Image: Chiromancer 2018
It’s been a while since I packed passport, arranged a visa and hot-footed it somewhere else for work. This week took me to New York for a new assignment. In my previous, pre-stepmom life, this would have been an ordinary trip. I travelled a lot. For work. For pleasure. I used to do a lot of other things…a lot. Now that I’m married to the Belgian – and stepmom to his boys – this trip adopted new significance.
Being alone in NYC as a kick-ass consultant reminded me of my days when I really was kick-ass, no-kids. No husband. Fun. Me. Just me. Me…alone. This time, being alone in New York also reminded me that I have some boys at home who might be missing me. Turns out they did…even Watson, our cat was happy to see me…But, it also reminded me that I’m good at what I do, that in my professional life, I am respected, valued and rewarded as…me! Sometimes this is hard to know when your role is being a stepmom and wife to boys who are from a different culture. Sometimes a different planet…
Change – which I do for a living – is not rocket science , but somehow, having to change my life from careerista singleton to married stepmom was harder than I expected. Not so much science as a rocket up my butt! Ouch! Much harder! Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Belgian and I would not swap my current life for the world, but it’s nice to be myself – just me,myself, I – for a change. For a change…being a working woman alone in New York meant I could order juice for breakfast, spend hours blowdrying my hair, explore the city after hours and catch up on some much needed sleep.
Sometimes you have to go back, to see how far you have journeyed…
This blog has been inspired by a C4 documentary about people who work on London Underground. Actually…I should say this rant has been inspired by lazy journalism. Apparently the individuals who work for the world’s oldest mass transport system do not want to be identified because they fear for their jobs…we are told that ‘actors’ are ‘speaking their real words’… What a crock! Either they are just moaning Minnies or sniping backbiters who really should seek employment elsewhere, or they have a legitimate grievance. Either way, C4 have not realised that having Victor – ‘I don’t believe it’ – Meldrew narrating the whole episode will only detract from their authentic purpose, not advance it. And if you don’t live in the UK, you probably won’t get the reference, so check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Meldrew
As a small child, a Calvinistic work-ethic… and a love of knowledge probably set the precedent for me. If you are going to tell a lie, then make it a good one. Otherwise, just stick to the facts! Of course, one should tell the truth as you see it. Yes, the empaths amongst us would argue that there are always three sides to a story – and they may be right. Reality seen from multiple perspectives, is not necessarily the amalgam of truth. But facts are facts. 2 + 2 = 4 in this universe… And yes…sigh… quantum physicists, I know it doesn’t in others, but that is not the point!
The point is: if you are going to speak your mind, tell your truth, diss someone or spill the beans…at least have the guts to do it in your own name. Don’t dissemble. Don’t lie. Don’t get someone else to read it for you. Just say…and own up to it! Be true to yourself, not the journalist at the other end of the mike. As the man said, ‘Just the facts, ma’am’…
If you want to know why I’m so annoyed, check out: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/confessions-from-the-underground/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1
Truth is relative. A few months ago, compelled by a need to be true to myself, I revealed something little known, but much suspected. It cost me dearly…the love of someone I adored, the loss of myself. Well… the loss of my former self. I am different now. Still, it was a heavy price to pay. I feel the consequences every day.
As human beings, we often say ‘be honest’ when honesty is the last thing we want. I’ve realised perfectly sane, intelligent people are happy to accept and to live lies because that is better than facing the consequences that arise from the truth. Of course, truth depends on who is telling it. It’s not an absolute, simply a perspective. You cannot argue with facts in the same way you dispute versions of the truth.
My favourite role model, Einstein (love him and if he was alive would have his children!) once said: ‘Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters’. I think he’s saying that we need to be honest in the small and big events of our lives, even if that honesty brings consequence. And…I guess he’s making the point that people who cannot be trusted will betray you in tiny increments. The first cut won’t hurt at all, the second only makes you wonder! Less said about that, soonest mended.
I tell the truth, because I think it’s important to accept responsibility for our actions. Our integrity depends on our willingness to own up for the decisions we make. We have to face the truth – even if it’s unpalatable – and live with the results. Quid pro Quo. Truth and consequence.