Of Courage and Things I’m Afraid To Tell You

posted in: Life 93 comments

I love movements.

I love movements that challenge.

This week, I came across Things I’m Afraid To Tell You, a movement inspired by Jess from Makeunder My Life who wrote a post called Things I’m Afraid To Tell You. Ez of Creature Comforts then took the idea, ran with it and even designed the image you see below. It was such a great idea that the Huffington Post published an article about it. And now, Lisa of joycreation is determined to keep it going.

Coincidentally, my friend Sarah of Little White Whale kicked off her new linky, spill up, where she gives a quote as a prompt, and you write a post about it (or post a picture). Her quote this week was from Vincent van Gogh, “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

To not be afraid is to be courageous, yes?

So here I am, putting on my big girl panties and courage armor, to attempt to tell you a few things I was afraid to share.

I am moody. My mother used to tell me this, “You are SO moody” Bullshit, I’d think. But you know, she was right. I was moody. I am moody. There are times where I just feel gloomy. They are bouts and they come unexpectedly. I could wake up bursting with sunshine, and an hour later, a cloud would descend and wipe that sunshine right off my face. It makes me incredibly difficult to live with. I’m sorry, husband, children.

I am fascinated with true crime. I’ve never told anyone this. Aside from my husband and possibly my sister, no one knows that I am almost an expert on morbid subjects of serial killers and true crime. I watch true crime TV shows, I read true crime books, I even regularly check a true crime website. Before you run away screaming wishing you’d never met me, let me assure you, I have no criminal predilections. I am merely curious in the why of criminality. I am a student of how minds tick. I did a course in Criminal Sociology in university, because I was interested in learning why people do what they do. It’s just…. fascinating.

Now, come back here, I promise I won’t hurt you. I might psychoanalyze you to death though.

I fear failure. Many people fear failure, but, I FEAR failure. It was a main driving force in my previous life as a corporate ladder climber. I threw myself into work and nearly killed myself trying to be perfect, because I feared to fail. Now that I’m a mother, I’m constantly questioning every thing I do because I’m afraid to fail my children. I fear I will screw them up in some way because I failed at some aspect of parenting.

I am a half-assed housekeeper. I like neat. I like clean. I like organized. On the outside, my home reflects all that. But if you open drawers, run your finger across my countertops, look under my sofa – you will find a jumble of items just thrown in to get them out of sight; you’ll find that your finger comes away slightly sticky; you’ll see crumbs and my toddler’s toys. I do just enough to give the illusion of a clean, neat house.

I am a non-starter. I cannot even begin to tell you how many ideas I’ve had to do something. Start a new business, embark on projects, go on girls-only vacations, try something new. They remain just that – ideas. I talk about them with friends and family. I research the heck out of them. Then I don’t do anything. I sit on them. I dig them out once in a while and sigh. Then they go back into that place of unused and unloved.

Now that I’ve told you the things I was afraid to tell you, I should  move onto the courage bit, yes?

I will attempt to keep house better.

Hah! Got you.

In all seriousness, I need to overcome my non-starter habit. I need to be courageous, step up to the plate and do something completely out of my comfort zone.

I have mentioned this before to a few friends.

I think it needs to go beyond being an idea. If I write it down here, if I pledge it to you (and me), then maybe, just maybe, I will have the courage to do it.

I will run a marathon in 2013.

Wish me luck. I need it.

                              Little White Whale

Is there anything you’re afraid to tell anyone? You can tell me. Shed the fear.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • June 15, 2012 Not a Perfect Mom

    I am a total true crime junkie! It really freaks out Eric, like he’s afraid I’m trying to find the perfect way to get rid of him or something…but my mom turned me onto the books when I was a kid (stellar parenting right there) and from there I started on the shows and yes, web sites…
    Not a Perfect Mom recently wrote…Michelle Duggar Has More Sex Than I DoMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Phew!! You have no idea how relieved I am to hear I’m not alone on the true crime addiction.

  • June 15, 2012 Kadie

    Hmm. I was not aware how alike we were until now. Lol. No really…I am all of those things too. The thing is, I am a nonstarter because of the fear of failing…..I also have the crime fascination. We should talk serial killers sometime!
    Kadie recently wrote…Single Without Kids: A Guest PostMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Yes, the non-starter issue has a lot to do with the fear of failure. It’s like a never ending cycle, right? Hah! “Talking serial killers” sounds so morbid! (yes, let’s!)

  • June 15, 2012 Susan

    Oh my gosh, I clean house the same way! Don’t open any closets or the fridge because you might find yourself buried in a landslide of chaotic crap. And my walk up attic looks like a scene from hoarders.

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Chaotic crap is right!

  • Hmmm…you and I are quite alike. Does that mean if we chatted more we would find the other endearing or would we pretend and secretly roll our eyes?
    Melisa – Mommy This and That recently wrote…Friday FiveMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      I’d go with endearing 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 jamie

    Good one, Alison. Appreciate you being so open to all of us here 😉 I’m very emotional. I engage in things and people easily. When I was 10, I rescued a frog. Only that it was dead! I wanted to keep it as a pet for a day before burying it, like a good pet-keeper would. But my classmates and teachers thought I was sick, which I know clearly I wasn’t. It has been a secret until now.
    jamie recently wrote…Daddy’s Day by Cheryl Costello-ForsheyMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Jamie, thank you for sharing your truth 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 Mrs. Weber

    What a cool concept – can’t wait to check out the article and you’re brave for shedding some of your layers on here!

    I also love crime and morbid things. Nobody gets it because I am such a optimistic type – but just like you, I love the psychology of it all. I just want to understand why people are the way they are. Maybe we missed our calling…But then again, I found myself psychoanalyzing a lot in the PR world too 😉
    Mrs. Weber recently wrote…4 Years Ago Today…My Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      It can’t be a coincidence we both worked in PR then 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 AnnMarie

    I am a lousy housekeeper. I hate endlessly picking up after my 4 kids. Something else that no one knows is that I am absolutely miserable living where we live. In this house, in this town. I am moody, too. 🙂
    AnnMarie recently wrote…It Will Always Be DifferentMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Oh my friend, I’m sorry to hear that – I hope that you can find some way to resolve the misery. Either by moving or finding a way to come to terms with where you are. Write it all down!

  • June 15, 2012 Life As Wife

    Love learning more about you.

    My thing I am afraid to tell people? I’m struggling. With who I want to be. What path I want to take. My marriage. Our life.

    It’s possible to have a mid life crisis early right???
    Life As Wife recently wrote…Life LatelyMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Time to write that in a blog post, perhaps? Or too much, too hard, too sensitive?

  • June 15, 2012 Leslie

    Truth is, I’ve had a “Things I’m afraid to tell you” post drafted for over a week. See, another non-starter here…and another half-assed housekeeper! Best of luck on the marathon, I’ll be with you in spirit!
    Leslie recently wrote…Father’s Day InspirationMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Leslie, publish that post. Do it. 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 Jessica

    I love real crime shows, too! I was more obsessed before I had kids, but I still do find them to be my late night indulgence. It’s odd, very odd, but I can’t seem to help myself. 🙂

    Yay for your plans to run a marathon! That’s awesome!
    Jessica recently wrote…The Clicking Series – Photography Tips for BeginnersMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      It is odd, isn’t it? This strange true crime obsession (which seems to be more common than I thought!).

      The marathon thing? Is scaring the hell out of me. Send chocolate.

  • June 15, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Hell yes, you can run a marathon in 2013!!
    Thank you for sharing your secrets with us…that takes courage. And Sarah and her Little White Whale are awesome.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Radio SilenceMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for the encouragement, Jen. I need it. Especially since I haven’t run for over 3 years. Eek.

  • June 15, 2012 Robin

    Interesting about the criminal stuff! I’m totally not. Scares the crap out of me. 😉

    I’m so glad you linked up with this though. These are great admissions and I think nothing less of you for saying them. And you can run a marathon. Go Alison!
    Robin recently wrote…Now You Are FourMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Robin, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have known about this. And I’m glad I linked up too. I do wish I’d been braver and wrote about more of the stuff I’m REALLY afraid to tell anyone. Maybe later. 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 Leigh Ann

    I love this type of post, especially when you have to dig kinda deep.

    Alison, do you know how we can link up?
    Leigh Ann recently wrote…She sees meMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Hey Leigh Ann, you can link up at Robin (Farewell Stranger’s) blog herehttp://www.farewellstranger.com/2012/06/12/things-im-afraid-to-tell-you/ !

  • June 15, 2012 Sarah Reinhart

    Alison, the more I read from you the more similar I realize we are. I feel like I could have written the majority of this post…woah. I often fall asleep with the TV on some true crime thing. That does not make for nice, peaceful dreams. Nope. Thanks again for linking to me, friend.
    Sarah Reinhart recently wrote…spill it linkup–face down your coyoteMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      I know, it scares the crap out of me too. Yet. I am still fascinated. And you’re welcome of course – love your link up.

  • June 15, 2012 Kerstin

    Run a marathon? That is just about the most courageous thing ever! And I’m sure you’ll do it. Yay!

    I am afraid to watch true crime stuff, it’s just so, well, REAL…
    I took a course from a fantastic writer and journalist on how to market myself as a writer and sell my stories and she actually has a degree in criminology. She has written several book about true crimes, her latest one is called Justice Miscarried. Her name is Helena Katz, she is pretty fabulous.
    Of course I can’t read her books because I might never sleep again…
    Kerstin recently wrote…CourageMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Ooh I should check her out!

  • June 15, 2012 Jessica

    *gasp* YAY! You can do it! So excited for you! Goals have SO much power when you write them down. They are as ironclad as they can get when you make them public. I want to fly over there and cheer for you when you cross the finish line! (also I’m so happy to hear you admit your housekeeping habits – and can I just say me too sista.) And there will be, indeed, some area of parenting where you will fail. And you will do your best to change or fix it. And you will tell them you are sorry. And they will be wonderful anyway and you will forgive yourself. You are just a person, doing your best, loving with everything you can. That’s what matters most. xo
    Jessica recently wrote…Wheat Harvest 2012: A Pictorial Diary – Wrapping UpMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Best comment ever. xo

      (I am terrified of doing the marathon. But I know I must now.)

  • June 15, 2012 vanita

    wow girl.
    you are going to kick butt on that marathon!
    i have a tendency to have ideas i think about and not implement. i’ve been pushing myself lately though. i mean really, what the heck am i waiting for? to be good enough to try? please. and putting it on the blog has helped me to get in gear to do it.
    i think sharing these truths makes you a strong woman!
    hugs to you girl!
    vanita recently wrote…Tuesday’s Tear Sheet: Real MommaMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      I think you’re doing a fab job of getting yourself into gear – I need to be more like you! And thank you. xo

  • June 15, 2012 vanita

    by the way, love the badges! just gorgeous.
    vanita recently wrote…Coming Full CircleMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Aren’t they?? 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 Sue

    Several things:

    1) I need to look up “predilections.” I have never heard that word before. I understand context clues and all…but I must check. Just to be sure. Because I will now want to use it in casual conversation.

    2) Non starter = See PINTEREST.

    3) Marathon? Fo rizzle? Go, YOU! xx
    Sue recently wrote…Filth, Fate, and WarriorsMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      I hope you looked it up and that I used it correctly.

      Oh fellow Pinterester! (sort of)

      Marathon – eeeeek. Help.

  • I have a morbid fascination with vampires. Started when I was a teenager and read Interview with a Vampire and of course saw the movie, with a Brad Pitt that was stil hawt and Tom Cruise who wasn’t weird yet, Man those where times!
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…The school fête changed me foreverMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Do you watch True Blood then? They make vampires very sexy! 🙂

  • June 15, 2012 Mirjam

    Hi Alison, nice to meet you, I like you even more now!
    Mirjam recently wrote…HindsightMy Profile

    • June 15, 2012 Alison

      Aw, you’re sweet!

  • June 16, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I KNOW you can run a marathon girl! Just do it!

    And I’m relieved your not super neat because I was feeling all inferior.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Love Triangle at the ElyséesMy Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      I will have to do the marathon now because I said it here!

      I am only neat on the surface 🙂

  • June 16, 2012 Kimberly

    Obsessed with crime, eh? I think our friendship is over. 😉

    There is so much I’m afraid to start because of my fear of failure. Even if I do find the courage to start, I never believe in myself enough to keep it going.
    Kimberly recently wrote…To My BabyMy Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      Hah! You love me too much to not be friends with me anymore 😉

      You started your design business – that’s huge! And I’m so proud of you for taking that step.

  • June 16, 2012 Bruna

    I’m a half-ass housekeeper too. I fool a lot of people with the tidy look from the outside but look any closer and anyone will see the truth.

    There could be worse things, no?
    Bruna recently wrote…no summer bucket list this yearMy Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, definitely could be worse things 🙂

  • June 16, 2012 By Word of Mouth Musings

    can’t imagine why you would be too busy to clean? 😉
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently wrote…Boiled or ScrambledMy Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      Oh Nicole. If only I could use busy as an excuse 🙂

  • June 16, 2012 Phase Three of Life

    I’m moody, too!! I was named “most likely to be moody” or something in high school marching band. <— Worst sentence I've ever typed.

    Knowing you're moody only makes me adore you more. 😉
    Phase Three of Life recently wrote…I’m not good at this whole letter thing.My Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      Hah that was funny!!

  • June 16, 2012 Just Jennifer

    True crime IS fascinating! Hubs and I, and even our daughter, watch a bunch of true crime shows. AND we live where the Green Rive Killer lived! Wait. That’s not a GOOD thing, is it?
    Just Jennifer recently wrote…TGIF: Chosen Chaos EditionMy Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      It is, isn’t it? And it’s only a good thing as a talking point.

  • June 16, 2012 Lisa

    Alison, I’m so glad I’ve been introduced to your blog! I love it! Thank you for joining us in this round of TIATTY! I relate in so many ways: I too am moody (and was told so many times, while growing up) and I love analyzing others (though I’m too scared to watch true crime TV shows :)) I like having a clean house! I wish I could say it had seen a deep cleanse recently, however, I go for the superficial tidiness, especially during a busy week! Thanks so much for sharing – I look forward to reading some of your other blog posts, too!
    Lisa recently wrote…Weekly Joy FeedMy Profile

    • June 16, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Lisa! For keeping TIATTY going (I may have to do another post – I’m holding back a lot of stuff from my readers, hah!) and for visiting my blog. Have a great weekend!

  • June 16, 2012 Patty

    I fear failure also. I want to do everything perfect, and if I think I can’t, usually I don’t try.

    My house looks just fine but my closets and drawers aren’t perfect. But I don’t care. As long as the right things are in the closets and drawers and I can find what I need, it’s not important enough for me to make it perfect. How my house looks is more important than those hidden areas.

    Visiting from SITS.
    Patty recently wrote…Cheese Filled BreadsticksMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      You’re right, as long as we know where everything is, doesn’t matter if it’s neat or not! Thanks for coming by, Patty.

  • June 17, 2012 Christine

    You can totally run a marathon in 2013!! I excited for you and ready to cheer you on. I’m such a moody, half-ass housekeeper too! Drives my husband crazy. Actually, I didn’t realize that I was a half-ass housekeeper until my husband.
    Christine recently wrote…Fitness DaydreamsMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      I knew you’d be excited for me! You’ll pledge a mile when the time comes, yes? It’s nice to know I’m not the only not-so-good housekeeper 🙂

  • June 17, 2012 lacey

    Oh my goodness. I’m a non starter. How horrible. I need to go analyze myself now…
    lacey recently wrote…Traded tornados for firesMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      It’s not always that bad – you can look at it as being overly cautious and we look at situations top to bottom before committing?

  • June 17, 2012 Stasha

    I am the last two for sure. Through and through. nd the fact that I have not once closed my eyes watching CSI makes me a bit true crime mad too, right?

  • June 17, 2012 tracy

    I love true crime too! Also I love you.
    tracy recently wrote…DadMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      Thank goodness. xo

  • June 17, 2012 Natalie

    I am like you…I like a clean and organized house…but you will find dust under my couch or on a cabinet…well b/c I hate dusting! You can run that marathon in 2013! 🙂 We’ll support yout!
    Natalie recently wrote…Sometimes…My Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      It’s nice to know I’m not alone 🙂

  • June 18, 2012 Rach (DonutsMama)

    I can’t even tell you how long my project list is. My husband keeps asking when I’m actually going to get around to less talk, more doing. I so identify with you there.

    And the housekeeping? Oh it’s good enough. Just don’t look too close. 😉
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…Eeek! I’m Famous!My Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      Yes, good enough! That is my housekeeping mantra 🙂

  • June 18, 2012 Asianmommy

    I wish I were better organized, too! I try to keep the mess behind closed doors as best I can.
    Asianmommy recently wrote…Flying the DragonMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      That’s the way to go!

  • June 18, 2012 Tracie

    I know the moodiness all too well. I have it, and lately my daughter has had it even worse (I’m a little scared we aren’t going to make it out alive once she hits puberty if this persists).

    True Crime books/movies/etc are my favorite. My husband likes it too, so we both get involved.

    Yay for you making the commitment to the marathon. That is a huge thing! you are going to rock it.
    Tracie recently wrote…Things I’m Afraid To Tell YouMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      Oh dear, teenage angst/ hormones plus moodiness – I think my parents had a hell of a time with me 🙂 Good luck!

      And thank you, I do hope to do that marathon!

  • June 18, 2012 jenn

    I totally like to learn about serial killers. It sort of clashes with my whole I’m-a-social-worker-persona, but it FASCINATES me. So there. We can curl up on the couch and watch crime documentaries together! wee!
    jenn recently wrote…Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad I Was Born in the 80′sMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      Yay, fellow true crime junkie!

  • June 18, 2012 Alexandra

    Things I’m not afraid to tell you: I will be SO jealous if you run a marathon.

    Alexandra recently wrote…List of Summer Fun Ideas For Your Kids by MeMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 Alison

      You mean WHEN I run a marathon 🙂

  • June 19, 2012 My Inner Chick

    —I would have never thought you’d like serial killer stuff! you seem sooooooooooo soo sweet!! Haa
    I love that you are running a marathan. you are quite something, sistah. xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…ANGELS COMETHMy Profile

    • June 19, 2012 Alison

      I have a dark side 😉

  • June 19, 2012 Galit Breen

    I love this movement, this courage, and your words.

    (I’m moody, too. More cupcakes for us?)

    Galit Breen recently wrote…Memories Captured June Linky!My Profile

    • June 19, 2012 Alison

      You? Moody? No way!! Though cupcakes are always welcome, yes!

  • June 19, 2012 Katie

    I see your non-starting and raise you and over-starter, but frequent quitter.

    We need to get together to start something and then finish it!
    Katie recently wrote…make you smileMy Profile

    • June 19, 2012 Alison

      Oh I do the start then not finish thing too!!!!

  • June 20, 2012 Jessica

    I wear the title of moody proudly everyday. I’m sure my husband doesn’t like it though.
    Jessica recently wrote…Taking Charge Of EducationMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      But your sense of humor more than makes up for it, right?

  • June 23, 2012 Tonya

    I appreciate your openness. I, too love true crime and NEVER miss a Dateline. I have often said that I would LOVE to work on a CSI team.

    And the fear of failure is a beast I’d like to conquer too.
    Tonya recently wrote…I’m Ready!My Profile

    • June 23, 2012 Alison

      Yay, fellow true crime fan!!

  • June 23, 2012 Nikky44

    My daughter is fascinated with true crimes. Her favorite author is Harlan Coben. Did you try reading his books?
    Nikky44 recently wrote…Sisterhood Award: A smile in the darkMy Profile

    • June 23, 2012 Alison

      No I haven’, ,I will check his books out!

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