Michael and I have been two ships passing in the night lately. There was the weekend before last when I went out of town without him and then last weekend he was out of town without me. During the week there have been after school meetings and baseball practice and baseball games. Last night was a double header and Michael didn't get home until after eight. We had about half an hour to recap our days to each other before Michael put me to bed. He always tucks me in. I'm not even sure how we started this. It's not like I'm the type of gal that needs to be doted on, but there's something to this nightly ritual we have developed. Last night Michael looked at me and said "I just want to thank you for being you. At least you are authentic in your weirdness." This almost sounds like an insult, but I know that his meaning is love. He had just spent the weekend with a various bunch of people. One woman never stopped talking and blessed her room with candles and crystals. He said she was weird for the sake of a show. Attention grabber. But, I also know that he thinks I'm a complete weirdo. I am part science nerd girl and hippy. I understand the microbiology behind viruses and infections and believe in the holistic healing power of Ayurveda and yoga. I will read total trashy silly fiction and follow it up with a classic Jane Eyre or Austin. I have been known to break out in show tunes and sing out my answers to questions. I think you should eat fresh fruit every day and that many foods from cans and boxes are poison. I believe in evolution and a higher power God like figure. I write more words than I speak. Do these things make me a weird? I don't think so. I think that's because I've surrounded myself with people that live their lives as authentically weird as I do. We just see ourselves as "normal". The truth is, just like there's no such thing as perfect, there's no such thing as normal. We are all weird in our own way. I think "weird" is what we've turned to to describe something different than what we're used to.
We hear a lot of talk about being our authentic selves. Honestly, I've never really thought about it until Brene Brown's The Gift of Imperfection and that only made me aware of the times I hadn't been my authentic self. There have been two times in my life where I have not lived as my authentic self. It should be of no surprise that one of those times was during my high school years when I tried a little too desperately to fit in with some crowd, any crowd really. Bits of my authentic self often leaked out and got me into trouble (I got hate mail once from my church youth group). The other time was after graduate school. I'm not really sure what was happening then. That transition from being in school (since kindergarten) to grown up land threw me. I struggled with finding myself and my footing again. Both of those times I can tell you that I was miserable. It doesn't feel good to live an unauthentic life. It's hard. Like physically demanding kind of hard. Being your authentic self is easy. Oh my God, it's so easy!
I was slightly thrown by Michael's compliment. It just seems so natural to be my authentically weird self, but what he was really thanking me for was being authentic. It was good of him to remind me that this is something we should appreciate more. It dawned on me that not all of us have had the luxury of being around and with people who allow us to be our authentic selves with out judgement. I don't think people realize this but authenticity is kind of like learning to ride a bicycle. There's really no way to tell someone how to ride a bicycle that first time. It's a feeling and a motion you have to just figure out on your own, but when you do get it, you're a bike riding fiend. You can ride all over town and back. There may be a few tumbles here and there, but from the moment you figure out how to pedal and balance that bike, you never forget it. Every time you get back on a bicycle, you know exactly what to do.
I started this post for my Love Thursday entry, but realized about half way through that it really falls under a Thankful Friday category. I'm thankful that I've, for the most part, been able to easily be my authentic self. I'm thankful for the people in my life that allow this of me with out judgement. I am thankful for the wisdom to not give a shit about those who do judge it. Really...that's the best part of it. The most freeing part. So, here's to being our authentically weird selves. We're pretty awesome. Happy Love Thursday and a fabulous Thankful Friday!