Why real talk matters.

#RealTalk vol 14

Jae Hermann

Welcome to #RealTalk - the Digest; ‘This Week in #RealTalk’ - posts from the week, curated links of interest, good news, inspirational bits, and a groovy tune.

This week marks the first anniversary of my explant surgery - surgery to remove my 20-year-old saline breast implants. My introduction to Breast Implant Illness (BII) came after watching the film The Bleeding Edge last July. After years of trying to figure out what was making me sick, I learned how my implants were slowly killing me. 

Today, I’m still in the throes of acceptance; I’m coping and learning about midlife while sharing and hopefully helping someone out there.

As a look-back, I tried to write a reflective post. I wanted to detail lessons I’ve learned, instead, when I sat down to write, nothing flowed. It’s been a whole year, but I’ve yet to completely process all that my new normal (and not so attractive body) means to me. 

How do you process defining moments in your life? How do you push through, get over, and move on after a traumatic life experience?

Attempting to sort through my breast explant experience while sharing resources was the reason I started writing again after several years of jumbled brain poo. BII caused early-onset menopause, accelerating brain fog and confusion, robbing me of the sense to coherently string words together. Gaining back my ability and desire to write was my first indication that the #HealIsReal, as my fellow BII survivors often say.   

Most of my post-surgery days feel like a string of Facebook emoticons - 👍 (I’m cool with it.); ❤ (I love me!); 😂 (jokes on you, IDC!); 😳 (WTF??); 😞 (I’ll never wear a bathing suit again, sniff.); 😠 (I hate my Frankenboobs, and I hate the world, grrr!). 

Who knew the mighty Book of Faces’ urban hieroglyphs so accurately describe the stages of grief and denial? Mmmpff.

I don’t want to shy away from the realities of my life. Humans are hard-wired to avoid pain and to take the path of least resistance. In life, though, resistance is futile. Sepia tainted images of a “perfect” life plastered across social media can cover over the truth. Eventually, though, reality will find a way to lay bare your lessons, whether you want them or not. So, why run or hide?

I’m choosing to face my midlife experiences head-on and treat them as life chapters. Lessons to learn and value, pearls to pass along that may provide an outline or addendum to someone else’s storyline. 

This realization is where I am, the reason why #RealTalk matters, and why I’m determined to write my truth and to keep it real. What you see is what you get, sometimes what you get ain’t pretty, and that’s okay. I haven’t gotten over or through all that’s happened this past year. I don’t have a happy ending yet because my story is a work in progress.   

Real talk matters because it keeps us grounded in truth and allows space to reflect and grow. Attempting to be someone I’m not or cover over my icky bits requires more energy than keeping it real — my path of least resistance. 

It’s rare nowadays, but I get occasional well-meaning comments from friends: This too shall pass. You will overcome it. Be grateful. All things happen for a reason.

Yup, all of that. And sometimes, the answer to pushing through, getting over, or moving on after a traumatic life experience is to stop trying to do any of that and be okay with not being okay.

Writing and sharing #RealTalk is my process to find the pearls, offer some insights, and be okay. Some days, I'm better than okay and other days not so much. 

I endeavor for #RealTalk posts to be honest, uplifting, motivational, inspirational, and at the very least, entertaining. Thank you for accepting the invitation to join the journey

This Week in #RealTalk

What you missed: [NEW!] #RealTalk open discussions. As a carryover from #WhatMattersWed conversation prompts, every other Saturday we’ll dive into another topic.

The idea is for us to chat about life, living, career bits, aging, transition, and reinvention - what it means to #LiveOnPurpose.

Offer up a topic, what would you like to talk about?

😳 Bits that made my ears perk: I have a busy brain so I found this bit alarming. New research suggests we should put our brains on slow-mode to fend off aging citing excessive brain activity could be harmful. Another reason for workaholics to slow down, set boundaries, and practice self-care.  

✉️ More to read: Other research about slowing down suggests that slow walking speed in midlife may be a marker of accelerated aging. Medical News Today, found that the faster a person walks, the longer they may live. 

Okay, slow my brain while speed walking… got it! 😆

Be inspired: “If there's one thing I've discovered, it's that stifling yourself will only lead to misery. You have to have courage. Real courage to explore, to fail, and to pick yourself back up again.” ― Siobhan Vivian

🎶 Groove to this: May you have auspiciousness and causes of success, May you have the confidence to always do your best, May you take no effort in your being generous, Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less. May you know the meaning of the word happiness, May you always lead from the beating in your chest, May you be treated like an esteemed guest, May you get to rest, may you catch your breath. And may the best of your today’s be the worst of your tomorrows, And may the road less paved be the road that you follow…Jason Mraz - Have it All 😍 

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think about today's issue. Love it? Great! Please forward to your friends 🙏

Have a great weekend!

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