What you can expect:
The brutal truth of me, without all the sugary coating.
Here I am just me, UNCUT and UNEDITED.
I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
If you leave me a comment, I will love you forever. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who are you, and what have you done with my daughter?

This blog (To the Depths) was intended to be a pure, unadulterated, uncensored place for me to be me.

This blog was intended to be uncut and unedited, for your shock-and-awe pleasure.

It turns out this blog is only slightly different from my private family blog… in that it includes less pictures of my children (for safety), and a few less personal details (also for safety), with bits and pieces of how I really feel involved.

The reason this blog did not turn out the way I had intended is one of two things.

It’s either: A) because my family reads it, and I’ve always been too afraid to be myself around my family. I tell myself it’s out of respect for them, but I have a suspicion it’s actually more about fear,
Or B) because I just don’t have the guts to be me, despite my belief that I am an open book, unafraid and un-intimidated by what other people think of me.

I know I am a good person. I know that I strive to do good for others every day of my life, that I am a respectful person with much regard for the feelings of those around me. I know I am a loyal friend, employee, and family member. I know that I accept others as freely as possible, and if I find myself creating judgments about them, I immediately make it my focus to retrain my thoughts.

So why am I so afraid?

I’ve spent literal years trying to figure out the answer to that question. Most people I know (have known) blame it on Utah; this place isn’t accepting of differences, therefore they are judged and intentionally left out. As a long-time fan of my home state, I have fought this idea. They just weren’t giving the culture a chance to be what it is, I would say. “You just don’t understand the background of the people who settled here.”

Well what is that background? The people who founded this great state did so because they were persecuted, and therefore driven out, of every other state where they had attempted to live their peaceful lives. Instead they chose to start from the solid, frozen ground of the unsettled West and work upward until they had built their own Zion, a place where they could live out their beliefs and ideals in peace and harmony with the others who felt the way they did.

That’s all I want out of life.

I want to believe what I believe, be who I am, and let others do the same. 

I admit, I was never able to embrace the full teachings of my family’s church. I embraced many, many beliefs I was taught in my youth, and even more since then, but the complete circle I cannot. In it there are concepts I don’t believe, so I take the parts that make me a good person and leave the parts that appear to contradict those things. Maybe this makes me a bad Mormon, or maybe even a bad Christian, but I believe I am on a path that leads to good things in the end, and only God knows for sure if that is true or false.

Finally I acquired enough courage to stop attending weekly church services. I don’t believe God cares whether I spend every Sunday in his chapel or not. I believe what matters to Him is what is in my heart, what my intentions are, and where they lead me. 

I know with absolute certainty that the church is good, but the people who represent the church only occasionally are. So I have taken good advice given to me and separated the people from the purpose. I contemplate the universe, its Maker and His plan for us on my own, within the walls of my own home, and I believe He is content with that.

Yet, there are still so many things I have never had the courage to admit, because my family – who loves their church and its teachings so deeply – might be listening. And I am too afraid to hurt them.

And, most of all, I am too afraid to hear what they have to say to me in return.

I don’t believe it is the place of any human being to tell me what the “should”s are. 
 I don’t believe in the “shouldn’t”s, with the exception of a few major ones. I don’t believe we should make each other feel unwelcome in their own skin, and that’s precisely how I have felt most of my life.

But I know that the people I love don’t feel that way; they feel their way is of love and charity, and that they are partially responsible for the saving of my soul. I respect this and uphold its position, so I have chosen to hide myself in order to protect relationships I hold dear, to protect my mother and father and sisters of the concern they would inevitably be consumed by if they knew how different from them I really was.

They are not stupid. They are intelligent, perceptive people, who easily see through a fa├žade. I don’t pretend to think they are blind to what my life, habits, preferences, etc. may be. I simply believe their eyes and ears deserve the respect of the shield I generally place between them and me.

In all honesty, though, I am tired.

I’m tired of hiding away in a hole.
I’m tired of hoping I don’t accidentally step on anyone while I live my life.
I’m tired of trying to please two worlds.
I’m just plain tired of pretending.

The truth is likely to break hearts. The truth is likely to cause conflict. The truth is likely to cause heavy silence, the kind that can't really be breached. Or, we'll go on as usual, pretending I'm not a disappointment to the family. 

The truth is, I swear like a sailor when things don't go my way. 
The truth is, I enjoy a martini or a glass of wine once in a while.
The truth is, I don't think God cares what clothes I wear.
The truth is, I don't believe He cares if I put tattoos on my body (although I haven't, as I am terrified of needles).
The truth is, the only reason I don't have my nose pierced is because of my job.
The truth is, I don't feel the need to repent for any of these things. 

They aren't even hard for me to say type, but I feel like I've done enough to complicate my parents' lives. I've been enough of a disappointment and a fear. Why should I give them more reason to worry their heads with good intentions and where-did-things-go-wrong-s? 

Because I want to live in transparency. I want To the Depths to be what it claims to be. 
I want to be accepted and loved, without needing an entire day in bed because of the guilt I feel for saying the word fuck on my blog. 

I truly am sorry I didn't turn out the way they had hoped. And I still want to be Daddy's little girl.


I want to be me, and I don't want to hide anymore.  



    That is all.

  2. I don't ordinarily comment as we are generally in the same room as one another, however, even though I just told you exactly how I feel about this post I think that it should be a thing that you can look back and see. I'm blown away by the technical excellence of this post. It satisfied every need that I have in my being for effective communication. Much greater than that is the bravery that it took for you to reveal your naked self to all of those you know and love. I applaud everything you are, and am so proud that you're my partner. Keep this up and we'll live our dreams, I know it.

  3. Aubrey,

    Obviously, this comment by me in a previous post has caused you great distress:

    "This post does not speak well of you."

    It was 1am in the morning when I made that post and I was very tired. If I had been fully awake then, as I am now, I would have said this instead:

    Interesting post. I'm sorry someone offended you at work today. That must hurt a lot. I am surprised by the brevity of your post.

    The fact that you swear is not secret. You've done it a couple of times in print before and I don't think I commented on it then. Let me comment on it now. I've been known to swear a time or two myself, particularly in my younger years and particularly for emphasis when I was angry, like you were the other night.

    Over the years, watching people swear and examining the content of their frustration, or many times, just their desire to shock people, I have come to the conclusion that people who swear (including myself back when I did) swear because they lack the ability to articulate their feelings.

    When I said "This post does not speak well of you." It was a comment about how I feel about how articulate you usually are. This blog post, today, is an excellent example of your ability to say how you feel - without swearing. I don't know anyone else who expresses their feelings as well as you do.

    Obviously I hurt you much more than the person who asked you when your baby was due. I'm sorry I hurt you, that was not my intention. I've told you many times that I love you and I'm proud of you. I'm not proud of you because you are a little clone of me. You are not a clone of me. You are not supposed to be a clone of me. You are supposed to be yourself - just as I am supposed to be myself. I love you because you ARE. Not because I think you're going to become who I want you to be someday. I want you to be the best you that you can be. That's all.

    The best you that you can be is a very articulate you. You've shown that over and over and over again and I believe I've been as encouraging to you as anyone you know has ever been as you've attempted to express yourself over the years.

    Lastly, let me respond to the title of this post. Who you are is no surprise to me. I know who you are - you, the real you - are my daughter, and I am proud of who you are. I wasn't kidding or fooled all those times I've told you that.

    I love you,

  4. aubrey... for the same reason texting causes so many communication problems so does a one liner comment on your blog. so much to read into and worry about for no good reason. but i do appreciate your dad's explanation. it seems very heartfelt.

    and as far as you saying the church is good vs. the people. i agree similarly in that i believe the the church itself is perfect and the people attending are varying levels of imperfect.

    i don't think anyone should be forced to feel a certain way or to believe a certain thing. each person is entitled to their opinions and their beliefs.

    as you said, you ARE a good person. and even if we wouldn't always be on the same page on everything i can respect that. don't be afraid anymore!! we love you :)

  5. Without letting the comments sound like a broken record - I 'ditto' Miken's exact words. I'll add my own for emphasis:

    We may not always agree on everything - but I am so happy to be your friend, always. I admire and value those who can be true to their feelings. Free to be who they are and live to be happy. Living to be happy may include LOTS of leaps that may not always show where you'll land - but being brave and doing it because you feel it'll lead you to happiness, I believe will always be rewarding if you do so in good faith.

    Be true to your heart, and what you feel the Spirit is moving you to do/be. Keep being brave, even when your feelings get hurt, keep living OUT LOUD. Honesty speaks louder and attracts respect. People will not always agree, but in the end will respect you for the confidence that is the result of being your true and honest self and not just to please others. People change all the time, we're about improving ourselves. We're always learning and progressing forward when we live life with an honest heart. Just let your true colors fly. You're beautiful. Keep being your beautiful, happy, creative, self. :)

    Ah, I LOVE this post! I am LOVING your blog (Always have, but I just am extra loving it today). :) ♥

  6. I just got home from work and received all these comments. You all have made me cry; I feel really loved and accepted right now, which means SO much because this was so scary for me to put out there! Dad, just so you know, this post wasn't TO you, just spurred BY you, and I realize now it must have sounded like I feel all persecuted by you, which I don't. Like I said, I don't think I'm fooling anyone, I just tend to keep these things to myself as I know they offend my family (and some of my friends). I knew you weren't making it up when you said you were proud of me, and I love you too.

    Miken and Becky, thank you for your comments. I'm really lucky to still have you guys as friends!

    I also want you all to know this is the first time Husband has EVER commented, and I've been blogging for 4 years!!! I've waited a LONG TIME for that comment! Thanks babe. :)

    I really am a lucky girl.

  7. I keep an email filled with posts I absolutely love (I don't know why, I often write emails of stuff I don't know what do do with) and this is definitely going there.

    I sympathize completely - there are some things I believe that I don't tell anyone, just because I know once I tell some people it'll feel like more of a lie to not tell others and I love my family so very much and don't want to feel... separate from them.

  8. We truly are kindred spirits. You always say exactly how I feel, and here you've done it again. Let's kick those fears to the curb and start living life the way we want-feel-should. I'm learning to be who I am, as hard as it is (although shouldn't be!) regardless of who it may upset or disappoint. If those who love you truly love you, they'll love you regardless-and agree to disagree on whatever thoughts-feelings-beliefs you may differ on. Keep on keeping on my fave fab blog friend. :)

  9. Sometimes it's hard to know which of our selves is the true one. Because, we can be chameleons. And we often get confused. And even while we claim to be wanting acceptance for who we are inside - the Girl in the Mirror (Mulan) we also have certain expectations and hold judgment for others. Sometimes we judge the judgers. And sometimes we are creating what we want ourself to be inside, which can be entirely different than that person. Sometimes we decide what another person wants and then hold them to it, even though it wasn't their dream at all. No matter what, people are going to be disappointed in you... and me. And, chances are you will redefine yourselves over the years. However, you will always find people who love you that will try to force you back into the mold you were in before and tell you to "stay!" No matter how old you are. Can you accept your children's desires and beliefs that differ from your own, now that you're in the middle?

    I agree though that swearing hides your ability to use words as beautifully as you usually do. (mom-ism)


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