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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just. Fine.

Authentic.

It's something I try to be, but sometimes I fail miserably.

To truly be authentic, you have to not care about what people think, not care about how they might judge you, not care about how people perceive your words.

I think of being authentic as just being me.

But the reality is that it's hard to truly be "authentic." Its hard to reconcile that I do care what people think, I do care how I might be judged and I do want my words to matter.

There are days when I write. And I re-write. And I backspace. And I edit.

And then I dump the piece I wrote or just keep it for myself.

I think, nobody wants to read that. Nobody cares to know that. And having an internet persona does not mean that you shouldn't have some boundaries. Right? I think. After all, we all have lives outside of blogging or social media - lives that are not made solely of ourselves, but friends, co-workers, family that all may have to deal with our need to be authentic.

But its not just about writing. It's about how we represent ourselves everyday.

Authenticity is rarely what you see on Facebook. It's rarely what you can uncover in that meal you are having with your girlfriends after finally making time for a girl's night out after four months before you all rush back home to relieve the babysitter. It's generally not in the automatic response that comes to our mouths so often when we are asked how we are:
"I'm fine."

Like an automaton, I find that the words, "just. fine." are how I feel I need to often justify my existence. I have family I love. I am well-fed, clothed, educated, and have more opportunities in this life than most people will ever see.

So I should be fine, right? Why should I take that opportunity, even when its from a friend to say something like the following?

"Well, damnit, it's been a freaking shitty, shitty month. Something is breaking in our house every day and I don't know what is going on with the kids, they have both been acting up so much sometimes lately and oh, my god, I just feel like there are days I want to yell and kick and scream and be like, leave me alone people! And there is other stuff going on, but I don't feel like I can talk about it so I am holding it all inside and one day soon, I will most likely release all that pent up anger and snap when the kids are watching an episode of 'Bubble Guppies'. Cuz that's how I roll these days, damnit!"

But I don't. And I won't.

So I say,

"I'm doing just fine."

There are days where I realize that what I say is often not very real. It's far from authentic. It's far from true. And maybe those days, I truly don't feel that way at all.

"I'm fine!"
"I'm great!"

And then I smile and change the subject.

It would be one thing to say that you don't need to share everything with the internet community, be it 5 or 5000 readers you have daily. But its another thing when you realize that you have trouble being real with the people you love most.

Authentic.

Sometimes I fear being authentic. I feel like when I play the part everyone wants me to play, everybody is much happier. Why rock the boat?

The reality is, the people who really matter, want us to be true to ourselves. I'd like to think that anyway.

I mean, unless you're a total asshole. Then maybe you can just try and pretend just a teeny bit. Just like, that much.

Here is to trying to be more authentic.

And for everyone who has ever felt just a tinge of jealousy when looking at an old friend's profiles on Facebook, here is a thought to make you feel a tad bit better.


Namaste,
Kiran

7 comments:

Diana said...

Perhaps we were related in another life. You know a lot of how I feel by what I expressed to you earlier- and they are similar thoughts. I think we are all on a journey- a path to somewhere. Where it leads or which one to be on- I'm not so sure. Some people can admit that the path isn't always so smooth... Some times the 'right' path or the 'right' choice doesn't seem within our grasp- or it's hidden to us... It takes honestly and realness with yourself for it to become accessible...achievable...reachable. Because life isn't easy. Those that are seemingly sailing through life most likely are the ones not being authentic. I should say the ones that express how perfect everything is all the time. To those people- I say "I'll have what they're having, please!" But the truth is- we all say we are 'just fine' sometimes because it's easier.... and while we are being honest- let's face it. It's what people want to hear. Because anything more profound might inconvenience them and take up valuable time. "just fine' is just fine with them. I am being unfair... real friends and family do want to hear the truth. Question is- can they handle the truth. I think so. You are one of the most honest, authentic, warm people I've ever met and I don't even know you that well. I would trust you with anything and know it's in good hands. Real hands. So..know that you authentic even when you don't think you are. It's who you are. It's what's in YOU. What your answer is when people ask how you are really doesn't matter- as long as you know. And those that know you well will know when just fine is just the easy answer. Love your writing. Love your truth. And know that you are SSOOOOO not alone.... Love from, Diana

Peg said...

What a great post. I can seriously relate. I get the "How ARE you?" several times a day lately. Most times, I just smile and say "fine, we're all doing fine." But if I was truly authentic it would be "I'm living a pure hell, the kids are all struggling, my house is a mess, my husband and I are struggling with our new life, I miss my dead sister and I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to make it through the next day." I'm thinking that might turn a few people off, so I usually give the standard response, smile and change the subject. That is usually asking about their life and listening to them complain about their life difficulties which frankly pale in comparison to what we deal with everyday around here. Even trying to compare isn't very healthy or fair. Everyone has their issues. Everyone is busy. We're all probably just faking it in different degrees.

Masala Chica said...

I am really humbled by both of these thoughtful responses.

Diana, my sister from another mother, I love how you say, "What your answer is when people ask how you are really doesn't matter- as long as you know. And those that know you well will know when just fine is just the easy answer."

In fact, I find saying it's fine IS EASY. to a point. I think it becomes a bit challenging when you start putting your own feelings aside and start repeating it like a mantra to convince yourself that you might not need to make a change, that you might not be that happy, that you might need something else.

PEG - I wish I could send you the biggest hug possible right now and let you say anything and everything that was in your heart. To say I know what these past two years have been like for you would be a total lie. You lost so much, all in a moment, and have done an amazing thing in raising your nieces alongside your children. Its hard to rebuild, heal, find some peace in the tragedy that happened while at the same time just trying to function with 6 children in your home and keep everything running. I don't think people will ever understand what you are going through - but I am pretty positive that you are loved and there are so many people who want to be there for you and help you heal, help you scream, help you rage, help hold you up. They are there for you and you know that. I think in your case, when people go on about their own issues, they feel like, hey maybe I can use this as a distraction for Peg.

You're right - people have issues - we all do. Comparing them is not generally productive, but in your case, I think its fair to say that you can talk when you want and you deserve to. It's like when I see Stan and Sherri and they ask me "how are you?" I feel like either a) I shield them to it because it is just more things for them to process which I feel is unfair and b) nothing I am going through can compare to their loss.

I know that there are days where they, like you, say they are fine. And I let them say it knowing that when they are ready to talk, they will. and they do.

Love you, Peg. Thinking of you guys and sending many hugs your way.

Sara said...

I just started to write a comment and then I deleted it and started over because it was too...authentic.

I'm with you on this.

I've not quite located the line yet and perhaps I never will.

ayman said...

Thank you for sharing
Allah
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ayman said...

Thank you for sharing.
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Islam said...

Thank your for sharing
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