A friend of mine took a huge step and decided now was his time to be authentic. I applaud the decision whole heartedly. Trav, this one is for you, a little piece of me I don’t let anyone see and what I have learned from letting people see the parts of me that aren’t always pretty.
I’ve spent the last few years cultivating my genuine side. I’m not always perfect at it and sometimes I feel the need to protect myself and rightly so, sometimes being a ‘real girl’ has ended in my feelings being hurt, my good nature being abused and my heart getting broken. All things not easy to admit for a girl who has a reputation of being headstrong, independent, self-sufficient and confident.
Somewhere I learned to cover up the emotional bruises and walk off the hurt the same way I do physical injuries. A little flippant sarcasm, a smile to stop the tears and an almost Houdini-like disappearance while I recover whatever ground I lost along the way. On one hand I can count the people who I’ve let see me cry.
I have been called fierce, authentic, tenacious, tough, friendly, generous, honest and brave, I make it easy to see the parts of me I like. They are marketed, bought and sold like commodities. My strengths bought me a career most women ten years my senior would love to have and a business most people my age wouldn’t dare attempt. My skills have been bought and sold so often, I often lose touch with the side of me which has feeling. The men I date tell me I’m intimidating and women often view me as a rival but most vexing of all is: I don’t care because I can’t afford to care.
The parts of me like: my temper, vulnerability, inexperience, distrust, doubts, fears and hurts, I hide; not because no one would ever be able to guess they are there, but because if feels better if no one knows for sure. Protect the feelings, never let the guard down, fight if you know you can win and run if you aren’t sure. A merry-go-round of trying to open up to people and being terrified they may not like the fragility they find and shutting them out again. Strength is easy, fragile is terrifying.
And there it is, a socially honest moment for my friend Travis. All because he’s brave and wanted to start a landslide.
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