Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on being more authentic, trying to show the world who I really am and what I’m really about. Throughout my life I’ve always felt like an outsider and different from everyone else in many ways. So much of my time and energy has gone into hiding away, wearing a metaphorical mask to cover up the real me and being scared to show who I really am for fear of being judged, rejected or seen as ‘odd’. Those who have lived this way will know how exhausting that can be.
This feeling of being an outsider has grown bigger as I get older, and the differences between my life and those around me become more apparent.
I now want to stand up and be braver. I want to have the courage to be the real me and to value how I feel about myself rather than what others think of me. I don’t want to have to constantly conform to other people’s needs, to do what is expected of me or to worry about whether others will accept me.
I want real and genuine connections and to do that, I need to feel comfortable being me.
Of course I have my doubts about all this. Just thinking about it fills me with fear. Showing the world who I really am, what I’m really about? What am I thinking? Why would I want to expose myself in that way?
But I truly believe that the benefits will make it worth it.
The biggest thing I’ve learned over the past two weeks is that, having lived a life for forty years where I’ve hidden the real me away, a fortnight is nowhere near long enough to make the shifts I want to see in myself.
It feels like I need to take time to do some internal exploratory work to get to know the real me again and to understand where the protective mask ends and the real me begins. I’ve lived this way for so long that the line seems to have blurred. I want to understand what I do that comes from the real me, as opposed to what I do to simply ‘fit in’.
I’m going to spend some time thinking about how I can do that but for now journalling seems to be a great tool to help me become more self-aware. I’ve learned that when I’m writing I am able to be genuine and be me, and I think this insight will be invaluable in helping me move forward. It’s probably because I know that a pen, paper and computer won’t judge me. That I can open up and be vulnerable without fear of what they will say back or how I will look. Somehow it feels a safe way for me to begin my journey.