In polite society we all know there are certain topics that are off limits, taboo to talk about or make people uncomfortable.
Over the past few weeks I have read multiple blog posts from bloggers mentioning they wouldn't talk about these issues or issues similar on their blog. We all learned a long time ago that no topics are off limits for me and I will even make a blog post about topics that I am afraid to publish. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the value of keeping things private or personal but I feel like hiding all of our 'dirty laundry' behind closed doors leads to more problems than solutions.
If you do decide to air your 'dirty laundry' on social media or in a group of friends its considering whining or over sharing...frankly it just makes people uncomfortable.
I don't feel like we live in the most supportive society, instead of getting advice you get criticism or catty remarks. Instead of people/friends celebrating your successes they are silently mocking you for boasting too much.
But if you look at divorce rates and the reasons for divorce, poor communication and financial issues top the list.
So my question is: if you aren't supposed to air your 'dirty laundry' in public who are you supposed to talk to? learn from? seek advice?
Let's focus on financial issues, at what point in your life did you learn to manage a check book, file taxes, seek a credit report and read it...etc? I can tell you how I learned, trial and error. And error. And error. And error.
Maybe some of your parents taught you how to handle your finances, I can tell you my parents spent 15 of their 17 years of marriage fighting about money, so the only thing I learned was that money was a horrible topic. Schools are so busy prepping students to take tests and get into college so their school rating increases, that they don't stop and teach some real life survival skills. I say this as a teacher who has financial standards shoved into her curriculum of Robotics, a class only a handful of each grade will ever take.
Most of my students are first year residents whose parents don't have bank accounts. Who think check cashing places are the way to go. Have no clue the power of credit cards.
And in four years some of them will be going to college and undertaking $30,000+ a year in loans to pay for their education. At 18 with no understanding of how to manage finances. Write a check. Or what an interest rate really means.
I say this from experience, as a 17 year old girl I was signing my life away to dear old Sallie Mae completely oblivious to the realities of the number of loans I was undertaking. Don't get me wrong I value my college degree and think it was a worthwhile investment but looking back at what I know now. A few trial and errors later. I would have certainly done a few things differently.
And that's my point. Chances are there was some other 17 year old girl with parents too busy focusing on a divorce to help her understand the fine print of financial aid. Or a boy whose parents don't speak English and have no clue what the documents even say. Or a girl whose parents barely have a high school diploma and aren't sure what they can do to help their child.
Wouldn't it have been a novel idea if we all shared our experiences. If us older more 'experienced' gave advice to those high school graduates. I get this is what counselors are for, but most schools have one counselor per grade level...one person is supposed to assist over 300 students with financial aid...yea right!
Moving beyond college finance needs, what if someone shared:
.how they got out of credit card debt?
.how they paid off a car loan?
.how they managed a save up or acquire a down payment?
.how they took annual vacations?
.how they managed the union, signed up for retirement, insurance, etc?
The list could really go on and on. But it still doesn't change the fact that it would be downright rude to ask someone one of these questions and airing 'dirty laundry' if you were to try and seek advice from friends or the social media world.
I might not be a math teacher BUT if about 50% of Americans are getting divorced each year, the number two reason for divorce is financial issues and nearly 50% of households have credit card debt something doesn't add up.
What's stopping us from sharing: greed, envy, comparison, embarrassment? Chances are most people already know how much you make, what your car is worth and how much your house is worth...gotta love the internet.
Maybe I am making comparisons that aren't there, or stretching the data to fit my post but its my blog so I will post what I want...even if it is considered 'dirty laundry.'
Am I the only one who feels like the word 'dirty laundry' should be banished and we should start sharing our stories, learning from each other's struggles, celebrating each other's successes and helping our friends make a few less mistakes than we have made along the way?
I honestly don't think if it wasn't for this blog I would ever feel brave enough to demand this, but this little blogging world has opened my eyes of what friendships could look like if we weren't afraid of a little 'dirty laundry' and I like it. Plain and simple. And maybe non bloggers could benefit from a few share sessions themselves...just my little ole opinion.
Linking up with: Bre, Carly, LeeAnn, More Pieces of Me, On the Daily Express, Bloody Marys Count as a Salad and Monday Mingle.
- The Babbling Box!