In this day and age we are bombarded by advertisements of super skinny young women with big huge breasts who have perfect hair, straight perfect pearly white teeth and flawless skin. They are accompanied by either half naked gorgeous men with six pack abs or a bottle of beer, it makes you wonder what happened to the fine art of being authentic.
And, what makes this even more interesting is that all over the Internet you read blogs and see websites that talk about finding your inner peace and the law of attraction and introspection. Yoga is the new black, healthy eating is in and sugar and wheat are out and for me this has been dubbed ‘The Year of 50’ and being real in midlife.
The Year of 50 and Being Authentic in Midlife
I like to think I am one of the realest and most authentic people you will ever meet. But, am I really and what does authenticity look like? Have I remained true to who I really was? What was authentic? I even looked it up to see what it meant. And, when I looked up the meaning, it hit me that I had not always been authentic to the real me.
I have always been proud of living by the motto, “I say what I mean and mean what I say.” I have always bragged about the fact that you knew where you stood with me because I never held anything back and was always told it like it was, but the truth was, some of that was a smoke screen that I hid behind to mask the real me.
I lived my life trying to please everybody but myself and didn’t even know who I was until I got divorced from husband #2. I didn’t know what my favorite color was, what television shows I liked, what my favorite foods were, where I liked to vacation or even what time I liked to go to sleep at night. I was whoever I was supposed to be, and none of those people were me.
In retaliation for not liking any of those people I showed to the world, my alter ego was this mean spirited tell it like it is girl who had such sharp edges that if you go too close, you would be cut to smithereens. I spit out shards of glass of venom as I became unhappier in my life, until I was so far in the abyss, I could not see the light. And, then my child pulled me out with her plea of help. Her soft sweet voice woke the authentic me up from a 38-year sleep and when I finally woke up I was charged with so much energy I was on fire.
Becoming authentic has not always been easy for me. There have been times when I have felt myself slipping back into my old patterns of protection, where it is still safe and warm, but I throw off that cloak and face the sunlight and smile. I smile and say, “Today is going to be a good day. Today I am going to walk into that room and smile and make a friend. Today I am going to be me and I am a good person and a nice person and I am worth something. Today is going to be a good day for me and I am going to be loved.”
I am one of a kind. I have lived three different lives and it has taken me years to figure out who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do, but this journey has been one that even if I could change it I wouldn’t, because all these scars I carry are what makes me the authentic person that I am today.