Be yourself because everyone else is taken.
Authenticity breeds authenticity.
Transparent moment: I didn’t know what to write about this week (I can hear the gasps now). I know right, hard to believe from a girl who knows her way around a pen and pad.
But truth is, I feel a demanding need to meet or exceed the standard of my own personal best – which is a great goal to have. I have put out some pretty amazing content: Found, A Daughter’s Developing, What I Refuse to Do in 2018. And I know I am striving to be better than I was yesterday: see Better.
I know I can deliver and have the capacity to do so.
But honestly, it’s not easy being honest.
Every week I ask God to guide me in writing the piece that is most beneficial for my readers. What are they experiencing that I can shed some truth in love on? And that is a reminder of one of the reasons I write but it forces me to focus my attention on my audience.
Which is foundationally wrong… let me explain.
I began this blog because I wanted to be honest with myself and the world around me. So, in hopes of expressing my story, others would find themselves in it and want to share theirs.
I write first for me. When I’m writing for someone else I’m being my authentic self too. Sure, I have the ability to sprinkle my true self into guest posts and magazine features (which I have: Chaos Before this Black Girl Does Grad School) and I find my best stories are the ones where I’m pulling from that raw, true self deep inside. And that’s something I value and I’m sure my readers do too. Being my authentic, raw and honest self prompts others to be authentic, raw and honest with me too.
Now, I know being honest isn’t easy, I mean I don’t find it easy to write my heart out every week and bare it to the world BUT I do because I know the benefit of confession. I, not only, have women tell me they relate to my writing, I have women be authentic with me (share their honest stories) and my hope is they experience freedom in their confession.
The meaning behind my blog name wasn’t just for me to be honest BUT promote honesty. Being honest in the black community is a huge ‘no, no.’ It’s like we avoid it. Phrases like “what happens in this house stays in this house” and “because I said so” rule the African American household. And it makes life, especially for women, incredibly difficult. It’s like we’re afraid to talk (the deepest form of healing) about stuff. I mean say something people!
So, participating in an all-out pursuit to be absolutely honest with myself: my experiences, my feelings, my passions; and in hopes of me choosing to be my true self I can have other women be their true selves too. With this blog, I wish to create a community for women of color to share in each others becoming: insecurities, struggles, wins, loses; and also provide hope. Be our sisters backbone, be a listening ear. I know honesty can sometimes be scary but it’s absolutely needed.
So, I urge you to be real today.
The best thing you can do for yourself is be you. And I know that sounds like a loaded statement with the number of people prancing around trying to be like their favorite celebrity or rapper; wearing the same expensive clothes and saying the same silly phrases. On the other hand, I know that everyone has this innate need to fit in with friends or family and the world around them, which isn’t entirely bad.
However, when we alter ourselves at the core, compromise our being – our authentic selves, it is a disservice to someone else. Being honest allows others to be honest too – feel more comfortable being their true selves. Compromising your beliefs and characteristics to make yourself seem more or better makes you become someone you where never meant to be, and forces you to hate yourself in turn. We forget who we are trying to be someone else. You ever heard your mom or dad tell you: “don’t forget where you come from?” And that’s exactly what being authentic is all about.
For instance, I had an interview (I’ve had several since undergrad) and usually, I’m nervous about those but this one was not like the rest. I remembered who I was and knew that anyone would be blessed to have me on their team. So, going into the interview I chose to be my authentic self. I didn’t put on airs to impress my interviewers or make myself conform to someone I thought they would like. And I know that sounds crazy being that it was a job I really wanted but I figured I should just be my true self and myself is pretty awesome.
It’s definitely not easy being honest or authentic all the time but you have no choice but to be yourself because everyone else is already taken.
Love the blog? Subscribe to Honestly Me’s Newsletter by clicking here!