Archive for December, 2013

Open Kimono

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013


“To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Hamlet, Shakespeare

My girlfriend, Tina, shared a link on Facebook with me today, entitled “Why it’s OK to Make a Mess of Things.”  She says it reminds her of my blog posts.  I have to laugh.  Not just because both my friend and the author of the article are right, but because the timing cannot be any more perfect. Why?  Because, I am making a mess of things yet again.  I am taking a sledgehammer to all that I believe to be true and hold sacred.  I am turning my world upside down and downside up.  I am breaking the code, ditching any security I have left, and taking a giant leap into the unknown.

My husband and I have split after 22 years of marriage.

Kevin is a good man.  I love him and he loves me.  But sometimes love is not enough.  So, we sold the house in Orange and the kids and I moved into 1300 square feet of 1952 cuteness.  Our house is on an Oak Tree lined street only five minutes from Orange County High School of the Arts, Casey’s current school and hopefully Maggie’s future school.  Living in the center of everything, we can walk to museums, the book store, Starbucks, the Mall and my favorite, Mother’s Market, which means fresh green juice every day without the mess and clean-up.  Although we are all very sad, we are transitioning well, albeit a bump or two here and there.  It seems the future is never as scary as one imagines.

My new neighborhood!

Jacaranda Trees in the spring

I was very hesitant to write about our separation on my blog.  But after careful consideration, I have decided I need to write about it.  Not because I want to air my dirty laundry, vent, point a finger or get sympathy (well, maybe a little).  No, I need to write about it because not only is it the truth, it is my life.  And my blog is about my life.  Anything less would be a half truth.  Anything less would be a half life.  Anything less would not be fair to you.  And, honestly, anything less makes for dreadful writing.

My best writing is when I write with guts from my gut.  My best life is when I live with guts from my gut.  And when I write and live from my gut, life is good.  I am able to be real, to be authentic, to be Deanne.  The beautiful thing about this, when I am being Deanne, when the mask is off and the persona gone, I create a space for others to be real too.  It’s a win win.  Here is a beautiful quote that expresses this idea well.

I believe the desire to be authentic and walk in our own truths is instinctive in all of us.  I also believe that hard times will awaken this desire if it has gone to sleep.  Mine is wide awake!

But, walking in our own truth is not always easy to do.  It means honesty which can put us in a vulnerable position.  I know that by being truthful and sharing some of my heartbreaking stories on my blog, I am left open to the elements; criticism, judgment and disapproval.  But, this is what honesty does.  It puts us at risk.  We are left exposed and susceptible to emotional and even physical harm.  Mother Theresa knew this too, but do you know what she said, “Be honest and transparent anyway.”

And when we are willing to be honest and transparent with ourselves and others, when we are willing to live our truth, and not worry about how it “looks.” it will set us free (I heard that somewhere) and everything will line up perfectly.  We humans go to great lengths to look good, be safe and maintain the status quo.  But “looking good” is not worth risking your authenticity.  You will miss out.  Others will miss out.  The world will miss out.  And, I do not want to miss out!

Here is a story of someone else that didn’t want to miss out either.  Hoda Kotb, 47 year old breast cancer survivor and Today Show host, learned a big lesson after meeting some random guy on a plane.  She got stuck sitting next to Mr. Chatty Cathy when all she wanted to do was put her headphones on and go to sleep. After surviving breast cancer and divorce all in the same year, Hoda did not want to explain the sling around her arm from a recent mastectomy when Mr. Chatty Cathy asked, “What is that?” She wanted to keep her story to herself.  After all, it was her story. It was no one else’s business.  Hoda finally and reluctantly explained the last year of her life to him.  And Mr. Chatty Cathy’s response, “Don’t hog your journey; it’s not just for you.  You can put your stuff deep in your pockets and take it to the grave or you can help somebody.”

Hoda said this encounter changed her life.  She chose to help somebody by writing a book and sharing her story.  And, like Hoda, I am choosing to do the same with my blog.

So here I am, the real me, Deanne, The Yes Mom Brown, sprawled out naked in front of you.  An open kimono!  Honest, not hogging my journey, vulnerable forty-seven year old, breast cancer survivor, blogger who is going out on a limb, taking a risk, dismantling my life, and living to tell about it.  You are welcome to borrow my sledgehammer when I am done.

“You could have a steam train
If you’d just lay down your tracks
You could have an aeroplane flying
If you bring your blue sky back.”

Peter Gabriel