Posted by: scintillatingspeck | July 9, 2018

Show the fuck up.

When I traveled around the USA, all the 10,000 miles of driving that I did, there was an insistent voice in the core of me repeating: Show up. Show up NOW. Show the fuck up! The voice has not abated. I want to translate every last ounce of meaning contained within show the fuck up.

“Show the fuck up” means “Be Here Now.”

“Show the fuck up” means “You have people and they need you. Show the fuck up for them. They have stories that need to be witnessed.” Also: “Your people need to be needed. They want to offer you a haven. They want to feed you. Let them.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Your days are numbered. Live now. Be aware now. Take action now. You’re going to die. Don’t die with horrible regret that you didn’t take necessary risks.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Stop disappearing into your recliner, into a laptop screen, into anything mind- and body-numbing. Step away from the Facebook.   Step away from smokescreens and pretending. Be fucking real.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Stop settling for relationships that have little depth, that don’t take risks of vulnerability, that are not mutually nourishing.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Show your daughter the kind of role model you want to be. Show her that you won’t leave her behind, and you won’t leave yourself behind, either. These things are not mutually exclusive. Show her that you will travel the breadth of a continent to seek the sort of community you both most need. Show her that she, and you, are worth pulling out all the stops.”

“Show the fuck up” means “You promised your lover you would see him again. Keep the fucking promise. Keep it even though you have no idea of the longevity of this relationship or what it means or whether the unbearable heartache is worth it. Show up. Look into his eyes and smell him and know the truth of your union or lack thereof. Commit to seeing this through, no matter the end result.”

“Show the fuck up” means “You don’t actually have a clue how this is going to turn out. You don’t know what you don’t know. Keep learning that lesson that control is an illusion. Stick a pin in your own hubris, the clinging to the belief that you know the outcomes here, that you know the landscapes, the hearts, the real story. No. You don’t know. Let yourself be surprised. Find new delights and new devastations. Make new friends. Lose friends you thought might stay in your life. Let love bloom and wither.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Pay attention, know when to shut up, and when to use your voice. Listen. Really listen. Also, stop fucking devaluing your own experience, your writing ability, your worth as a human being. Just stop it. Is that what you want Lily to see and absorb? Be courageous. Keep showing up no matter how hard you tremble and even if your mind goes blank in a desperate attempt to shut it all down. Be the person who is terrified and goes ahead and does scary shit anyway. You have been training for this, crossing threshold after threshold of risk and vulnerability. Keep doing it. Do it for yourself. Do it for Lily. Do it for all those who bear witness and want to be inspired and emboldened. Do it to show how it’s done—that in your ordinariness, you can cross over into doing extraordinary things. You think it’s not extraordinary for one woman to write her own, true story in her own tremulous voice? You are wrong.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Facebook is a piss poor replacement for tangible relating. It has served an important function in your life, allowing you to connect with people over great distances, allowing you to reveal yourself in ways that felt too risky before. However, it is cutting you off from hugs and eye contact and pheromones and laughter and smiling and all the millions of essential, embodied ways of communicating. You NEED this. You need community, and friends whose arms are ready to embrace you, and lovers who entwine their lips and hands and bodies with yours and not just offer beautiful words, and people who will garden and hike and sing and eat meals with you. People who will tuck you into bed when you are sick or sleepy, and vice versa.”

“Show the fuck up” means “Disembodiment can no longer be a way of life for you. Yes, this is terrifying. Still, you need to confront all the reasons you have fled your embodied experience and bring yourself back to the physical world. You need to feel the sun, the rain, the wind, the grass, the sand; you need to hear bird songs and crashing waves; you need to savor the dripping fruit. You are not a brain on a table. You are a human animal, with needs and desires. You need to live in your body in order to have those needs and desires met in any fashion. You must confront the things that have so scared you that it felt safer to flee within and be numb.” It is hard to write this. I have not resolved this. I don’t know if I have made any real progress on this. I think it’s only now that I’m barely beginning to crack through my fear.

“Show the fuck up” is also a plea. Please be there for me, people, landscape, Earth. Please be there for my Lily. Please hold us, love us, give us a home, welcome us in. There have been too many times I have felt alone, unloved, unwelcomed. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to be part of a mutual, loving web of connection. Please tell me you want to hear my voice, my stories. Please tell me you haven’t given up on me. Please tell me you cherish my presence, look forward to seeing me. Please do these things without my having to ask constantly, just because you want to reassure me. Please tell me I matter, that you miss me when I’m not with you. Please tell me I belong here, in this place, in this community, with you.



  1. i am glad you are writing ❤

  2. You Have Shown UP ! Way Cool To See You Writing and Blossoming ! ❤

  3. This is beautiful, Jen. I am so happy to see you putting your thoughts on this page. Thank you for allowing me to see you.

  4. Absolutely brilliant post.
    My version of “Showing up” is activism. It gives my life fucking meaning!

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