Things don’t always turn out the way you expect.
Today’s ugly food is ‘volcanic cupcakes’. They weren’t meant to be volcanic – they were meant to keep their jammy centres well hidden until bitten into. Didn’t happen. Didn’t matter – they were freakin’ delicious!
Sometimes there’s something bubbling up inside you that you can’t keep hidden – anger, joy, a secret… or jam. I remember when I found out 5 years ago that I was pregnant, I was so excited I assumed everyone could tell just by looking at me. I shared the news much earlier than the usual 3 months in because I was sure everyone would have guessed already. I didn’t get a baby bump until about 6 months in… needless to say, nobody had guessed.
I have shared other, less wonderful, secrets in other, less dignified, ways. The particular one I’m thinking of won’t be shared here, at least not until I know you better, but by the time I released it, it seemed to have taken on a life of its own. A friend found a book under a coffee table, made a remark and bam! riding a wave of tears and hysterical optimism, out it all came. That was not a high point. In fact, it triggered a lot of tension and distress because what was for me a release of long pent-up emotion came across as total desperation – and the implications and effect of that schism were pretty profound. However, in the end (well, not the end, but between then and now), sharing that secret in that way allowed some pretty serious barriers to be broken down and cleared the way for a new level of honesty within the friendship. And friendships that can survive that kind of brutality are the ones that last lifetimes.
Purely by chance, as I pondered today’s theme, I came across this little clip. It goes for about 10 minutes, and is really worth watching when you find yourself with a few spare, quiet moments. In the clip, Ash Beckham talks about coming out of the closet in a global sense, where each person’s closet consists of a difficult conversation they are avoiding – whether it’s coming out as gay, telling your loved ones you have cancer, or explaining to your 5 year old that you are getting a divorce, Beckham deftly illustrates how “there is no ‘harder’, there is just ‘hard'”, but despite that, breaking out of any closet is absolutely essential if we want to actually live our own stories as we write them.
The point of this episode is to acknowledge that there are some things that want to be let out, that you can’t keep quiet no matter how hard you try. Some things, no matter how difficult, no matter the consequence, need to be shared. And the result of sharing can take you by surprise, it may not be pleasant but, in my experience at least, it’s not often regretted.