The “In-Between” of Before and AfterMay 21st

Did you see yesterday’s post? There was a whole lot of hype and angst after I first published the “BEFORE” post. Folks wanted to hurry up and see the after. The AFTER.

No mind what the process looked like. Show us the results. Caterpillar to butterfly. Please leave out the crusty chrysalis.

In this day and age, we like the side by side before and afters. We wanna see the obese girl paired with the itty-bitty-bikini-babe and a flashing font indicating the before and after.

Bippity boppity boo! Presto chango. The old, dire you is wiped away and replaced with a fresh-faced, six-packed you. The YOU that you should be.

But what about the process?

Would you have stayed around for the tedious wiping down of walls? The annoying trial and error to see if the new ceiling fan would fit?

It didn’t. We had to go get a new one.

How about the mistakes? Would you like to see how we thought that spray-painting the hardware on my mom’s dresser would refresh the look? Maybe?

Would you still want to see it if you knew it turned out awful, and that we had to scrub the heck out of those vintage drawer pulls to get them to look “normal” again?

I don’t know if you would have stuck around for it. I certainly wouldn’t. When I’m perusing DIY projects on Pinterest I hardly stop to reflect on the mistakes. I only look for the end and shiny result.

When you set out to repair or fix up an ugly piece of yourself you sort of have to hide the messy, tedious transitions in order to survive life. Because really, does anyone want to hear about your colonoscopy or the gruesome removal of an ingrown toenail?

No. We leave those details out because they are unpleasant and do not reflect the final result.

Show the before and after side-by-side. Leave out the repair work. The healing.

I sort of feel like my big DIY project this year is recovering from addiction. Recovering the scattered and broken pieces of myself. Taking the old bits and making them over with a bit of paint, a bit of updating. Because I cannot just go back to who I was before I was caught in a web of darkness.

No, from here on out, I am shaped by that distorted chapter in life. I can prime, sand, and wallpaper away but none of the overhaul will change what happened.

Your mistakes make the DIY beautiful. Your mistakes make the DIY possible and tangible for others to accomplish.

If I have learned one thing in my healing process it is that people benefit from honesty. I still cringe at the thought that so many know my shame. But then I think of it as a room makeover. Or just a makeover.

The creative force behind the project is best put on display when you can see the whole process. I hope you don’t mind riding this process with me as I become “clean.”

It’s been five weeks, guys.

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10 Responses to The “In-Between” of Before and AfterMay 21st

  1. Nicole May 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Well said, Hillary.

    • hillary May 22, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Thanks!

  2. Margo Hayes May 21, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Yes! Truth always trumps shame:) So proud of you for overcoming.

    • hillary May 22, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Thanks Mama!

  3. Aunt Gloria May 21, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    When I read your post, I saw you as brave. I found this quote that certainly fit all the wonderful responses to your previous blog. May God be glorified as you lean in Him daily. You are making the right choice and we are proud of you.

    “When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
    ? Billy Graham
    tags: brave, bravery 55 people liked it

    • hillary May 22, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Thanks, Aunt Gloria! That is an awesome quote :) Love you!

  4. Aleta May 22, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    There’s a lot of meaning and truth is this post. We want to see the shiny result, but not the sweat and tears and trial along the way… because it reminds us of our own journey and difficulties. But that’s part of life and the struggling part is what builds our character and strengthens our spirit.

    • hillary May 22, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      Messy is always hard :) But it gets easier with time.

  5. Mimi May 24, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Yey for you!!!!! love ya
    2nd chances are the BEST!!!!!!!!! Mimi

  6. Eli@coachdaddy May 30, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    I think I love the end result even more now that I know (some of) the gruesome details. And when we work on something, the after should mean even more given the trail that leads from before to after, right? We’re seemingly always in that crusty chrysalis stage in life anyway.

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