to be a part of your village.

    • Kim, first thank you for the pre-script. I felt a little like a crazy person when I started this entry and wasn’t sure what would happen when I posted it. I am so excited that there has been so much support.

      Now to the real topic, thank YOU for opening up and talking about things. Your vent is just as brave and inspiring as anything else. I have spoken to a woman who left her teaching job after 10 years because she simply made more money being a head manager at The Limited and felt she had more job security. Your passion for teaching has always been inspiring to me, but I completely understand how you don’t even feel like it’s teaching anymore.

      What I’m not sure if you already know, is that I think you and E are *incredible* parents. Your children are HAPPY and it’s clear how extremely loved they are and feel. I, like Melissa says, am so grateful to be a part of the life you’ve created. If it’s any comfort AT ALL, I am always impressed by your ability to love and care for your family, even under these circumstances. I, too, fall into the trap of “ignoring something” in hopes it will just go away, but you’re not ignoring it now, so it WILL change. I know you’ll work hard, I know you’ll make it right. It’s not really ok now, but I’m glad we can talk about it and please know I’m always here for you, no matter what. xo

    • Kim, you are an amazing person and extremely strong- so full of courage to even right this. I know I don’t have the family yet…but I can connect on how you feel about a lot of things. Teaching, for one. It’s become and is becoming something entirely new every day and I keep trying to find ways to get around it or be above it, but it’s not teaching. It’s definitely not. I’m working so hard to make bulletin boards look a certain way for a an evaluation commitee when all I want to do is focus on my students. I also understand financial struggle…I won’t go into details, but my life and my boyfriend’s life needs an overhaul so we can move on with our lives. Good luck! I know you and your hubby will get through it! I believe sometimes we just have to work our asses off to get to the place we deserve to be. I can’t wait to hear what happens 🙂

  12. Such a great post, Dar. I just love the way that you think, I really do.

    I am so thankful for all of these posts, so much honesty. The truth is that life is often disappointing and pretty often, effing hurty.

    Right now I’m dealing with the fact that in the eyes of my boyfriend’s family, I will never be good enough. With every month that we date, their passive attacks on my character become more vehement. The kicker is that they’ve never met me. Just the fact that I’m not Jewish and didn’t go to Harvard seem to be enough to offend them. He’s stopped talking to them about me because he’s sick of them passive aggressively ripping me to shreds.

    While clearly they are behaving unreasonably, I can’t help but doubt my worth. I’m proud of my job, my education, my religion, and my heart. I wonder if I’m a fool for thinking that I’m enough, and then I chastise myself for the thought. What we know intellectually can often be different from what we feel in our heart.

    Anyway, those are my vents for the day. Thanks for listening! xoxo

    • Hi, Bina. I have some experience with this in my family. If I may, I’d like to suggest a creative approach.

      First, do some learning. Judaism is a matriarchal religion, which is why parents may be concerned that the traditions won’t be passed down–technically, your kids wouldn’t be Jewish, unless some adaptations were made. A lot of Jewish people regard the religion as an endangered species–that could go extinct if everyone intermarries. What’s at the root of it is, his parents need to realize HIS level of commitment. A lot of this is up to him. It saddens me that, since you’re not in direct contact with his parents, the negative messages about your self worth and education are filtered through him and coming through him. It’s up to him to say, “I love this woman, and she’s here to stay.”

      Learn a little about Judaism, so that when the opportunity arises, you can sound culturally sensitive and knowledgeable. This will probably impress them a lot.

      The flag in your message is, “He’s stopped talking to them about me…” NO! He has to talk about you EVERY DAY! He must hear, tolerate, and “convert” their thinking, convincing them that you’re the one. He must be willing to defend your honor.

      I have seen so many cases, I can’t even count. The parents, in 99% of cases, though it may take years, eventually come around. Or sometimes a partner converts, or at least develops an appreciation for some of the beautiful music, delicious food, and family-focused customs of the religion.

      There CAN be an intercultural exchange here.

      It depends how committed you two are. And that’s all that matters. There can be an all-loving way to deal with this. You must acknowledge and respect their concerns, and not take it personally. I know it’s hard to do. You might talk to successful couples where the man is Jewish and the woman is not.

      Just some suggestions and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, no matter how silly they seem. See this as an opportunity to expand your mind and reinforce your beliefs, and maybe form some new ones. If you are open-minded, you inspire everyone around you to be.

      With love,


      • Thanks Michelle. You make some really great points, I appreciate it, and your optimism on the situation makes me feel better. I’ve actually dated and been close friends with Jewish men before, and have an in-depth understanding of the culture and more importantly, the implications of a Jewish man marrying and having children with a non-Jewish woman. Judaism has been a part of my life for years, which is perhaps why my boyfriend feels so comfortable with me. At any rate, you are 100% correct when you say it is all about commitment and honor defending. And I may take you up on your offer to speak more about it in the future!


    • Thank you for sharing, love! What I can say without a single shred of doubt is that I KNOW your worth, even when you can’t feel it. I am blessed to have you in my life and can guarantee 300% that you are one of the strongest, smartest, wittiest and caring women I have EVER met. I’ll remind you of that whenever you want. xo

      • I can understand how this would make you doubt who you are, but you know who you are and how you feel for your relationship. Ask yourself “is it worth it?” If it’s important to fight for, you must. I know this situation will only make you and your relationship stronger. Hang in there. I love you. Oh- and I totally agree with Darlene. You rock.

  13. Ok my favorite little “sister”… Just remember you asked for it!

    So it’s been 1 year since my heart attack. I feel fine, haven’t even had a head cold. As you know, 6 months later, Don finds out he’s getting laid off. When we first heard we were both like: “Pffsh.. We’ve been through worse. I mean you really can’t top a heart attack!” So, everything became very relative and “pure.” As long as we have our health, we can do anything. Flash forward 8 months. Few interviews, some still pending, one month of employment until severance kicks in. I’m not feeling very “pure”. The “WTF’s” have set in. “Can we get a break?!!” Why do I have to HANDLE a heart attack at 42, and unemployment, and in 3 short years my baby will be picking a college?!!!”
    I am one of those people who looks like she was born on a sunny day. I dont like to have a pitty party for myself. I have learned to live with disappointment as a kid and not dwell on it. But sometimes …….!!
    You know I love you like a sister…thanks for the outlet. (excuse typos… Don’t want to re-read and delete anything)

    • Ok, big sis. First off, thank you for being brave and setting a good example here. I completely relate to not wanting to throw a pity party and rather wanting things to JUST WORK OUT ALREADY! I am not the definition of patience myself, so sometimes for me, that is the hardest part. The waiting. More than that, however, I believe it is really about trusting in the good that’s coming to you. You do know, deep inside, things are going to work out for the best. I know that for you, even, but I can see how even though we rationally know we can’t control some things and that good things are on the way, it’s hard to always feel it.

      Just remember this though: you *have* been through a lot, and it’s definitely made you stronger, but don’t be too hard on yourself just because you’re supposed to “know better” than to feel sad or worried sometimes. Let yourself have a freak-out/good cry, then come back down to earth whenever you’re ready to. You deserve that. We all do, but especially you. Love you always!


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