Authentic Self; that Big Scary Ball of Suck


1. not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.

2. having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence;authenticated; verified: an  authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.

3. representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified:  a story told in the authentic voice of a Midwestern farmer; a senator’s speech that   sounded authentic.

4: Big giant scary ball of sucky bullshit except not really bullshit but I call it that because being scared makes me sweary.

So part of this journey I’m on is to find my authentic self. My life up to now has been more or less orchestrated by what Glennon Doyle Melton (or maybe just Glennon Doyle now, I can’t remember) terms “my representative.” My representative is the armor I put on every day to protect myself from all the crap the world throws out. She hides the “real me” under a cloak of literally any persona that keeps the others (the others being anyone I’m interacting with) happy and free from any discomfort or inconvenience.

I’ll give credit where credit is due; my representative does an incredible job of shielding my true, authentic self. She is an expert at reading others and responding exactly how they would want to be responded to. She also happens to have no regard for what my own response would be. Representative DGAF. To be completely honest, she’s been doing the talking for me for so long and with such authority that I don’t even bother with my own response anymore. Path of least resistance…if my true opinion is never given a voice there’s no point in forming one in the first place. It’s a twisted relationship and at this point I have no clue where she ends and I begin.

So how do you begin the separation? Where do you make that first cut? Where does one start to begin uncovering their authenticity? There is no handbook, no step by step guide with concrete direction and a certificate at the end saying congratulations, you’re now authentically you. How can you possibly begin to tackle the biggies like your future career or driving values when you’re so deeply enmeshed with your representative that you don’t know what color walls you like or what type of furniture makes you feel at home…whether you actually enjoy wearing makeup or what type of clothes make you feel beautiful.  Brene Brown is probably the closest I’ll get to a manual and even she’s not specific enough. 

I need something like, “Authenticity Step 1: Go to Home Depot. Stand in the paint aisle until you start to panic. Grab every shade that you think might be something you like. Whatever general color group you grabbed the most of (blue, yellow, green, whatever) go buy 12 different sample shades. Slap sample shades on wall and stare at them for 3 days until one feels right. Paint room that color. It is a color you like. And PS if you find out in a week that it’s not the right color just do it again and REPAINT THE ROOM.” Same principal with eyeshadow from Sephora. Eventually I’ll get to the biggies but I’m telling you, I need a reeeaaaalllly slow build here. This is a lot of years of letting my representative run the show and I’m just not quite up for diving into my core values and describing my ego identity. Not yet. Way too much, way too scary and way too soon.

Maybe I’ll write the guide. It will start with paint samples and really long trips to Sephora.

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