Thursday, September 24, 2009

Optimus Kyle (Transformers reference)

Over a year ago, our friends the Grojean’s started talking to us about this “life changing” thing they had all started doing called Landmark Education. My knee jerk reaction was immediate cynicism with a heaping tablespoon of skepticism and just a pinch of smugness. I will admit though that I was slightly taken aback at just how convinced (at the time I may have said brainwashed) they seemed to be. These were what I considered to be highly intelligent people and yet here they were trying to convince me that I of all people could benefit from a life coaching seminar. So maybe it was more like a cup of smugness than a pinch but regardless, I listened and kept blowing them off saying, “oh I know exactly what that’s all about, my Dad does that crap for a living. I grew up with that language! Nothing there for me that I don’t already know, I assure you.” Well as of Tuesday night, Vanessa and I are now Landmark Grads. Let me just give you a taste of what was there for me.

The Big Kahuna thing I got, the Mamajama thing, the real Crème de la crème (do you get how important this is?) the thing that will undoubtedly have the largest and most lasting impact on my life is the realization that for the past 20 years of my life, I have been a compulsive liar! Half of you are now going WHAT THE HELL!? And the other half of you are going, well that explains a TON! So now that it’s out in the open, let me explain to you all just what that means for me:

  1. Having made that about as public as I possibly could, I have now started living a life that is NOT founded on or surrounded by lies. Do you have any idea how liberating that is for a compulsive liar?
  2. I am now no longer restrained by my fears of being judged by everyone around me which is why I began lying in the first place! Do you have any idea how liberating THAT is!?
  3. I am now, for the first time in my adult life, experiencing what it’s like to have every single possibility that I can imagine available to me and most importantly, I can now take actions that will turn those possibilities into reality. In the past my lies protected me from my fear of failure, disappointment or judgment but in that "protection" it kept me from taking an active role in my life and the infinite possibilities available to me. I have unshackled myself from those irrational fears, and that my friends is true freedom.

Ok now pause, go back up to the part that says “The Big Kahuna” and read that section again real quick. I just want to make sure you are all getting this. I have lied to nearly every single person in my life for the past 20 years! I’m not saying it to be like “har har fooled you all, you suckers” I’m saying it because I want all of you to understand that if you are reading this now, chances are I told you a lie and for most of you, it was probably a big one. For example, I still haven’t graduated from college. Why would I lie about that, you might ask? Because in my mind twisted in illogical and irrational fear, you, my friends and family would think lesser of me. I lied to protect myself from being lowered in your esteem, but my lies didn't fix anything, rather they imprisoned me and helped to justify my inaction. I know it isn't logical.

Now here’s the thing. I imagine that somewhere, at sometime, someone has said the words I love you and didn’t mean them. That’s not the kind of liar I was so let me make this part perfectly clear. If I ever told you I love you, I meant it, and whatever lie I may have told you, it was because I love you that I said it. That’s a little unclear I think so let me try saying that in a different way. I am not by nature a proud person. I cry in the movie theatre, I tell childish jokes and laugh at them afterwards, in short, I rarely give two farts about what anyone I DON’T KNOW AND LOVE thinks about me. If you mean something to me though, if you have impacted my life even in the slightest way, I cannot help but want you to like/approve of/care about/love me as well.

I learned when I was five years old that it’s far easier to change how people think about you with WORDS than it is with ACTIONS. And so, I started telling lies, mostly about myself to make me look better but also to avoid responsibilities. As I grew older my skill set grew and I honed my deceptive ways into a fine art. I could go on all night about this but what I really want you all to know is that I thought all that “web weaving” would ever do is keep me protected from the judgment of others. Now I know that what it truly did was keep me from having any real relationships with everyone in my life. I want you all to know how sorry I am. I am truly so, so, SO sorry. Every single one of you has a very real place in my heart, and I was too blinded by my fear of losing your respect and acceptance that I couldn’t be who I really am with you. I have only been able to have real MOMENTS with all of you and that is NOT how I want to live my life. I am committed to starting new with all of you who are willing to let me. I take full responsibility for my actions and I willingly accept the consequences because they are worth far more to me than an empty life.

If any of you haven’t quite caught on to the full ramifications of this, let me just tell you how excited I am to be able to say that for the very first time, Vanessa and I are having a real relationship together. i.e. I have come COMPLETELY clean with her! I have admitted to my wife that I have lied to her about so many things for years and SHE’S STILL WITH ME!!! That should tell you something! She is truly an amazing and extraordinary person to be able to see me for who I am being and not for what I have done. I can’t express just how honored I feel to be married to her and I don’t care how many of you just threw up a little from reading it. Oh yea, and I told my parents as well and for the first time in over 10 years I am actually looking forward to talking with them! AMAZING!

Kinda makes me wonder how things would have gone had I just kept saying “nothing there for ME.” But anyways, these past few days have been a real rollercoaster. By the way, I’m not trying to imply that Landmark Education is that magic pill that makes all of your troubles in life go away. I assure you that it’s not and that if your still looking for that magic pill, let me know when you find it please. Living life is still a challenge and that ain’t changing but there’s a big difference between living your life thinking; “ya it’s a challenge and it SUCKS!” and thinking; “it sure is a challenge and I FREAKIN LOVE that!”

SO! If any of you are willing to let me start fresh with you, please, PLEASE let me know, and by the way, I know that you guys are all wondering what the lies were and let me say that I am more than happy to come clean but for one thing, it would take 5 more pages for me to confess all of them and none of you would read it all and for another thing, it ain’t easy for a compulsive liar to separate the facts from the fiction so lets just do it on a one to one basis. If you want to know more, give me a call. I’m actually answering my phone now! AMAZING RIGHT!?

I Love you all so much and can’t wait to start having real relationships with all of you!


Just in case any future employers may be looking at this and thinking, “good lord, I don’t want to hire a compulsive liar to work for me!” please just ask yourself this one question; How would it feel to know that you had an employee that was not only honest with you about everything they did and didn’t do, but held THEMSELVES accountable for all of their actions? That’s what I’m doing right now, and by the way, it’s infectious.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32


Rachael said...

Bravo, Kyle. All that couldn't have been easy. Congratulations on conquering your fears. Your enthusiasm for the new you is infectious!

I think you're pretty cool. :)

Anonymous said...

Kyle, I'm moved by your commitment to the people you love and your commitment to honor your integrity. What I have found is that when you start telling the truth about how things are, it gives people the space to do the same and it's a real contribution. We're all human, after all. I'm so pleased for you and Vanessa and what's possible for you in your life. Love you both, Nancy G.

Tim said...


The history of this family is one of second chances and forgiveness. I have been forgiven more than most. One thing I know is that any distance you feel from the family is an illusion. You are cherished and loved. I know two boys who absolutely think you are a super hero. You have made a courageous leap back into the light. Fix what's broken and move forward. If you need help, just ask. Hope we can see you soon. From your uncle who introduced you to ketchup.

P.S. We love Vanessa too.

kay said...

I am proud to be your Mom!!
I'm extremely proud of you for being the new man that you are, facing your past full on, outing yourself, and committing to truth and honesty.
I will always love you, no matter, and look forward to getting to know the "real" you. I'm sending you the song I told you about.
Sweet Daughter Vanessa,
THANK YOU FOR NOT KILLING KYLE and for giving him another chance. Forgiveness is a blessing for all.
I love you!
Mom K

Anonymous said...

Dear Kyle: I have always admired your mother's strong sense of herself because like you, I have cared too much about what people think of me. I'm proud of you for standing up and saying that you aren't going to live that way anymore. I still struggle with wanting to please and saying what I think people want to now you can be my new role model.

Love, Aunt Susie

Aaron and Laura said...


As long as you make right with yourself and Vanessa and can indeed move forward, all that is lost can be gained. We want you and Vanessa to know that we really cherish our friendship with you both and we are excited about the years to come. Stay healthy and motivated and let’s go spear fishing…


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Kyle! I totally agree with Tim! Wow! I can't believe I just said that! Anyway, welcome home! A place of grace cherished...and grace lived out!


Chrissi said...

My dearest cousin,

You are a truly amazing human being. I am so proud of you and honored to call you family. I have to say that my "shock and awe" at your revelation lasted only mere seconds. Not because I expected or suspected any such thing but rather that I have always known that you are a wonderfully caring and loving person who would never intentionally hurt anyone, especially those you loved. Your heart has ALWAYS been true, even if your head and mouth didn't always follow. You are so brave and I have no doubt that life will be even more amazing for you in the years to come. Tim's boys are are the most wonderful kind of super hero and I feel blessed to count you as a role model to my boys.
I cherish you. Always have, always will.


sharon said...

Dear Kyle,

If everyone wrote about their sins of the last 20 years and published it on the internet, the internet would implode with the weight, and that is without taking into consideration the almost daily offenses such as pride, self-centeredness, greed, covetousness, materialism, blatant disregard of the needs of our neighbors, etc. That is why Jesus told the crowd gathered to stone the woman caught in adultery, "Whoever is without sin among you, throw the first stone."
It is refreshing to know that our families and friends are those people who are humble enough and self aware enough to react in loving and kind ways.

Your Mama in Law