I went to college at a small Southern Baptist university.
On Sunday mornings, if I skipped church, I would actually get showered and put on my Sunday dress before going to the cafeteria. Ya' know, so people thought I had, indeed, gone to church.
I wasn't the only one. Lots of us did this.
If someone saw me out and about during "church hours," I always stopped to
As a young mom, I always felt pressure to explain my choices: an afternoon at McDonald's, what was actually in my kid's bottle, WHY they had a bottle, why I missed play group, etc.
The other day, several other dread goddesses and I admitted that some of us wear make up and like it, or shop at Target and Old Navy. We all knew we could say these things safely and fully to each other, but the undercurrent was, "We're afraid of being judged by hippies at large." Yup.
In another conversation with an unschooler, I felt this overwhelming urge to explain that we're not fully unschooling by the definition of most, and why, and, then ... how much of my family's personal info do I share? Ugh.
We all fall into this trap. I could blame it on negative responses I have received in the past. Raised eyebrows. Finding out later that someone was making assumptions and judgements about me behind my back. However, regardless of what I've experienced in the past or what feelings it triggers, my response is my responsibility. Nothing else is to blame.
My name is Christine, and I have an unhealthy issue with over-explaining myself.
I know this. I'm working on keeping my mouth shut. I'm answering only what is asked and not going into a long explanation to cover all areas of possible judgement. I've even been trying a new thing. When I have the feeling of, "Oh, they're not going to agree with this or may have a problem with (fill-in-the-blank)" I just ... sit with it. I keep talking normally. Or I stop. Whatever. But I resist the urge to explain myself.
The more I do it, the better I'm getting at it. Granted, I have days where I completely slurp and end up stumbling all over myself verbally trying to explain why the vegan has a Sonic bag in the floorboard of her minivan and exactly what a freegan vegan flexitarian is and why I believe in balance in all things, and, and, and, and ...
I'm learning that while I have a pretty good read on others and I am very discerning, sometimes I'm just plain wrong. Sometimes I assume what another person is thinking about me, and I'm completely off. Sometimes people don't even give a crap about whatever the heck I've dubbed their greatest obsessive thought in that moment.
Yesterday I looked at my kids and said, "Don't let anyone tell you that you have to feel or act old, or stop learning new things, or stop changing - ever!" I really want to be better at this. I'm making a conscious effort to improve because it's pretty much a colossal waste of my brain power and energy.
I should save myself for when people are blatantly put off by me, ya' know? It's exhausting work being offensive. Why create it when it's not there?