#SOL18 My #OLW: Honesty
Honesty was not the word I chose. It came to me on a piece of shiny magenta paper cut into the shape of a star. I picked it at random from a basket of stars. Well, maybe not completely at random– I quickly fished around until I caught sight of a color I liked. When I read the word, I felt a little jolt. And I laughed.
They ran out of stars and I noticed a woman a few pews ahead didn’t get one. After the service ended, I tapped her shoulder and handed her mine. I figured we could share it, I told her. She was grateful. Then she read the star. “Crap'” she said. “That’s what I thought, too,” I replied.
Which probably means it’s exactly the word I need.
There are different kinds of honesty. I think these depend on the level of intellectual and emotional intimacy you have with the people in a particular situation. Frankness at work or professionally, when someone asks your opinion– or they don’t ask and you give it anyway, which is sometimes (probably) something other than honesty. When your spouse asks how you’re doing or what’s wrong, you can patiently explain. (Or yell.) I think there is honesty in silence, and in tenderness.
It’s self-honesty that will bring me challenges this year. I don’t think I am intentionally self deceptive. (This makes me think of the saying that there’s a river in Egypt called Denial.) But it is time, I think, to collect myself after this cross-country move and sort some things out, primarily about work. Opportunities here seem way more limited than I expected. So, what do I expect of myself, me and my shiny new doctorate? If there’s no official “job,” do I have the guts to make one, and to corral an employer? Do I want to? Do I have the guts to dive full-on into writing? Ah, writing. My first and forever love. Can I build a writing life again? (So many things fell by the wayside in grad school.) (More accurately, they got mown down, as if by a mack truck.) What do I want this blog to be, for example? What about a new writing group?
Maybe a better word would have been untangling. But you get what you get, and I got honesty. And maybe untangling and honesty go hand in hand.
I’ll take the year to find out.
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