The Search for Authenticity

I’m at weird point in my life that I’m starting to believe happens in your late 20s and early 30s. I’m on the lookout for real things, people and thoughts. I’m searching for authenticity. I think it started when I became very honest with myself. Honesty isn’t easy, especially when it is with yourself. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about myself recently that really got me thinking about authenticity:

1.) I really hate going out on weekend nights- I don’t mind if it’s a quiet, little hole in the wall where I can grab a glass of wine and talk with my friends. I do not like sitting in loud, busy places where I can’t even hear the person sitting next to me. A few years ago, I thought I loved the idea of going out and being around a lot of  people but  I don’t. It actually makes me feel pretty tense, which then makes me a ball of fun to be around. I’ve learned to start saying “no” to these invitations even though my first thought it always “yes! I want to go out with my friends! It’s the weekend!” I know in my core, every time I go out it does not feed my soul the way it should. It makes me tired. I’m a social creature but in intimate settings. I want to hear the people I’m with and enjoy their company only.

2.) I love being surrounded by authentic people- I’m talking about the people who some shy away from because they don’t fit their standard of normal. I like people who say and do weird shit, know they are saying and doing weird shit, but continue to do it anyway because it’s who they are. I like people who say what they mean, not say what they think everyone wants to hear. I like people who believe in things and fight for them even if they are fighting against everyone else. I like people who are themselves, 100% of the time. People who don’t have a work-self, a personal self and a family self.

3.) I LOVE being alone- I cherish my alone time. I love putting my phone away and just reading for several hours with no interruptions. As many brilliant minds have said (though I’m not going to look up any specifics and quote them because it’s not that important) you have to learn to love your own company before you can enjoy anyone else’s or anyone else can enjoy yours.

4.) I hate running- Yes…this was something I pretended to like for a while. I even ran a half marathon. I thought runners were cool and that they were who I wanted to be. Truth be told, I 100% hate running. I’ll do it from time to time for exercise but I don’t enjoy it.

5.) I have a weird interest in personal finance-  This was recently discovered when I started listening to the “So Money” podcast. Often, Farnoosh does interviews authors of books on finance, economics and business and I am slowly working my way through reading all of them that are mentioned on the show. I love all of the books so far too. Who knew that money would be so interesting to me?

6.) I love working with kids, I hate the restrictions of a school setting- I’m not a formal person. I don’t like how rigid schools can be….on the flip side I don’t like how unstructured some schools are. I feel like I could be doing more a good in a different setting, but I’m not sure what.

7.) I’m okay admitting, “I don’t know”- I’m perfectly willing to admit that I have no idea what my life goal is. I have no idea what I’m doing with myself 80% of the time. I’m okay with this. I’m enjoying this journey of life and learning about myself. I’m excited to just keep figuring it out as I go.

8.) I’m weird- I do weird things, I say weird stuff. I laugh at things that shouldn’t be laughed at. I sing directions to my students. I have random dance parties.

9.) I’m simple- I don’t need a lot. I don’t like shopping so I tend to wear the same outfits on the same days of the week. I don’t need tons of electronics and the latest, biggest TV. I’ve tried to be a techie…I just don’t care enough. I have a tablet that I NEVER use. I recently decided to start getting rid of stuff. Stuff I don’t need or look at…stuff that is just that “stuff.” It’s all silly and a waste of space. Plus, I’m moving again soon and don’t want to have to move all this “stuff.” I have a collection of books, this is my Everest right now. I love my books but I never read the same book twice, there are too many books to read. I really should start finding new homes for them but it’s hard to part with them.

10.) I’m scared of new things- I recently listened to an interview with Barbara Stanny. It felt as though she was speaking to me the whole interview. One things I will take away from that it that “The things you are most scared of doing are the things you should be doing.” She’s right and I’m working on that.

My point in sharing these thoughts with you is because I believe we are in a world where it’s hard to figure out who you really are. You have a social media persona you need to take care of, you have a work personality that needs to be available for clients and your boss, and finally the persona of ourselves we create in our own minds. The version of you that you create that you feel makes you more interesting and likable. The version of you that you think you should be based on various outside stimuli. I’m just now getting to a point where I don’t care what other people think . I have to live with me the most, I should like the person that I am.

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