It has been said on more than one occasion that I am a very “open” person. I don’t think it’s ever been intended as a negative comment. Sometimes, I take it as a compliment. Others say it in a way that is not intended in any way except factual. I just am. I am open. I feel (maybe a little too) comfortable discussing pretty much any topic. I tend to overshare, but to me it isn’t oversharing. It is just being open.
I have found in my career and friendships that many times a friend or patient is much less embarrassed to talk to you about things that may bother them if they hear that you have also been in a similar situation. When a resident is embarrassed that they have some bladder issues, I share my most personal pregnancy stories. When a friend is struggling with something embarrassing, they usually know they can tell me about it because (as one friend has recently said) “Becca just lays it all out on the table.”
I guess I do. I didn’t really think of myself that way until it was recently brought up. Well, that’s not true. I knew I was open, I just hadn’t really put much thought into why I am so open. The ladies in my family over Christmas this year were discussing babies. Present and future. Rick and I have had four of our children(only one of whom exists) named since before we were married. I have always known and shared this fact. If you’re curious they’re: Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet.
The second I found out I was pregnant, I notified our entire family and soon after most of our friends. Similarly, the moment we walked out of our sonogram, we called our family and close friends with Jack’s gender and immediately announced it to the world. WE ARE HAVING A BOY AND HIS NAME IS JACK! I couldn’t wait.
Some people asked me why I didn’t wait longer. This is something I do not understand. I get waiting for the excitement of keeping such a wonderful secret with your spouse just because, but others have suggested waiting to announce a pregnancy until the chances of miscarriage are lowered. I didn’t announce my pregnancy on Facebook until I hit my second trimester because I was told that is what I was supposed to do, but every single person I came in physical contact with knew that little ol’ Becca was two weeks pregnant. I couldn’t contain it. I had even thought about suggestions to wait “incase something bad happens”, but that is another thing I do not understand.
What is the purpose of this? To avoid making others uncomfortable? To avoid embarrassment? I don’t know. I do know that if something terrible happens to me, I want all my friends and family to know about it. It is quite uplifting to have multiple people caring about your particular tragedies all at once. I hope what I just wrote wasn’t perceived as judgemental. I am speaking only for myself. I am very aware that some people don’t want their business blasted. I’m just saying that I have business, and I don’t mind if you blast it.
The thing is, whatever personal problems anyone is suffering with has surely been experienced by someone else-and the second you find that person who has been where you have been and shared your pain (or your joy), you have a new outlet. You have made a new important connection with someone.
Since posting about my Grandmother’s dementia, I’ve had many private messages with others who have quietly suffered through the same situation. The post about my parents’ divorce has led me to at least twenty people who have felt relief to share their similar experiences with me. Being open is what connects me to so many people who felt like they were bottling up feelings that I was able to express for them.
So, yes, I am a very open person. It isn’t easy for me to share all of my personal feelings on Facebook, but I recently figured out that it has nothing to do with being too personal. It is my natural insecurity that someone will think I am a poor writer. I really don’t care if you know about the time I was driving to Chicago and wound up in North Carolina because I’m directionally challenged-or the time I clogged up someone’s toilet and left their house without saying anything because I was fourteen and embarrassed—as long as you like the way I write about it.