What does it mean to be real?
I’ve had to ask myself this question so many times. When I was younger, I didn’t understand the freedom that comes with being real. I was so afraid of letting the world see me for who I really am. What if everyone hated the real me? I wouldn’t have any friends. I’d be all alone. The idea of being a friendless loner terrified me. Could there be anything worse?
As it turns out, yes…yes there are worse things than being a friendless loner. Being surrounded by fake people is so much worse, in fact.
For example, having a family member who seems friendly at all the family gatherings, but you later learn this person you trusted is actually talking about you to everyone else behind your back…that is worse than being lonely.
Marrying the “love of your life” only to find out later they are not the person you believed them to be; that they are living a sort of double life by pretending to be one person while with you, but also having a completely different work/online persona you would never have fallen in love with. This is a bit worse than being lonely.
Losing best friends because once you finally stopped pretending to be who you thought the world wanted you to be, you realize you truly have nothing in common with the person you were so “close” to…that sucks a bit more than being lonely.
I know at this point I must sound like the most bitter person you have ever encountered!
However, I’m actually not bitter. Not anymore. After all of these experiences (and several more I haven’t shared), I finally learned the value in keeping things real.
These days, I allow myself to just be…well…myself. I wear what I want to wear, do my hair in a way that makes me comfortable, and most importantly, I do not try to be someone I am not. I’m loud. I like to cuss when the situation seems to call for it. I love my kids and will give up time with other adults to hang out with my kids. I tell people some of my darkest secrets just so they know for a fact who they are dealing with. Most of all, if a person will let me, I will be a fiercely loyal friend, almost to the point of being annoying. It’s just how I’m wired.
Since allowing myself the freedom of being real, I’ve noticed I no longer attract as many fake people. Once I begin to be my carefree, real self, the fakers tend to run away. The plus side is that being real tends to attract other people who also want to keep things real.
Two of my very best friends are much like me in this regard. One is loud and says exactly what is on her mind. I love this about her because I never have to guess what she’s thinking. And as loud as she may be, she loves deeply, and will take down anyone who messes with those she cares about. My other friend is funny and kind, and she will encourage you any time you are discouraged. She truly believes in you and will be your biggest cheerleader when you need it.
Being real can be terrifying when you first try it. I promise you, though, the pros of being real far outweigh the cons. Give it a chance and it just might change your world!