Pulling The Thread with Elise Loehnen

The Closet of Inauthenticity (Jessi Hempel)

The Closet of Inauthenticity (Jessi Hempel)

Pulling The Thread with Elise Loehnen - November 17, 2022 - 44:59

“My childhood was a childhood in the closet. I had some good things. I had some bad things, like living in the closet is, you know, not always terrible. It's simply not the greatest expression of, of who we have the capacity to become, I think. Um, but for my parents, you know, as my father went along in my childhood, he became more and more withdrawn and kept trying to do the right thing, was closeted even to himself. This was a secret he was keeping even from himself for most of my childhood. But it made him kind of a lousy partner. Right. My mother's experience was just a very, very lonely experience. Her life looked on the outside exactly like it was supposed to look, we lived in a nice community. She was married to a lawyer, or, you know, we looked great on a Christmas card, but it felt cavernous, just vacant and left with so much time on her own. Um, she really struggled not to let her memory present her with things to work on. And that led her to be very depressed throughout my childhood.”So says Jessi Hempel, a long-time media and technology journalist, an award-winning host of the podcast, Hello Monday, and author of the new memoir, The Family Outing. Her book is a profound telling of family dynamics, offering lessons on accepting one's truest self. Specifically, it’s the story of a family who comes out of the closet to embrace their queer identities. Even Jessi’s mother, who is straight, lives in a type of closet, Jessi explains, as she nearly became the victim of a serial killer as a teenager—this unconfronted trauma affects her entire family’s life. In our conversation, Jessi shares her journey to emphasize the detrimental side-effects of shame and the non-linear path to liberation.Our conversation explores the value of authenticity and navigating parts of ourselves we have not yet learned to face. She believes that when we“step into ourselves,” culture has the capacity to shift, allowing us all to live more gracefully. Okay, let’s get to our conversation. MORE FROM JESSI HEMPEL:The Family OutingJessi’s podcast, Hello MondayFollow Jessi on LinkedIn and Instagram

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45-minute conversations and investigations with today's leading thinkers, authors, experts, doctors, healers, scientists about life's biggest questions: Why do we do what we do? How can we come to know and love ourselves better? How can we come together to heal and build a better world?