Living Authentically

When I was younger, I would play dress up all of the time because I liked who I was when I could hide underneath plastic heels, sequin dresses, a feather boa, and plastic pearls. When I could pretend to be someone else, I didn’t have to be me. My teenage years were dictated by finding a way to be someone else, because I was convinced the world had no use for me the way I was.

I used to be the kind of person who always wore a brave face and never let anyone know what I was really feeling. I smiled constantly to hide deep emotional pain. I tried to fake happiness so no one would discover the demons that were eating away at me. I was able to quiet them for a little while, but pain doesn’t like to go unnoticed and I could only pretend for so long.

With little warning, anxiety and depression became my middle name. They overtook every essence of my being and caused me to spend years of my life as a zombie, walking aimlessly through a world that I assumed hated me. 

I had no hope for a future. Looking ahead, all I could see was darkness. 

Through tough conversations with people who believed in me, I opened my heart to getting professional help. I slowly came to realize that I have a place in this world, just as I am.

Now, I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I’m mad, sad, happy - you’ll know it. A large part of living authentically means that I no longer let myself be ashamed of how I am feeling. Trying to disguise myself to live for other people only ended up hurting me, why would I try that again?

It’s not easy, though. There’s still a small part of me that seeks, no craves, validation from society. I’ve come to know, however, that none of us were created to go through this life hating who we have been made to be. The only life we are guaranteed is the one we are currently living, therefore we are only doing ourselves a disservice if we spend our days running away from the various circumstances that try to bring us down. We’re better than that. We’re stronger than that. We’re more worthy than we will ever give ourselves credit.

We have everything we need to get through uncertain and uncomfortable times. Don’t run away from the pain, run towards it. You deserve not just to live, but to thrive - and that can only happen if you choose to tackle life as the beautiful person that you are.

Written and loved on by Mae L’Hereux