Being Genuine

Throughout my life I’ve wished I were like other people I knew. Sometimes I wanted to be that girl in school who knew how to dress cool, or the one who could find the symbolism in the book from English class.

Later I would want to be the one who could dance gracefully. Then I’d want to be those people who knew exactly what path to follow in college to get to their already selected ideal career.

In the work world I wanted to be the marketing manager I knew, followed by the professional corporate climber, followed by the geeky web guru, and then the online editor who knew how to talk to anyone and everyone and make an impressive job come out of those conversations.

In the blog world, I wanted to be a joy rebel like Brandi, a silly but smart business woman like Havi, an exuberant artist like Connie, or any of the other wonderful bloggesses I’ve encountered who have a topic and know how to rock it.

The thing is, I’ve learned that I never actually wanted to be any of these people. What I wanted was to be as genuine as they were. I wanted to know what my topic was and be as passionate about my own thing as they were about theirs.

I wanted to feel as secure in myself as all of them appeared to be. I wanted to say, “This is me! This is how I roll. Take it or leave it!”

Which is really hard to do when you haven’t identified your Thing (with a capital T, because Things are big).

Over the past year or so, I’ve settled in to the notion of my own authenticity. I’m certain I’ve stifled my genuine self because of my insecurities and my people-pleasing tendencies.

I may not have determined a Thing that is my subject of choice, but here is what I know for sure. I know that I am passionate about getting the most out of life. I know that I am amazingly selfish in wanting to spend my time doing what I want, when I want, and I don’t want to be constrained by “rules” about how I’m supposed to live.

I know I’m not perfect and I’ve made mistakes, big and small. I know that I want my goodness, not my mistakes (real or perceived) to define me.

And I know that above all else, I believe in kindness and I wish there were more of it in this world. I seek it out. I feed off of the good feelings that come from doing good deeds or hearing about others’ good deeds.

I don’t know yet where this all leads me, other than it leads me to live with my guiding values at my core. If I let myself go after life and kindness, everything will be as it is meant to be.

In case you missed it, Victoria wrote about Thing-finding on her blog last week. In it she says,

Finding your Thing is like walking at night with a flashlight. You can see only so far ahead of you. If you want to see farther away, you have to take at least one step forward. In other words, you’re going to have to step into something that interests you before you really know if it’s your Thing.

That was an aha! statement for me because that is what I am doing right now- walking at night with a flashlight. I can’t see what is on the long road ahead or where it ends, but I can see what is around me right now (my core values) and I will keep stepping into the light.

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3 Comments

  1. Bridget said,

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Your mistakes define you too, but only as someone who is willing to make them, and that’s really good too.
    I think you’re incredibly genuine, and I’m happy that you are showing genuine-ness as an important aspect of being (perhaps the most important aspect of being).

  2. Kathy said,

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Your words could very well have come right out of my mouth (except the blogging part because this is the first time I am actually participating!) I am the proverbial “…master of none”. I also need a THING!!!! Heres to taking a step forward :)

  3. Monday, April 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

    […] walking in the dark with a flashlight, but I have a flashlight and it shows me just what I need to see right […]


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