LET IT ALL HANG OUT

by Steve Clem on January 25, 2012

“I’m so wired-up
Don’t need no coffee in my cup
Let it all hang out.”

— Van Morrison

I’m pretty sure that my mom and dad have a love/hate relationship with my blog.

Or maybe hate/love.

Either way, I’m sure there are times when they read this blog and have a hint of pride.

Pride that somehow their youngest kid who couldn’t figure out how to tie his shoes or button his pants by kindergarten has found a way to use words to make other people laugh. Or think. Or say “there’s five minutes of my life I’ll never get back.”

But for every small bit of pride mom and dad might feel, it’s quickly eradicated by the shame of my bluntness.

“Why do you have to write about hickeys and tongue rings?”

“Do you have to use profanity in every one?”

“Your mother wasn’t real happy about the latest one you wrote.”

I’d say the most awkward conversation I had with my parents surrounding this blog was The Parking Lot Date. And I explicitly put a warning for them not to read it.

“I know what you meant when you said it rhymed with ‘palatial'”

The point is, there are many others in my life, like my parents, who sometimes think I put a little bit too much of myself out there on the Interwebz.

Whether it’s through this blog, or on Facebook, or a Hawkeye message board here and there, I plead guilty to pretty much putting my entire life out there. The highs and the lows. The insane date stories and the sappy man moments. I’ll talk about poop and I’ll talk about boobs. Deal with it. Why am I willing to do this on a blog, or on Facebook, to the shame of my loved ones? Maybe it’s because of who I am as a person in real life. I’ve had more than my fair share of “Today Could Be Your Last Day On Earth” moments in my middle-aged life.

And as each day passes where I wake up and I’m not dead, the more I vow to just live my life as naked as possible. Not literally. Hope I didn’t startle you.

Live deliberately. With meaning. And passion. And as yourself.

So, in summary, for you tech nerds out there:

WYSIWYG.

And for you non tech nerds:

“I am what I am.” — Popeye.

Life’s not a dress rehearsal. This is our one shot.

So you may as well just let it all hang out.

Steve Clem is a divorced dad, a recovering Republican, and a Prisoner in the Tundra. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being part of the largest Hokey Pokey of all time. He was the founding editor of the Iowa City weekly ICON. 
(This piece originally appeared on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kat Pence February 1, 2012 at 5:55 am

thank you. thank you. thank you. I am sending this article to every person who has ever said to me “why do you have to put it all out there??”

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