The world of mommy bloggers and mommy blog readers is all a-flutter: One of its most beloved and well-known women, Heather Armstrong (aka “Dooce” of Dooce.com) has separated from her husband. What’s more, she has announced her separation in, fittingly, a very public and bloggy way.
A lot of people care a lot about this story. And, it’s no wonder: This is a woman who is widely known and accepted because of her ability to love her mess and tell all the other moms about it in the process. How could they not adore and embrace her? She manages to be cool and funny despite all of the messy honesty and reality.
But this is not a post about Dooce.
This is not a post about Dooce’s divorce (no shortage of those elsewhere, I am sure).
This is sort of a post of people caring about Dooce’s divorce.
Mostly, though, this is a post about your story.
Your story is just as important as her story. It may not be as well known or widely received or revenue-generating, but it is no less important or valuable or needed.
Your story matters. As much. Your story makes a difference. As much. Just like Dooce’s story matters, just like hers makes a difference. Whether yours is public and highly discussed, whether yours is private behind lock and key.
Whether yours is written in words, spoken in sounds, painted in colors…it needs out. The story that stays cooped up inside can, over time, choke on its own messy self.
The story that lies over time can literally make you sick. Really sick, by the way.
The story that keeps you from connecting fully with others can stifle.
The story unaccepted is a tragedy of sorts.
The story that lies and tells you “you are not good enough” or “you are still that same-old person” or “they were right about me” or “I’ll never get it right” can poison. It does poison.
Here is the thing about your story: It can and will inspire, it will heal. It’s probably funny, too. Sad at times, I am sure. Bittersweet. Real.
But…well, It has to be the truth. It does not have to be public or loud or on a sandwich board at a busy intersection. Declaring it and owning it do not need to entail the whole world knowing about it, unless that is what you feel you need to be heard.
Being heard isn’t about the masses; being heard starts with yourself.
No, sharing your story doesn’t have a ton of requirements. But the truth is non-negotiable. And the truth can be hard and raw and eye-opening in a way you didn’t necessarily want your eyes opened. You may not feel ready for the truth. (Cue Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”: “You can’t handle the truth!”)
But the truth awaits you. It may have been awaiting you for some time. So after you read about all those other people on TMZ.com or in People Magazine or on CNN or wherever else you go to read stories about other people, take a moment to come back to the story that matters the most. Then, keep coming back to it as much as you can. Start to care about it more than you care about his divorce or her new baby or their wedding.
This is the story that needs air, breath, life.
It needs you.