Authentic is quite the ‘in’ thing to be these days – being in touch with our inner identity, being true to ourselves. But the question for me is always – which self? I always seem to be more of a multi-faceted person than a singular soul, and whatever face I hold up to the light at any given time is generally my authentic self at that particular moment.
No-one (well, very few people) sees all of the real me – but surely that’s the point? My husband probably sees more of my many facets than anyone else – good and bad. Mind you I’ve known him for over 40 years, first as friends and then as life partners, so we have a lot of history one way or another.
With my kids I’m still my nurturing mum self as needed – even now they’re all grown up and we’re friends too I’m still their parent first and foremost, and that’s just how it should be. Our shared past (including the fact that they were once part of me, made of me) gives us a familial freedom to be more open and honest together than in most other relationships, and that feels good for all of us.
At work I am clearly my work self, with my behaviour appropriate for that situation – I’m polite and efficient and friendly, because that’s what’s needed in that environment. I put on my work clothes and my work personality appears, smiley and helpful and as real as any other part of me while it lasts. Yet at home I’m far more quiet than in public, more of a home bird than a party animal, an introvert quite happy in my own company, and that’s real too.
And on my blog, I’m my blog self – so how authentic am I being here? Well I may not share every aspect of my life on WordPress, but what I do share is real. I’ve struggled with depression my whole life, I’m an emotional eater and carry too much weight, and I enjoy photography and writing poetry. I’m a country girl at heart, and it shows in my love of nature. But I also love the anonymity of city life, and sometimes that side of me shows too.
There’s nothing radical about my authenticity, it may be variable and sometimes contradictory, but all in all that’s absolutely fine by me, whichever me I am being at any given moment 🙂