Saturday, April 28, 2012

A year of Wonderland

I don't think anyone is as happy as they think they are.

Or they imagine themselves to be.

I love my husband. We have a good friendship. We can laugh. Even in the midst of madness, cracking highly inappropriate jokes can't be silenced between us.

But I never was as honest with him as I am my closest friends. He was never TRULY my best friend, because of this. I didn't give him that courtesy to know every part of me. But until now, I had fear, I guess, to hurt his feelings, damage his image of me.

The golden wife.

The good wife.

Steadfastly supportive, even when I wanted to cry out, shriek, throw myself on the floor and refuse to get up...go on a hunger strike.

Okay, maybe not ever that last one. More like insolently over indulging.

It's funny that we paint this picture of how we must appear to others. We go on job interviews and play the role. We act like we know what we're doing with our children, so fucked up by examples we've seen growing up, books and experts that tell you what is bad today, only to have it rejected a few years later.

As I grew older, I found that I cared less about what people expected.

I tell people on job interviews that I will take off all the time I earn. Unapologetically for expecting that if I work when I commit to, I am entitled to have a break. But I will work my ass off for you.

I swear like a sailor in front of my sons. I never heard the word "fuck" until I was about 14. My kids have known it from birth. But yet, they know it's inappropriate to use those "bad words". I snicker when they think I don't hear them swear with their friends, and I think of how I used to as well when I was their age. What's a "bad word", I used to say. Who has the power to deem words bad, and if they are, why were they created? It's logic I had as a 12 year old, and I hold steadfast to those questions at 32.

People used to put my marriage on a pedestal.

Maybe because I've been married the longest. Maybe because we appeared happy.

Now, of course, I see what a charade it was.

I love my husband, and he loves me. That was never false.

But we were both far from happy and fulfilled. He, in the darkness of his secret depression and anxiety. Me, in the role I never wanted to play as dutiful war wife, always waiting. Waiting for life, which wouldn't be okay to live without him home. Trying over and over again, unsuccessfully, to accept that this was what I chose. For him.

And I resented him for it, oh yes. And reminded him of my sacrifices when I could. But I resented myself more.

So when the proverbial shit hit the fan, I was finally "allowed" to spill my guts about my true feelings. My lies, my hidden thoughts. The fact I always felt gyped out of the life I dreamed of.

Because I was meant to do something in this life.

It's really an egotistical thought. I was born to do something amazing. I will be known. I will make a difference in someone's life.

But the reality of it, is that I was meant to write. I spent a decade frustrated about it...not knowing what medium I was meant for. A novel? Fiction? A journalist?

After several false starts, uninspired enough to continue blogging about things that didn't interest me enough, I started this blog.

I will always be an army wife. I wear that battle-worn badge proudly. The few that stick it out, the strong. I will always be here to help any military wife that reaches their wits end and needs someone to reach out to for help.

But my real area of expertise is my own life, my own foibles and follies.

See my picture up there, in the right-hand corner of my blog? That's really me. And my name is really Keri Tietjen Smith.

I hide from no one in shame for my failures, because I have had successes too. As everyone has. Maybe if we were all a little more honest about them all, we would stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and enjoy life a little before we die. We make enemies of each other, always having to prove you can handle everything and balance it all. Maybe we should support each other, instead of condemn.

I don't have the perfect children. They weren't always the perfect babies, toddlers...they didn't try to walk at 3 months, weren't proclaimed geniuses at 5, didn't know how to talk at birth. I roll my eyes when new mothers talk about their amazing wonderkin. These are the same bitches who never seem to have anything go wrong, EVER. Never worry. Are never vulnerable. Never outwardly or publicly question themselves.

But I have pretty resilient and independant children. They are witty, loving and accepting. They embrace other's handicaps. They don't see race. They are smarter than half the adults I know.

Life is drama. And every drama has it's comedic moments. And I have plenty of both.

And so, I will share more of my stories with you.

Stay thirsty, my friends.


  1. That is probably one of the most honest and well written blogs I have ever read. Your children are blessed to have a mom that understands that much about herself so that she can understand them... {{{hugs}}} and applause!