For the last couple months I've been on this kick about authenticity. I know that in my own life I wear masks and pretend a lot more than I'd sometimes like to admit. I think we all do. We do these things to protect ourselves, which is fine. I've realized recently that I don't need to protect myself like I once did. I'm finally in a place in life where the people around me are people I can trust, people I've chosen to walk through life with me, people who love me. There's no longer a need to have my guard up. So... I'm working on taking it down.
I'm doing this by saying things that feel weird. Hey, friend who has been in my life for ten years, I love you. We've never said that to each other, but it's true so I'm saying it now. Hey, new friend, you're really important to me and I care about you. I like that you're in my life. Hey, stranger, I think you're really pretty (insert Mean Girls quote here: So you agree? You think you're really pretty). Hey, you hurt my feelings and I'm not going to act like I'm fine and bottle it all up instead of talking to you about it.
It's been strange, for sure. I'm not great at saying things that aren't coated it in a thick layer of irony. It's uncharacteristic of me to say something and not try to finish it off with a joke to ease the tension. In this time, though, I've definitely noticed that people actually LOVE it when you're honest with them - even if that honesty makes them uncomfortable for a second.