things I’m afraid to tell you

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I’m feeling so inspired by the blogosphere, thanks to a challenge issued by Ez of Creature Comforts which began with this post and has been promoted by Nichole & Erin. Many bloggers have participated in this movement, in order to promote transperency and honesty, and I find it extremely refreshing and uplifting. So, even though I’m a day late (blaming my preggo brain), here is what I’m “afraid to tell you”. Gulp. 

1…I’ve worn a bathing suit three times since I was 20. I am 32. My severe body image issues have prevented me from having the guts to do it, and it has kept me from enjoying many of my favorite water acitivites (I practically grew up on a lake), and forced me to lie in certain situations involving wearing one. I miss it terribly and have been working on this issue in and out of therapy for a long time…it will be a HUGE day in my life when I can wear one with comfort and pride. I have already started worrying about water activites with our children, and hope that somehow it will help me get out of my head.

2…My hair hasn’t always been red, although I was born a redhead. 

3…As much as I’ve wanted to be a mommy all my life and pregnancy is the most amazing experience I’ve ever had, I am terrified. Becoming a parent is so huge, and I worry about being the best mother I can be, how challenges with kids might affect our marriage, and how not to lose my own personal identity. Many aspects of this beautiful life event scare me.

4…I still sleep with my childhood blankie. Yep…it is tattered and torn and basically in threads, but it is still a bedtime companion of mine. My husband is very sweet and understanding about it.

5…The future loss of my furry child Billy paralyzes me with fear. Just thinking about it gives me pain in my heart, as great as any human losses I have experienced. He has been my constant companion and furry soulmate for 9 years now (adopted him when he was 2…he’s now 11). My hope is that he will live many more healthy years, enjoy being a big brother, and give me strength when he passes.

6…I am struggling with my parents aging, and I find myself retreating more and more into the safety and comfort of my marriage. I feel guilty about this often, as for the majority of my life my parents were my comfort. I know it is a natural progression, but I still feel badly about it at times. 

7…I don’t feel fully deserving of my current happiness. I’m working on it. 

8…Blogging is a creative outlet for me, and I consider it therapeutic. That being said…I care a lot about your comments, and at times feel insecure. I still care too much about what others think of me.

9…My business is not growing as quickly as I had hoped for, and although it is teaching me patience and perseverance, I am frustrated often. I constantly wish I had more money to put into marketing and PR, and feel jealous of those who do, or find ways to creatively promote themselves without the costs. I am very hard on myself and want to be better, and DO better!

10…Hitting the publish button on this post is challenging! 

 

***thank you all so much for the love & support here and elsewhere!***

 

Notes

  1. I have a hard time with #1 too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat on the sidelines while others enjoy the pool/lake and I’ve just wanted to cry. Although I have broken out my bikini for a few summers in a row now (but in some situations I couldn’t). It has been torture at times but I did it.

    So proud you did this my friend. I was so nervous at first and continued to be once published but relief soon set it and I’m so glad I did it.

  2. bravo, my friend. i think about sam dying all the time… and he’s only 4. he is my son and i couldn’t live without him. i never knew i could love a dog so much.

  3. living in Europe has definitely helped me feel more comfortable in a bikini, but I definitely still have moments of feeling incredibly self conscious. Thank you for posting this, it is just the push I need to push publish on my post :)
    xo

  4. Thank you for this post Susan! It takes great courage to admit your insecurities but please know you’ll find more people able to relate than you think! I fear many of the same things (bathing suit included) but articulating them is the first step to accepting them as necessary realities.

    And please don’t think you’re undeserving of happiness, there’s no such thing!

  5. You are deserving of the happiness in your life- so smile, sit back and enjoy. :) As far as #1, I can completely relate. Last year was the first year since I was 25 that I got into a swimsuit- and with that- I still wore a coverup almost the entire time.
    Just keep reminding yourself that you are beautiful. (because you are)

  6. Susan, I can relate to many points within you post & I am inspired by your bravery & courage. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

  7. Yup to the bathing suit insecurities and the dealing with parents aging. I haven’t talked much about my own parent stuff publicly but that’s a whole other can of worms in my life….oy.

    I love that we’re all doing this.

  8. Oh goodness I relate to so much of this. Thank you for being brave enough to write this post!! So inspiring.

    My mom always says that the people who are worried / afraid about having children make the best parents. It shows that they care so much about doing a good job, and people who care tend to actually do a fantastic job. And it shows that they appreciate the reality of what is about to happen, how hard and how amazing it will be. She says all the people she’s known who weren’t terrified fell apart when things got rough, and at some point or another things with little ones always get rough for a bit.

    And I feel you so much on the bathing suit thing. Totally. I’ve noticed as women we have a tendency to look at old photos of ourselves and go: “man, look at how beautiful I was!” even though we can remember that at the time of the photo we felt so self conscious and bad about our looks. I wish we could change that and look in the mirror and think “man, look at how beautiful I AM right now!”. I know I can’t look in the mirror and think that. But I’m working on it. Because I know when I’m old I will feel so foolish. They way I feel now when I look at college photos and wonder what in the world that chic was so self conscious about.

  9. Good for you, Susan! I’m sure this wasn’t easy, but you are not alone in any of these worries and fears. Aging parents is a tough one – I haven’t figured out how to handle it yet, either. And #5… well, I just started crying, if that tells you anything. You know how I feel about my puppy, who turned 7 last month. “Paralyzed” is an accurate description.
    But you’re also right to see the positive in these issues and have hope for your own growth. Thanks for having the strength to put yourself out there! You are brave and beautiful!

  10. Yes…I have cried so many times about it Adele. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing…I’m proud of you too! xo

  11. I can imagine that living there would help Ashley…it seems women have less trouble with self image in Europe, although it is a worldwide issue that plagues us all. I’m so happy this encourages you to share, that is the highest compliment! xo

  12. Thank you Lindsey…I am feeling empowered, and it is incredible how many issues are out there that we all share. It unites us, especially as females. xo

  13. Many thanks Cailin…I have been inspired by so many women posting on this subject, so I am honored to inspire others as well! Thank you so much. xo

  14. Yes…aging parents is a tough one Kayla…I think we both have older parents? I love this movement too, and thank YOU for sharing and inspiring!

  15. Wow, thank you so much Em (and I’ve missed you)! It’s crazy you mention what your Mom said…my husband said the same thing last night! Of course we can’t speak from experience yet, so it is comforting to hear that from someone who has been a parent.

    You are SO right about looking back and thinking “how beautiful I was”….I am guilty of that as well, and strive constantly to see the beauty in the present. Thank you so much for your thoughts. xo

  16. It wasn’t easy Maggie, but I feel so encouraged and supported, so thank you! Yes…#5 made me cry writing it-and I admit, I think about it way too often. It’s like knowing your child will die…it is awful when we stop to try and fathom the pain. There seems to always be positive, in every situation, and I’m not the best at seeing it but I am trying! Thank you so much. xo

  17. I could never have put those kind of “secrets” out there to the world, and I’m 68! I admire the strength of will it took to do this – but you’ve always had that, in spades, my daughter. xoxo Mom

  18. What a wonderful and empowering post, Susan! By admitting all of this you set yourself free.

    Thinking about my own list…

  19. This is so beautifully brave Susan. Thank you for sharing everything that you did. I relate to a lot of what you said, and the part about your sweet Billy made me get a lump in my throat. I’m so close to my little furry 10-year old girl Stella that I’m truly afraid of how I’ll carry on without her. I know that I will, but it is unfathomable to imagine a life without her…so I absolutely hear you on that. Thank you for being an inspiration by joining in this challenge!
    xo Ez

  20. Thank you Ez, that means so much. It is truly incredible how much we can all relate…thank YOU for being an integral part of such an inspirational movement. xo

  21. This weekend has truly been a journey down the yellow brick road. I’ve discovered so many great blogs (or more accurately, genuine and great women behind the blogs) and I feel truly happy. I’m sorry to say I just found your blog now, but I look forward to reading more – about you, your life, your business, and other beautiful (and sometimes less) things.

    Great branding, by the way. And I wish we could work together, your styling is superb (sometimes no matter how small the world appears online, true geography is a real bummer).

  22. Hello Naomi, I’m so glad this has introduced us to each other! Thank you so much for your kind words, and I look forward to reading more of yours as well…you have great style yourself so it is a big compliment that you love my branding and styling, merci!! :)

  23. Hi Susan! Thank you so much!
    When I saw your facebook comment I wondered if I accidentally clicked publish on the post featuring your site that I have scheduled for tomorrow, but then I remembered I left my name here. Hi!
    And Je vous en prie!

  24. You are amazing my friend. Reading this was beyond inspiring. I think you will find that more people relate to you than you realize, even if they’re not able to admit it. I know I do! And, being apprehensive of your responsibilities as a future parent only means you’ll be that much more of a terrific Mama.

  25. Erin, I truly appreciate that…and knowing what a good Mama you are makes me feel more confident that being anxious is a good sign! xo

  26. Bravo Susan. You are brave. And, although it is so hard to accept, we DO deserve our happiness and need to cherish every second of it when it is there. I have the same fears of my parents getting older. I just lost my cat who was truly the love of my life (aside from my hubby of course) to cancer at the age of 5. It hurts. But we have to take as much love from them when they are around, as possible. It is heart-warming to see many of us share these issues… Erica

  27. Beautiful! I’m jealous of your blankie! I remember mine and often wonder where it disappeared to. I would love the comfort it once brought me. As for Billy, I completely get it! My grandparents yorkie lived until 19 (he was 1 when my brother was born and lived until my brother turned 18)! So hopefully Billy shares the same yorkie genes. I think starting our own families is one of the most natural and beautiful coping mechanisms for dealing with the aging and inevitable loss of our parents. I hope your marriage and family bring you much comfort through these moments in life. Sharing these was a beautiful thing!

  28. I think it is so cute that you still sleep with your childhood blankie. That made me smile.
    I can relate so much with #6. I still live with my parents (I’m 18) and watching them age scares me so much. It paralyzes me to think about my mom dying in the future. She is pretty much my only friend and I really don’t know if I could live without her. I’m not just saying that, I really don’t think I could.
    I really commend you for posting this. While I’m sure it was incredibly difficult, honestly reading people’s quirks and shortcomings makes me like them and their blog MORE. Much, much more. It makes me feel like I can actually relate to them, and like they’re actually a person. Not just a blogger/designer/artist/etc.

  29. Haha, thanks Stephanie…it is 32 years old! I’m happy to hear about the 19 year old yorkie, and I hope Billy does share those genes, that would be amazing. It’s true, we start our families to help ease the detachment from our own parents, although I am the “sandwich generation”, who will be caring for my children and parents simultaneously. My husband and family do provide MUCH comfort with all of these challenges, I am so lucky.

  30. Thank you for visiting Haylee, and happy to make you smile! Losing our parents is inevitable, but so difficult to fathom until it happens. It should be a very long time for you before that is a concern, but just treasure each and every moment. It has been empowering to share these insecurities, even though I have written about personal and tough subjects before here…(see my archives). It is refreshing though to share this experience with other bloggers…we all relate more than we know! Thank you again :)

  31. I have loved reading everyone’s posts on what they are scared to tell–BRAVE! I understand the Billy one so well, I think it’s morbid of me to always think that way about my little George (12 y/o). She is the love of my life, lol. My husband knows and he feels the same way about her, hah! Having one baby is daunting but TWO?! You have every reason to be be a little nervous, but I bet you will be a great mom. The bathing suit? Well, I just had this come up when we were invited swimming and I said no because I wouldn’t want anyone to see me in a bathing suit, I felt so horrible for being a party pooper and even suggested my husband go without me, but he wouldn’t. I seriously can relate to everything on your list!

    xx,

    Miss B.

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