The pressures we feel as women today are endless – some days, I feel like asking myself, is there anything or anyone that is real anymore?
Years ago, I got into an argument with one of my best friends – I came to realize there were times when she would be completely honest with me…but others, she would alter reality ever so slightly. I didn’t know why. We had been through thick and thin together creating a bond that I knew would never go away, but why couldn’t she be completely honest with me?
The day I got on a plane to move across the country, I knew I had to say something to her – I told her that until she could be honest with herself, she could never really be honest with me. It was months before we spoke again. I was devastated but I knew that if we were going to remain friends across all those miles, we needed to be real with each other. I knew that as I said those words to her, I also needed to look within…was I being real within my own world?
It took me a few years to realize that I wasn’t even being honest with myself with who I was or what I wanted. The cold hard truth was that I had no idea what I wanted out of life – I had lost my sense of self. I realized I was doing what was expected – I felt like I was in a boat and just going down stream, letting the current dictate my path. I was passive in this journey.
It wasn’t until my physical body started to give out that I realized I needed to get real. I had to get real with who I was and what I was doing with my life. My mind kept spinning…how did I even begin to figure out who I was or what I wanted? I realized I had developed my entire sense of being around doing what was expected.
It wasn’t until I became quiet within that I started to get to know the real me. I had to let it all go. Let go of the expectations, let go of the “supposed to” behaviors. I had to come to grips that I would disappoint people. I had to learn to not care what other people thought of me. I had to learn to be real with myself. I also had to remember, there isn’t necessarily a good or bad, there is just reality – the reality of life.
Learning to be real takes time. I had to ask myself why with every decision. Why was I staying at work late, why was I going out on a date with a man I really didn’t like, why was I consuming an entire bottle of wine every night? Am I doing something just because I “should”?
Learn to get real with getting real – with yourself, with others. Ask yourself why – why do you do what you do? Am I meeting an expectation that isn’t real or do I even care? Be true to who you are and what you want out of this short journey we call life.