Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hey Pinocchio, CUT THE SHIT...lying isn't my jam.

Whenever I start to write I get intimidated and then I have to remind myself; your writing doesn't have to come from some place "brilliant," you spaz, it just has to come from some place that is TRUE.

Turns out I've been telling myself a whole lotta lies lately. Oh yes, the kind that you convince yourself are true after a certain period of time. The kind of lies that fester into every little crevice, the kind that thrive in the dark places and multiply until all the light has been overthrown. A virus of tall tales, anchored at the bottom of well.

These aren't the kind of lies that you can get off telling yourself forever, these aren't the harmless ones, these are the ones that paralyze you until you've forgotten that running, skipping, and galloping were things that you even did once, long, long, ago. (cue melodramatic music)

The biggest lie I've been telling myself is; I don't know.

I just keep saying it. ALMOST INCESSANTLY. Over the last two months I've been inundated with a truckload of questions, all asked with different intentions; where do you want to go? what to do want? do you have feelings for him? what would happen if____? how are you going to do that? is it worth it? do you want me? do you want him? what are you going to do about ____? red or white? which font do you like? HOW DO YOU FEEL?

....and you know what I say to all of that; I don't know. Shrug.

It's this default phrase that just keeps spilling out of my mouth, perpetuating this pesky army of lies and with each response of inaction, the lie keeps winning. By choosing to not KNOW, i'm further preserving the void, making the hole bigger and bigger...and the answers further and further. Sure, I know "not knowing" is okay to some degree, and for a certain amount of time. In the end, we don't REALLY know how things will unfold for us but what we do know is the RIGHT NOW, so I'm going to go ahead and call a fair amount of a "bullshit" on"NOT KNOWING" and I'm going to call is this instead (any of the following adjectives, insert where you see fit): avoidance, fear, apathy, laziness, cowardice, detachment, stalling....and I'm sure I could think of a few others.

Whenever I'm saying, "I don't know" somewhere in that stubborn little mind of mine, I've decided I just don't want to deal with the answer, because it may force me into making decisions I'm afraid of admitting, or feel incapable of handling. Or how about this one; because I think maybe, the answer will be the wrong one.

So what, maybe you don't have your five year plan...so maybe you really ARE simply waiting for your ship to sail in. Maybe you're embarrassed by your answers, ashamed by their simplicity, or confused by the weight of them unraveling into plain sight....but by not acknowledging them doesn't make the answer less true, it just diminishes their ability to come into the light.

You know what you do know, sugarplum? You know that last week was pretty fucking rough, you know that you were painfully vulnerable, the kind of raw that makes people cringe a little and suck air through their teeth while they avert their eyes in another direction. You know that you're not really "over it." You know that your value system doesn't need to match up to hers, or his, or that guys. You know that you'll never give a fuck about expensive glassware.

You know that you'll probably never do "a cleanse" because you think cleaning a blender is a pain in the ass. You know that feeling this way forever isn't an option.

You know that you made the right decision by letting a 'good one get away', not because you aren't good too, but because you couldn't force timing, or "rightness." You know that that other guy you just met, that you willingly fled to in your harrowing state, took advantage of you; your little bones, your eagerness, your hope that maybe he was a 'Prince Charming' and you know that you're still a strong, sexy, fierce woman, and all that matters is that YOU see it.

You KNOW you really don't need or want anyone right now, but you know that when the times comes, you are perfectly lovable... you know that the next guy will notice how your toes always curl up when you're thinking hard, or that you tug on your right ear when you're getting anxious and that your voice goes up an octave when you're about to ask for him to make an icecream run... and that he'll fall in love with quirks you don't even know you have.

You know that there's an undercurrent of adventure happening for you....and you know you'd be a fool not to let it take you, even if you don't know where yet.

Next time you're about to say, "I don't know," ask yourself- what is it that you're afraid of answering?

So honestly, what's one answer you've been avoiding?


Rachel said...

Your writing kicks my ass.

Hope said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I loved this so much. I wrote this on a post-it note the other day.

"What's the truth in the lies I tell myself?"

There's always this annoying truth that we don't want to face with the lies we tell ourselves, isn't there?

Kristin said...

LOVE. Turns out that if you write from someplace TRUE it ends up being BRILLIANT anyway. Go figure.

Beautiful post!

Herding Cats said...

I remember when this guy I used to date commented that I used the phrase "I don't know.." like it was the only one I knew. He told me that it was my way of censoring what I DID know. Even though we didn't last as a couple, his words still inspire me because he was write "I DO know."

You do too :)

Laurie Stark said...

Dude. Same person right now.

Deanna Pai said...

I needed this. I end up saying "I don't know" so often that it ends up being a big cop-out, something to hide what I do know and don't want to admit. Thank you for this post -- I adore your writing.

Just M said...

I know. I don't use I don't know. I got A LOT of that the last week or so of the ending of my marriage.

I know that I am truly crushed. Heartbroken beyond repair right now. I know that I am no where near ready to even "get over it" or "move on". I know that he still messes with my emotions because I am too weak to not let him.

I know that this sucks and that even though I had a blast last Saturday and that guy was funny, good looking and made me have a great night while out with friends, I know that it was just a coverup and a way to make myself "feel" something.

It's okay to not know. Though. Because I don't know "why" or "what is going to happen."

I'm barely a month and a half in and I am fighing to skip the "I don't know" stage.

It's all in good time. Or so everyone keeps telling me.

Jen said...

Wow, Chels, you have a way of making me realize I've been doing something (or not doing something) that I had no idea even existed!

Yup, I shrug off those types of questions too and just let myself get carried by the currant.

I'm avoiding answering the question: Am I really where I want to be? Do I really like my job?

Ugh, I just don't want to face the answers to those questions.

JUST ME said...

We all need to stop saying "I don't know."

Because almost all of the time, we know. And if we truly don't...we just say "I'm figuring it out."

Loves you Mama.

Missy said...

"because I think maybe, the answer will be the wrong one"

Seriously, when are you going to write a self-help book? You always write about what I'm struggling with, which currently is letting my own Prince Charming get away. So thanks for the reminder that I did the right thing.

Unknown said...

Wow. That's very real and true. Good piece.

Unknown said...

I don't think that there's any answer I'm afraid of right now.
There's questions I'm afraid to ask though. And maybe it's because I'm afraid to know the answer (good or bad) from the other party.

Clare said...

You called me out on "not knowing" when I told you I thought it would be nice, in theory, to leave the restaurant. And look what I went and did! You're a bad influence for good.

Anonymous said...

Girl, I am discovering things about myself, through you! If I had had the powerful thinking process, that you have, I know that I would have handled all of my heart break, and dis appointment, so much better. Even today, though I'm soo over it all, I close my eyes, when "that subject"comes up, or try to turn my head somewhere, where no one else is. But,I also learned,maybe last yr., that my "past loves' did not deserve me,yet there was a purpose for them, in my life.Yep, we do learn from each and every single choice.There are no bad ones, unless we know, beforehand, that they are bad.

Ginger said...


Also, we should meet sometime. We live not far away and have lots of friends in common. Just sayin'.

Diana said...

I have been saying "I don't know" a lot lately and besides the fact that I really don't know the answers to the questions, what "I don't know" means is "I don't want to talk about it." Why? Because it's a crappy situation and I don't need you constantly reminding me of it. The end.
One day, that will come out.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Ginger- Definitely, shoot me a note, I always love connecting with local peeps!

kelly summers said...

So true. I remember going through a rough phase in my personal life that seriously affected my relationship with my fiancee (now husband) and for every question, the answer was always "I don't know." It probably should have been, "let me think about it" or "give me a minute" or "I'm afraid" most of the time. I still do it, though not as much. But seeing it as a lie or a way to hide something changes my perspective of the phrase.

gem said...

I do know that I don't want to be with either of them right now. I do know that I just say I don't know to keep the option open. I do know that I just don't enjoy being alone. I do know that it's not fair to pretend I don't know when it will hurt whichever one I pick because neither one is who I really want. I do know that admitting this makes me sad. I do know that it's for the best, even if it hurts right now.

Bri said...

I struggle with "Not Knowing" DAILY. And I too, know that most of the time, I really DO know... I just don't want to DEAL with the fact that I know. Cuz it's just too dang hard.

This weekend... I faced one of my, "I Don't Knows" by finally giving my ex-fiance a no bull-shit answer about why I called off our engagement. I was scared shit-less. But in the end, we BOTH benefited from it enormously. It's one of the best things I've done for myself in a long time.

Hillary said...

"I don't know" has been my catchphrase lately because honestly, life is too scary and unpredictable right now to seriously contemplate. "I don't know" has been my security blanket. Fortunately I'm surrounded by lovely people who let me say "I don't know" until I was ready to say "let's figure this shit out." I hope you're surrounded by similarly lovely people, lady, and that they help you sort out all the murky stuff.

Rahul said...

The problem is that if the phrase "I don't know" didn't exist then my brother would be a mute. this would probably be better for everyone involved.

Being honest is great. I do it everyday. If you don't like it then you can go to hell. Well, not really hell but someplace warm.

Phoenix said...

Your pep talks kick some real fucking ass, kid. Damn.

Lately I've been turning away happiness left and right, and I'm gonna start to ask myself the hard ass question of why the hell I do that. Why can't I just let myself be happy.

I'm crossing my fingers that I get some honesty out of me.

David Stehle said...

You're pulling a guy card - the "I don't know" card. It's similar to the girl card - the "I'm fine" card.

A girl knows she really isn't fine, but yet says "I'm fine" anyway. A boy knows what he wants, but uses the excuse "I don't know" to avoid answering truthfully.

Maybe what you're really saying is "I'm scared and I want someone to make the decision for me." Or better yet, "hold my hand while we decide together."

Maybe you just need someone to hold your hand?

Anonymous said...

I am totally an "I don't know" girl. Part of it is that I'm incredibly indecisive, but I also use it to avoid dealing with questions/issues.

And a little part of it is that I really and truly just don't know` right now, at least in terms of what direction my life needs to go in.

What I DO know is that I have friends and family who love me, who will support me no matter what happens. And I know (now) that taking a not-so-perfect job so I can stand on my own two feet is okay, especially since I can't exactly figure out what that perfect job will be yet.

San said...

Well, you said it pretty eloquently, my dear... the "I don't know" answer is a crop-out.

But sometimes it's tough to accept the actual answer.

Hi! I am LiLi! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Your posts are always brilliant.

Magdalena Viktoria said...

very true!
I'm in the same boat and tend to go with 'hmm, gosh, I don't know'. but there's so much, so much that should be in place of that.
you have a really great blog!

cessie said...

THANK YOU for writing this. I needed to hear something like this even though I had no idea I did.

I'm currently hiding from acknowledging an uncomfortable answer laid out in front of me that says "no going back to what was". Stalling is the word.

But I'm pretty sure your words just gave me a nudge in the right direction. Thanks.

Kelly Wimer said...

Whenever I say "I don't know" it's because I'm in denial. I don't know about how to take control which is total bullshit I am taking control in my present situation. I may not know about the future but I do know that it is a bright one because I'm 'the one who will be making it.

Michelle said...

Happy you're back to being victorious!

tria said...

This time you really got to me. "I don't know" is my go to answer for everything! when really I need to realize all the things I DO know! I think it's a good idea to write out what exactly you know, just like you did. An exercise really. I have my night writing cut out for me :)
thanks for inspiring me!

Giulia said...

lovely blog!!!!
This is my: This is my: www.thesinuouselegance.com

Jackie said...

Not until this blog have I ever given much thought to answering questions with "I don't know." Now I am seriously asking myself why I say it so much...

Irene's Closet said...

ahahah you are fantastic!!

You have a new follower
:D Would you like to come and see my blog?
xo from Italy
My blog: Irene’s Closet

Fizzgig said...

i dont know the square root of 100 or any other miriad of mathmatical questions.

I make an effort to always be honest with myself. it keeps me from blaming other people for my own crap going on in my life. you know, like when people are unhappy and they blame YOU for it?

Please! Get a clue!

Thats what i like about my 30s!

KT My Lady said...

Your voice resonates with what I'm feeling so much it's frightening. Thank you for your writing--all of it.

hklover86 said...

your writing kicks EVERYONES ass. lol I have definitely been in that situation before where I constantly tell myself I dont know because I do kinda know but it scares me.

Larissa said...

Love this post, you're brave as always and it's admirable.

I've been saying I don't know about the relationship I'm in... I've been saying it for too long.

Ugh, why does the truth hurt more than a lie sometimes?

hannahjustbreathe said...

AMAZING post, Chelsea. I was just reading through my journal the other night from last year, and I wrote an entire entry on how I felt so stalled in so many areas of my life and kept thinking/feeling "I just don't know; I just don't know."

We DO know. At our core, we know exactly. We just have to have the strength to say it, aloud. And we get there---slowly, surely. We get there.

Pretty Zesty said...

Yeah I lie to myself too... Hard for me to pinpoint something right now. I think I crowd my brain with such a huge to-do list and that's how I lie to myself. I avoid even thinking about things... hmmm...

sib said...

ohh pinoccio with his fibs..

xx claudia

Aedd said...

OMG! I totally needed that! That's me 100%... That's my lie too.

~BB~ said...

I'm not sure where I've been...but now that I've crawled out from under my rock I'm gonna follow you, because you are pretty kickass. Just sayin. Happy to have stumbled upon your blog!

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