More Practice, Less Perfect

I don't know if it's a me thing, or an everyone thing. But I would say around the time that I was in high school I started to realize that there was a distinct difference between who you are in "public" and who you are "at home." You know, you don't burp at the lunch table. But you would totally burp in your kitchen at home.

Wait, that one is definitely a me thing. Sorry.

Anyways you get it, right? That moment when you actually understand what it means to focus on your authenticity. That moment when you realize that you get to present exactly who you are to people around you. Or you get to decide not to.

I think somewhere in my first year of high school is when I realized that I could taper my own authentic self. I figured out that I could be the weirdo that loved Disney, and sang off-tune, and really could not kick a soccer ball to save her life. Or I could be the girl that was likable, and not too annoying, and still not too pretty - but slightly funny, and quiet when necessary.

Luckily for all of you, I gave that up somewhere in the end of high school, and dove head first into being this authentic balls to the wall weirdo day in and day out.

In doing that, I do still try to be a lot of things. I try to be kind, humble, compassionate, forgiving...but I still am doing it while being wholly me. And it has been interesting, really in the last six months, how people respond to that. You know, not everyone will support you being authentically super weird. Not everyone will get it.

Actually, heads up, a lot of people will just shoot you dirty looks. It's cool, smile back.

But I think what I've found most important is that while you're out there singing Disney songs, and taking a strong stance on pineapple on pizza, and being really sure that leggings are your most flattering piece of've gotta remember, there is nothing to be gained from being anything less than everything that you already are.

Right? You don't become someone stronger, or kinder, or more capable because you've pushed parts of yourself to the wayside. You don't become someone who supports the individual weirdness of others, by not letting your weirdo banner hang high.

I look at this way, I am a living breathing testament of the power of working hard, and honestly trying so hard not to give up, and not always being patient, but trying so hard to follow His plan for my life.

My life is just one long example of putting faith over fear, going to bed saying forgive me, and waking every morning to renewed grace. That's it. That's what I've got on my side when it comes to living my whole life as And if that is what keeps my head above the water, and my little lifeboat from capsizing, well that's not enough for me to justify thinking that my authenticity is any less weird than someone else's.

You dig tuna salad? Watch horror movies? Mess with numbers for a living? Wear corduroy? Man, more power to you. That is so not my shade of weird. If that's you, living your best, authentic, life. I say, go for it. Let me stand back and you ride that motorcycle.

I think that's also probably why it's been hard for me to keep reminding myself that it's okay if other people aren't riding this train. Because I just don't care. So long as your weirdness isn't also, I don't know, racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic or otherwise just hateful for no purpose - girl, you do you. Right?

Right. Usually. And yes, to some degree it's a consequence of the job I have, that people will look at me, scrutinize me, and attempt to decide if how I live my life measures up to how they think I ought to be living. But just as the input of others doesn't sustain me, it doesn't destroy me either. As hard as it can be. As rude as it can be. As ridiculous as it can be, to hear other people attempt to sway you.

Well, above all of that comes this really outrageous bout of peace and fulfillment, when you recognize how your pursuit of this authenticity will so perfectly lend your heart to kindness, compassion, humility, and downright happiness.

Look, it's not easy. It's not easy to just put all of what you are out there and say, accept it, or don't. I think every day I keep some weirdness in, because it's scary. But I think that if you can give yourself some room to be uncomfortable, at least for a little while, you'll really learn to love what it's like to know you aren't hiding the parts that make you whole.

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