Long before <VaneetaTellsAll.com> was even a thought, I always spoke relatively openly on other social networks and forums. For that, I always took a hard hit from many people for varying reasons, some of which I have been told directly.
A former acquaintance, whose opinion of me is as important to me as a stack of hay, used to repeatedly complain, observe and share with our mutual friends that he found that I ‘lived my life publicly on Facebook’. My counter question was always, ‘Why does his profile have so little activity, yet he is so in tuned to everything I write? Is it that the purpose of his profile was to judge the affairs of others?’ I never got the question answered but he continually judged for being so ‘public’.
Some former high school classmates unfriended me on Facebook because of my posts about wanting to remain child-free, somehow believing that my choice to not be a parent, equated that they were wrong to reproduce. Others do not speak to me because I am so vocal about education and parenting related issues, even after given the fact that I am an educator dealing with teenagers every day for sixteen years. I have had people respond to my posts complaining that I didn’t know what I am talking about when I spoke about my life, my choices and my opinions, always quick to explain to me how different their lives were, therefore, I must wrong in all that I felt, thought and shared.
The worst I believe is when people I thought were my friends told me that maybe I should write less on social sights as others would not like that I am so public about so many things, especially when the ‘others’ of whom they speak, seem to affect their lives much more than they affected mine. I have even had relatives, colleagues and friends saying behind my back that I obviously feel that I know everything and that’s why I do it…that it is simply an opportunity to boast or showcase myself.
So to be very clear, my explanation for blogging in its various forms, isn’t to prove a point to the judges, disbelievers and assumers. It is simply to explain to those interested in knowing why I do what I do. My life has not been a conventional one but I, by no means, consider myself a victim. I simply believe that the things that I have been through are not as uncommon to others as one may think. While I am also not trying to pull the ’40 year old card’ either, there is a certain knowledge and wisdom and transcendence that comes to you when you reach certain milestones in your life. Milestones can be age by numbers, experiences or simply occurrences of maturity. Likewise, even though I may have met certain milestones, I, by no means, know everything, and at times, just like everyone else, I often feel like I know very little.
I also know that people are not always willing or comfortable, understandably so, to share their experiences, especially their negative relationship experiences, which we all have. I have come to realise that life is a learning process that really never ends so some failed relationships do not necessarily reflect personal failure. We make mistakes. Life is messy. Some days, life is downright disastrous. However, when friends sit to have a meal or some drinks or just spend time together, and they start sharing their experiences and talking about the hardships they are trying to endure, a solace is brought to the table. Hearing that your peers are going through similar tribulations and can even offer advice, serve to be comforting on many levels.
As simplistic as this sounds, it is the premise for my blogs. Some people are private, others are lonely, and many are simply alone. Not everyone has a network or support system to help them through the tough times. What I have also found, is that there are some topics that people do not feel comfortable sharing with others, even though they would like some guidance on it. I like to write and I think that I get my point across clearly, making it easy for my peers to relate to me and to what I have to share.
Another reason I decided to do this, is a very personal one to me: to heal as part of my journey. We go through hurt and sweep it away, in an attempt to never see it or deal with it again. Then, out of nowhere, it resurfaces years, even decades after, to haunt you, hurt you, embarrass you and destroy your peace. I decided that I needed to find my way to heal. I need to heal from the hurt, betrayal, regrets, disappointment and personal shortcomings I endured in my adult life. The necessity for me to find a healthy outlet to help in my journey to healing was based on my desperation to not allow my experiences to make me bitter, jaded, ungenerous of myself and unhappy.
So, one day, March 7th to be exact, on my husband’s birthday, and with his encouragement and utmost support, I decided to create a website on which I can share some experiences and lessons. All I ever hoped to do was to help people to understand that we all feel similar things and share many experiences of which we are so unaware. My aim is never to hurt and embarrass anyone, as I was forced to explain to my ex-husband who called me to complain to me about any mention of him in my blogs. It is simply to help myself let go, let be and hopefully be able to forgive naturally wen the time was right for me.
In addition, I find it important that we understand that people seem find, dress nicely, smile, wear designer handbags, shoes and lovely make-up, but their lives are not perfect. We have all been there, and our perfect IG and FB pictures do not always tell the true story. No one loves to dress up and go out more than I do, yet for an entire decade, people I worked with, people I was related to and people who were my friends, had no idea what my life was really like. They only saw the shell, the perfect pictures and perfect stories. When I was younger, more superficial, less mature, the perfect image was of the utmost importance to me to project. However, that just led to me living a very unfulfilling and false double life that lacked realness, honesty, substance.
Embracing my reality and accepting that I was not perfect, mu life was not perfect, my choices were far from perfect, freed me. It freed me to start to find my true self. I no longer needed or wanted to project something I wasn’t. I no longer wanted to make unhealthy decisions. I wanted to understand happiness rather than just projecting what I thought happiness was.
If I could help younger women to understand that the path I took is avoidable if better decisions are made in their youth, then very little else would make me happier from this process and from my journey. I have been blessed with the honesty and support of many people who message me daily to share with me something that they were able to relate to, in what I wrote. The most touching was a message I received today from a long standing acquaintance from our rollicking university days, and even though he and I were not close, I was touched when he said that one of my articles helped him to change his perspective in his marriage. This must have been difficult for him to share, especially with me and I cannot even express how humbled I am by his words.
Sadly, women still aspire to be our worst enemies, when we can just learn so much from each other, respect each other’s experiences and let go of out insecurities that bring out the worst in us. Women especially share so many common experiences and because we have all reached a different place in our individual journeys, there is so much that we can learn from each other, while protecting ourselves, our children, our friends, our nieces, from unnecessary hurt.
My blog will continue, without the blessings of those who do not matter, but in the hope that it will help someone or guide a younger woman to a less painful path than mine. For those who feel that I gain something more from this, let it be known that I do this free of charge. However, if anyone would like to pay me, that would also be fine. But until then, I am happy, unafraid, heartened and unashamed to share my journey with you all. For those who are unimpressed by all that I have to say, that is quite ok with me. God is not a communist and he did not make us all equal (quote from a former dance teacher of mine), and we can’t all love each other the same. At the end of the day, if we feel offended by something we see, hear or read, then all we need to do is ignore it and continue along with our lives…