When I was young, I made questionable choices.
I made questionable decisions.
OK, who are we kidding. I did bad stuff. I hurt people. I was selfish. Impatient. Unkind. These are some negative traits that I showed to others on a regular basis when I was young.
I was also excited. Ambitious. Driven. Confident. Loyal. Dedicated. These are some positive traits, these also showed up when I was young.
You see, when we're young, we have both negative and positive traits that we show to the world. This also holds true for when we're older. Nobody is perfect, at any time of life past babyhood.
We are not perfect, never can be and never will be. So why do we TRY to be all the time? Why do we assume that we can't show our true selves, "warts and all"? Why do we assume that when we don't show up in the way we think we SHOULD, that we're somehow wrong? That we should be embarrassed? That we're somehow letting others down?
The only person let down when we try to show up in a way that is different than our honest, authentic self, is our SELF.
Authentic. What does that mean for you?
Last weekend I went to visit some of my favorite people. Some of them I barely know, some I've been acquainted with for over 30 years. Some I have never met in person. But they're still some of my favorite people, because we have something that we love in common. We love passion. Excellence. Personal responsibility. Great effort. Giving your all. Physical exertion. Emotion.
As I sat there, I realized that I felt different. I felt VERY much myself. I wasn't trying to be something I'm not. I wasn't putting on some sort of facade. I was genuinely happy to be with these people, with no expectations or pressure on them or on myself. I felt REAL.
And it surprised me, because it helped me notice when I don't feel REAL - which is kinda most of the time. Why is this? I don't actually know. Since I'm just realizing this, I need to process it a little longer. But now I know the feeling. The feeling of unmet expectations. Expectations OF MYSELF.
So this is a turning point. A really exciting one, one that I had to write about. I suppose that I could "blame" this on today being my birthday, but I don't believe that's the reason here. This is a long time coming. Call it an epiphany, not a mid-life crisis.
As I move forward, I will be trying my very best to do what feels RIGHT. What feels like the real ME. Not following rules that don't have anything to do with my own decisions and my own choices. Without any unmet expectations, because when I exist in my authentic self, I know I'm doing the next right thing, wherever that may lead me.