In a recent conversation with my father, I told him that I write about “my relationships and sex and stuff” without providing him a link or using the word, “blog.” I then explained my business plan and my advocacy goals for the next two years. I could tell from his pauses and tone that he was thoroughly confused. (Who wouldn’t be? I think most people are confused at first when they hear me talk about advocating for breast cancer awareness and body-friendly sex toys in the same sentence.)
City Dad: So…are you telling me this because you don’t want me to be embarrassed?
Me [pausing]: I guess so.
City Dad: Is there anything you think would embarrass me?
Me [pausing]: I hope not.
City Dad: Is there anything that embarrasses you?
Me [without hesitating]: No.
City Dad: Well, I’m glad that you told me so I didn’t find out another way. And, it’s not like I thought you were a saint! [We laugh.]
After hanging up the telephone, I thought about what I had said. Nothing in here embarrasses me. Nothing. This blog details my life and my choices. I’ve made some good decisions (often professionally) and some bad decisions (often with respect to my relationships with men). But, I don’t regret any of the experiences I’ve had. They’ve made me who I am today, and I love the person that I’ve become. If I was embarrassed about anything in here, I’d be embarrassed about who I am. That’s not me.
One of my dear friends is a life coach, and she always reminds me of how much I “own it.” I smile when she uses that expression because I do own my life and my choices.
When people write rude comments on my blog, I laugh and take their words with a grain of salt. (And, I don’t like salt.) How can I let the thoughts of someone that I don’t call a friend affect me? By having a blog and putting my life out there, I invite comments and criticism. There are many readers who I don’t know in real life that manage to respectfully disagree with my choices and actions. If someone comments in a way that’s disrespectful, I let it roll off of me. I own it.
I was the girl with the long, beautiful red hair, and now I’m bald. I miss my hair, but I know that I’m just where I’m meant to be in life right now. Wearing a wig doesn’t change the fact that I’m in treatment for cancer and doesn’t make me feel comfortable. It’s not authentic to my experience. I’ve done photo shoots and interviews bald. I walk around town bald. I host events bald. I’ve flirted shamelessly and had amazing sex bald. I own it.
I’m a liberal and a Christian. I used to practice law, but now I’m a blogger and advocate. I’m a woman, and I think about sex more than the average teenage boy. From my perspective, none of these things are mutually exclusive. Labels and identifiers are just words. I may be a writer, but I let my actions speak for themselves. As an attorney, I ruffled a few feathers by addressing issues that made partners and nonprofit directors uncomfortable. I do much of the same with my blog. I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve accomplished things of which I’m proud. But, through it all, I own it.
How do you own it, or how do you want to own it?