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February 23, 2006

We lied.

This Living Out Loud Thing was a new concept for me, a girl full of secrets, ashamed of being poor as a kid, with a checkered background, too much imagination. You just want to be so normal when you've had a crazy life. When I first met Mr. X, he lied about his age. It was the beginning, you know, of lies and secrets and all of it.

Lying is so powerful, it's so easy, you can slip into it easy as that. Trim a few years off your age, add a few dollar signs to your income, say you're not married.

He did. And then I did, too.

He made it so easy. I don't blame him. I need to tell you that when you're hiding from yourself, you say the untruths. You lie. It takes no encouragement. Finding a willing partner just adds fuel to the fire.

I'm walking a fine line these days, Living Out Loud is so much easier and harder than I expected. Someone emails me, and instead of telling them some bullshit story about... my hair? I tell them, no uncertainty, about the day when I was 13 and alone with angst, painting in my bedroom. Calling in to a radio station, it's a story that involves teenage awkwardness and joy division. Painful honesty. Or I tell ya'll what it feels like every day to be more divorced by the minute. I stop lying about my age, the smoking, and yeah I got four cats what of it? I write in curse words and talk about my love affair with wine, which some of ya'll think is addiction, but I know it's sadness and boredom because to live out loud is to say "I self-medicate, I eat, I drink wine. I am alive." I am not an addict, but I do love a good hearty cabernet with my whine. You can have a love affair with anything.

Hard-won truth.

I do not know who I married. He hid himself from me, the woman who slept beside him for a decade. When a man leaves his wife with no explanation, some bullshit, 'I need to get my creativity back,' it strips you of your value. Because he's saying "Anything would be better than you. You suck the life out of me. I want anything that isn't this." Well, fuck you. I want something better, too.

Advice: Men, if you leave your wives, tell them it was for another woman, a man, a career, a dream. Give a reason. We can explain away a reason, a woman, "Oh, he must like dark-haired women, flat chested, he's gay, God only knows. But he wanted this one other thing..." because lying to me, leaving me like this, made me question every goddamn thing about myself. It stole my self-esteem. And I am well and very pissed off about it.

Living Out Loud is hard. But it's worth it, because if you stop lying ("He left." Do you know how hard it is to say those words? To admit failure? To be flawed?) you can sigh, you can shrug, you can know that one true thing is good enough, that you're honest and it's enough. You have four cats. You drink wine. You fail and pick up the pieces. You love with abandon, honest love. You're hurt, but you're not bitter. Bitter implies a life without truth, and you live out loud. It's harder and yet easier than you ever imagined.

You keep on keeping on.

Posted by laurie at February 23, 2006 12:04 AM