Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- NOT!

words words WORDS!!!
I've been thinking about the process and ramifications of sharing personal details.
I LOVE talking- just give me the floor and I will tell you EVERYTHING.
I even tell job interviewers everything.
They don't appreciate it.
Don't they know it's easier to work with someone who will flat out tell you they made a mistake?
They want you to LIE.
They also want you to say "I've always wanted to work just for you!" My greatest life ambition- receipt check girl at Costco.
I don't lie.
Seriously- I don't lie.
Just ask my family- they will tell you hundreds of stories of how I made myself look bad just to stick to the truth.
Here's why- I care what you think and I want you around but telling the truth is easier.
If you break out because you don't like me that makes my life easier too.
It WiLL HuRT- but in the end it's easier.
I'm a lazy person who likes things EASY.
It's that simple.
Why am I showing you this? It's just what I worked on last night. I'm thinking about making a minibook
 about my summer vacation. This is 8 by 11- too big for a mini. I like that the mist got all over my photos.
It's transgressive- like I'm saying "Photos? MEMORIES? Who CARES! It's the PROCESS, BABY! That's
what MATTERS!"  Don't quote me on that- been getting lots of flack about my viewpoints on art lately.
I love hearing other people's stories.
I love telling truth even if it means I get my toches handed to me on a stick.
Several male family members have a strict tell 'em nothing policy that I like to subvert whenever possible.
They believe it means no one has enough info to judge them but what it really means is no one knows them. What's worst? In the absence of real details, people make shiz up.
The stories they make up are worst. Those stories serve them- not you.
Take control of your story. YOU HAVE THE POWER. YOU ARE IN CONTROL.
It's your life.

It's best to have this open door policy when others have it as well. If you are explaining where you are coming from and the other person is using everything they learn to mess you up then you are the problem. This is what people mean when they say: You are awesome- you just need to get out of your own way.
My cousin posted this randomly yesterday. So true in some many ways but also false.
Sometimes your best friend is the one that DEMANDS answers.
Not that this happened to me this week. I actually got something much more interesting. A nasty conversation that sprung up from my telling too much then turned into a deeper experience.
The lesson?
Try not to avoid pain- you learn from pain.
Sometimes you are wrong and there are certain people in your life who will point it out- in public- stridently.
But it's gonna be ok. Because do you really need a toady? A lackey? a cheerleader? Are you a WOMAN or a mouse?

Don't get me wrong. Negative people that make you feel awful all the time are not awesome. They bring nothing to the table. I'm not talking about them.
Challenging people are where it's at.
They bring IT- the thing you don't want to hear- the thing you have been running from. They have that innate bullcrap sensor.
Perhaps they smell it. Blood in the water.
And they show IT to you.
Let me tell you a story.
Wait!- you exclaim- weren't you already in the middle of a looong story?
It was 1998- I think. I was serving as an Americorp NCCC member in Oklahoma City where a tornado had laid waste to half the city- or close to that- you can look it up- it was bad.
I'm telling a story and it will have hyperbole but I ain't lying- just avoiding having to google half my life 'cause my memory sucks.
Anyway I was working in a warehouse for donations- sorting everything into boxes to be trucked to people who needed it directly.
Street poets, street truths
First of all, you will NOT BELIEVE the crap people send when asked for donations. Do homeless, traumatized folks need your half full bottle of shampoo? Your used lipstick? Your dog bed with hair still attached? For REALZ! That's what I was sorting through!
Normally I would let that slide but can you imagine having to separate those items from millions of other items?
How much it costs the charity to dispose of those items because they aren't sanitary to distribute?
When you give- be giving. New and unopened toiletries. Gently used clothes you have laundered. Coats in winter. Short sleeved shirts in summer.
Don't make it an occasion for getting rid of the contents of your problem closet.
Dave and the mask from "V for Vendetta" separated at birth??? 
A.NY.WAY. My team took a break. We sat down to eat with some missionaries that had come down from- I forget the city. I was sitting in front of a dark skinned boy with a BEAUTIFUL sing song accent- I couldn't stop listening- I wanted MORE.
Where are you from? I asked.
OOO Somalis are hot! Sorry, I was 19.
He was 15 so I wasn't about to start flirting but I wanted to know more. At the time Somalia had people running around with machetes, chopping other people up.
He told me his story.
He was 13. He watched his whole family and village die around him. He ran away with his sister. She later died as well. He was angry. He wanted to go back and kill himself some Tutsies. He was very eloquent about the differences between the two groups and started to talk about what he saw.
That's when my team mate told him she didn't want to hear what he had to say!
I went off on her.
This may be the first and ONLY time you get to hear about this war from a person who's actually experienced it!!!!! This is happening- RIGHT NOW- if you don't like it why don't you get up and go sit somewhere else!!!
There was silence from everyone.
She stayed put. And the boy shut up for the rest of the meal.
I never got to hear how he survived. How he made his way to the embassy. How he now lives with a family who loves him. How he deals with real pain- real sorrow- real injustice.
I STILL wanna slap my former team-mate for being such a jerk!
What's worst- she treated me badly for the rest of our service year together- because I made her "look bad" in Oklahoma City.
What. A. Putz.
Make it. Take it. 
So it's up to you.
Do you own up to your mistakes?
Do you grow from the experience?
Or do you retreat to "I'M HURT" status and stop sharing?
This is when you fall into the trap.
You lose a valuable experience and you stop growing.

What do you think?

MuChOs SmOoChEs!


  1. I never got to respond to your reply to my comment, and I only got to read it very quickly on my phone. I meant to come back when I had more time... Anyways--when I said I thought you were brave, it was because you are choosing to share your story--the happy, the not-so-happy--your REAL story. I haven't quite come to terms how much truth I want to put into my Internet life, and so I stay pretty quiet. You are not quiet, and I admire that.

  2. I just got goose bumps and maybe a little tear of joy... that post really spoke to me and it is REFRESHING to know that there are still truth-tellers out there - REAL people with REAL opinions and morals ....ah - so refreshing! those pics gave me goosies too - REAL and RAW ... thanks for being you - you've made my morning (possibly my day but it's too early to call it - lol)! xoxo

  3. Great post! I enjoyed your honesty and transparency and I LOVE that LO!

  4. Hiya, girlie. Okay, so, um, my experiences are not as profound or selfless as yours. I fear sometimes that I'm precisely that B*tch who doesn't know how to shut up and keep her opinions and arrogance to herself.

    But I have a healthy respect for truth. I have a healthy respect for good. And when I do say something horribly awkward or wrong, I'm the first one who beats myself up for it.

    Anyway, I've always been the kind of person people either love or resent for telling it as it is. If you're really my friend, and I can be totally honest with you, so much the better. Because that's how relationships grow.

    Just keep being the wonderful, sweet, generous you that you are. Love yah, girl.

    "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." - Bernard Baruch

    P.S. Your works of art are always so inspiring. And you have such a beautiful family and I envy the way you capture them in the most precious, amazing photos.

    Just keep being you. *hugs*

  5. What do I think? You know what I think because I have said I admire that you can just SAY what you mean. It takes courage and wow, I do not have that. It suck to be the one that people walk all over, trust me! I think you are eloquent and I really, quite shocked by your OK experience..I mean you were there helping with and American disaster yet your team mate was not willing to open her heart to this boy's story? WOW, she picked the wrong thing to do that summer.
    I do have to say, I do the same type of "plug my ears" and say "nanny, nanny" when my kids try to tell me of a story or something in the news...but only when it is about kids...I just physically CAN'T listen. It's because it is too closet to home..but If it were a story that was a first hand experience..a story of survival..YEAH, I would embrace it!
    So, Michelle, thanks for the editorial today, it is nice to have someone say, WAKE UP and take a look around you, that is what I got from your post today!

    So, Smooches, right back at you!

  6. woah, yes. where to start? first, I hope whatever experience you had this week ended with you giving the offender a piece of your mind. next, i too can't believe that stoooopid girl (charity?? she seems most uncharitable) but what i really am shocked at is that everyone else apart from you was silent. i am quite a shy, non-confrontational type, but when there's an injustice being done, my heart helps me speak out and speak up, and I woulda done exactly what you did. As I'm approaching 30 I am much more confident and self-assured so I am finding that I don't give a shiz (to take your spelling) about what people think of me and what I say. What I really can't stand is bullshiz :-) and people who do that. I mean, seriously, I only have a finite amount of time on this earth and energy during my day - why would I wanna waste it on bullshiz? So keep on being you. One comment of yours made me choke on my tea - 'been getting lots of flack about my viewpoints on art lately' - I mean, C'MON, PEOPLE!! - if individuals can't have individual viewpoints about art then there is NOTHING!! Art has no rules!! What is wrong with them? OK And finally, your photos are just going from strength to strength missy - the 'Aloan' one makes me breathless in its artisticness... photo comps?? Please enter some! x

  7. Firstly. I love you... and if I was that way inclined you might be in a little trouble missy ;)

    Secondly - YES! YES! A thousand times YES!

    I'm so sick of crap and lies and what's it they call it over here.. spin? I never lie. To the point that I make myself look an idiot. It has nothing, OK maybe a little, to do with the fact that I am so rubbish at it, I call it my Pinocchio complex, my nose doesn't grow but I go red and stutter and stammer. Easier just to say the truth ;)

    I wish there were more people with the Pinocchio complex.

    Like Cheryl, I hope your situation this week ended positively for you. And yes, who dares give you flak about art? Ooh that makes me so angry - the amount of time I spend telling my girls art is subjective, art is personal, there is no wrong way... and then you get idiots going "well, actually..." GRRRRRR!

  8. Love ur blog! Ace LO!!! {Michellek from IG!}

  9. Ya'lls are awesome sauce for the tired of the crapadoodle soul. I just want to say- I put my foot in my mouth so often it's about to walk out on it's own but I'm ok with it. Thank you for being so supportive. And MICHELLE YOU STALKER! I am SO GONNA follow suit!!!

  10. i love travel LOs and 8.5"x11" LOs. so putting them together sounds like a great idea for an album. Isn't it great that maps are so trendy and in now ?

  11. Dang girl..I Admire You...seriously, we should all just tell it like it is, no B.S. but I won't tell you how many times the gigantic chicken in me comes out and takes over. It's gotten better as I've gotten older, I'm working on it but it's still far from where I'd like it to be. Thanks for sharing...

  12. You're definitely on to something here. If she didn't want to hear his story, couldn't she just go somewhere else. The world is full of people who don't want to hear stories such as these. They are painful, so painful you can't believe they're true, but they are.

    Thank you for sharing this!


Ok peeps lets CHAT! You tell me what you REALLY think and I PROMISE to keep it open minded here.