Sometimes I worry that I come off as too vanilla. On this blog and in real life.
I’m not vanilla. I have strong opinions. I speak them openly and boldly. But only to the people I really love.
Sometimes I wonder, why?
I experience the other end of it all the time. N is brilliant. I don’t want to brag or anything but the man is educated AF about politics and what’s going on in the world and it’s quite possible that I’m the only person who truly gets to see and experience his brilliance.
Because he is smart, he doesn’t talk about politics etc. with friends or family. He insists that he won’t change anyone’s mind by sharing what he knows or arguing his side. I see that. I do.
But also I find it ridiculously attractive when we have a glass of wine and then he spouts off about world issues and he’s so informed. It’s sexy. A lot sexier than what he is doing as a write this, which is playing his Nintendo Switch and using Archie as a headrest while watching football. I’m not ready for football season again.
I want to be the person who shares her opinions. Who is knowledgeable and courageous and outspoken. But also, I desperately want to be liked. More than I should even admit. I’m that person who could get 100 good comments and would dwell on the one negative one.
I guess my problem is, my skin is thin but my opinions are thick. Because I know this, I’ve probably painted a vanilla version of who I am online and perhaps to most acquaintances in my life.
I’m 30. I don’t know why but I thought it might be like a switch when I turned 30. Like BOOM, I no longer care what other people think. I wish that had happened but it hasn’t.
Funnily enough, the thing that has probably been the biggest change for me has been becoming a parent. I’m confident in my mothering. I don’t feel like I need to read 100 books to know what to do. It feels intuitive and I don’t often question my decisions as a Mom. I’m Ben’s mom and he seems pretty happy being Nadine’s son. It’s probably what I’m most confident about. I’m a good Mom and I know that and I don’t need anyone to tell me that.
I guess I just wish I was braver. I wish I cared less about what people think of me. I’m unsure what it says about me that it bothers me so that I might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not. I know I’m not.
But also, I get one life. One. Do I want to live that being vanilla and mediocre and worst, silent? I so admire those who are willing to boldly be themselves. Meanwhile, I’m over her like, “I’ll be ME but only in front of my husband and dog!”
Does it really matter what people thought of you? I’ve heard it dozens of times – “Someones’ opinion of you is their problem, not yours.” So why do I make it my problem?
I don’t know where I’m going with this but just know, the end goal is to just be me. I’d like to do that without some soul-searching, yoga doing, chi finding, “get in touch with myself” kind of stuff. I have no desire to do all that and I definitely don’t want to read a self-help book about it.
I know who I am, I just wish I could be her more publicly, you know?
So I’ll start now. Why not, right? [Of note, I deleted this portion of the post and then added it back several times. I’m a work in progress.]
I know what my biggest pet peeve is, without hesitation: when people #adoptdontshop constantly but still eat meat. Hypocrite much? When their Instagram feed is like: post of their beloved #rescue (and don’t forget #adoptdontshop) but then the next post is a cheeseburger. I don’t get it.
I’m a vegetarian (pescatarian technically, though I only eat seafood on rare occasion) and that is completely because I love animals and don’t understand how people can separate the animal from what they’re eating. To me, that burger feels like Archie. That’s how I feel. It might not be how you feel, and that’s totally fine. N eats meat and we have sliced ham in our fridge right now. I also occasionally feed Ben meat (although part of me hopes he chooses to be a vegetarian on his own one day).
I have a whole thing where I can’t get it out of my mind that pigs are as smart as 3-year-old children and cows have best friends. I always worry I’d be eating the Kaylin (my bestie) cow and the Nadine cow is now somewhere wandering around the pasture having no one to talk to, heartbroken and missing her best friend. Have I ventured too far and now I sound like a crazy person? Maybe.
But people who really double down on the #adoptdontshop or want to make me feel bad for having a golden retriever (that I bought)? [Insert huge eye roll here]. You don’t get to stand on the moral high ground for adopting a dog and then eating approximately 80+ animals per year.
Have I offended you yet? Yes? Well I’m going to try not to lose sleep over it because I’m 30 and I need to get over that. Okay? Okay.