Sunday, August 31, 2014

Benefit of the Doubt

Let me get something straight: I embrace what you might call the mundane. The cookie cutter suburban lot with a fenced pool, with little blond children running on the front lawn that we take great care to mow. It is not deliberate, our appearance. Say what you will about how seamlessly we fall into a stereotype, a picture-perfect scene from some how-to women's magazine, this is us. We have fought for it and sometimes we have thrown our whole hearts down in sacrifice to beg for it. I don't apologize for coming across as though we've got it all figured it out. That judgement, that misunderstanding, is on you.

I write lists and fill in calendars and do yoga and work hard to maintain our house. I raise children, I continue to learn how to be married, I read books, I write like it is my religion, I grow tomatoes, I organize the play room. Is that it? No. I am not my lists, my blog posts, my combed hair or my mediocre chicken parmigiana. Just like I'm sure you're not just a hipster, or just a banker, or any other stereotype I could easily throw back at you, but that is a disservice to myself.

Don't you see? I am missing out if I write you off. I don't know if it's the journalist in me or the spiritual seeker, but I have to believe that everyone has a story to which I can relate. In my limited travels, I can relate to that desire to learn through seeing and immersing into a story. I might not live the same lifestyle as you, because not many people are 28 years old and raising four young girls as a stay-at-home mom. I don't limit myself by those qualifiers and I hope you don't either.

Because it bothers me. It bothers me to know there are people who write me off as a simplification. A cop's wife, a young mom, a dependent, a leader, a free-thinker. I am all those things, and sometimes I am none of those things. Last night I was a big-time Beyonce fan who just wanted to dance, in spite of the heat and the late hour, and so that's what I did and that's all I was for a moment. 

I understand there are things about me that widen the gap between us. There are things about you to which I do not relate. Isn't that great, though? Isn't it fantastic that our lives have been so different, and filled with different sadness and joy and experiences? I think it is. You, I'm not so sure you appreciate the worthiness of our differences. 

I am not apologizing, and I don't think you want me to. You might not even give me a second thought, (though I think that you do). Don't resist or avoid or write me off. Don't envy me or simplify me or, worse, pity me. Drop the act, and show me yourself. Take me for my word, because it's true. 

I am here, metaphorically naked, ask me anything and I'll answer. I trust you. Should I trust you? Show me.


  1. You continue to amaze me, surprise me, inspire me, guide me. Love you.

  2. I wish I was in Ottawa right now under better circumstances, and with more (and less hectic) time, because I'd suggest we meet and go grab a coffee. xx

    1. I'll be thinking of you, for sure. I have a very not-busy schedule, so if something frees up, I'd love to meet up!


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