As the leaves get crunchy and the pumpkins grow moldy (I know, not for everyone: Hello, Southern Hemisphere!) I have been thinking and writing about scary stuff, like being old and feeble and the idea of giving up caffeine, and here’s another- showing the real me…
But, the real me is awful!
Yeah, which real me? To a large extent, I feel like a fraud. (Do a lot of us? Is this just me?) People will tell me I’m fun, or funny, or loving, or mean, and I think sometimes it tells more about them than about me.
My husband will suggest going out for a beer after work with his work friends, because they think I’m interesting. First of all, I know it’s Colorado, and Beer is our obsession, our religion and our number one value added agricultural product, but I hate beer. I’ll taste it, and make a face, then get overpriced artisanal pop.
When I’m out at a brewery (yeah, that’s what a lot of people do here in Colorado, go to breweries and taste beer) or a bar, I’ll participate in a conversation, make the right faces, laugh, make witty comments, but usually, I’d rather be home watching the fish in my goldfish pond. If I have been in a conversation with you at a brewery, and you are one of the people who thinks I’m interesting, sorry. But I was probably thinking about my fish pond. I may have even steered the conversation around to it, obsessed as I am about the new bog-based filtration system. People think I’m witty and interesting and a good listener, but I am such a fraud.
There are so many roles to put on- middle school teacher, parent at conferences, yoga teacher, black belt, writer, wife, mom, daughter, sister, hippie chick, et cetera. I struggle with seeming authentic versus being authentic.
Deep inside, I am convinced that people who see the real me will be appalled. I’m a disaster. I’m shallow and messy and stingy and smarter than you. And also stuck up, because I think I’m smarter than you. I’m also constantly comparing myself to others, even though I insist I’m not competitive. And I have weird looking feet. And my toenail polish looks terrible.
A handful of people know a more authentic version of me (still not the deepest level). Real authenticity is scary as hell. What do you think? How have you found the real you?