Friday, September 27, 2013

Authenticity: Becoming the real you. Becoming the real me.

Hello, World! xoxo ~e

Big thoughts and changes have to rumble/bumble about inside me for awhile before I'm strong enough to let them out and embrace them.

Being authentic is the latest one. It's been burbling about very strongly for a little over a year, for that is when I finally decided to surrender and acknowledge that I had a problem with food and became willing to be a part of a 12-step program that addresses that.

It actually, very quietly, started a few years before that, when I turned 40.
There was some French saying about a "woman is not a WOMAN until she's 40" that I heard along the way, and for whatever reason, it stuck in my brain as truth. So, when I turned 40, I gave myself the freedom to be me... the real me. The me I didn't really know.

You see, I've always tried to be the me you want me to be. You being whoever had power or influence over me.
Perfect daughter.
Excellent student.
June Cleaver wife and mother.
Whatever Hubbs idea of what a good lover was.
Whatever "best type" of spiritual person I was supposed to be with whatever religious group I was a part of.

I did that so well that somewhere along the way, a large portion of the genuine part of my essence, the "true me" got put in a little corner.
Please understand, I'm not saying my whole past life was one big fake. My life has been good. Better than good, actually. And I've done my best to be genuine in the past. It's just my past genuine was largely influenced by what I felt was expected of me. It strikes me today that even as a teenager, I would comment that "my life feels like I'm in a fog". It was in large part. A fog of other people's opinions. My thoughts on what I was supposed to do about those opinions. How I was to shape myself and my thinking around those opinions.

So, I gave myself permission to be "me".
Just doing that started a slow series of changes.
It wasn't, though, until I was able to "put down the food", in much the same way a drunk puts a "plug in the jug" that I was able to come out of my fog and start to make some real progress.

First of all, that enormous layer of fat that I'd hidden myself in, began to melt away. I gave myself permission to feel my feelings and not eat over them.

Secondly, I began to dress with only my desire to express myself through my clothes in mind. I've become a "brand lover" and a thrift store junkie. Believe me, finding a $8 Talbot tweed skirt  or a $25 red silk kimono literally rocks my day. In the process, my skirts became a little shorter. The heels much, much higher. The jewelry more glamorous and, well, more.

Thirdly, my thoughts have turned inward to inventory and resolve some of the long held issues/problems that have motivated and, in some cases, warped my thinking and behavior. This is the very newest change that is going on, and I don't think it could have happened without the other pieces that went ahead of it.

I am nowhere near perfect. And quite frankly that's a relief. I can make flub ups. Own it. Apologize for it. Make it right if possible and move on with my life.

There is a new show across the pond called "Fabulous Fashionistas" about 80+ year old women who are living their lives out loud in full color. We can't see it here in the U.S. yet, but the :40s you see on YouTube gives enough of a taste to go: wow!

I also found this blog by Ari Cohen called Advanced Style. Through photos and a couple of sentences (and a new book!), he paints a lovely point of view that life is worth living... and dressing... for!

So, who's with me on dressing with a little more authentic flair?
On allowing yourself to be the real, deep-down-inside-nobody-really-knows-me you?
Guess what! That's the YOU we are all eager to know.

Much love,

Erica Robinson