I remember a feeling of freedom from when I was younger. Not like I did not have any troubles- there were crushes to be had, and boarding school scandals to deal with- but it was never heavy; never more than what it was- a crush on a yellow boy, or punishment from a senior to whom I had been politely rude.
Perhaps I’m remembering through the characteristic tint of hindsight’s glasses, but this is how I remember it. Try as I might however, I do not remember where or at what point the ‘extra’ came. The noise. The clutter of expectations and adulthood and things that one had to do. Attributes that one had to be- ambitious, ladder climbing, pragmatic. And all within strictly defined timelines too.
I remember reading a novel and that being the only thing that mattered in that moment. I remember it with so much longing, as I’m no longer able to do that. These days when I read a novel, I struggle to drown out the voice that reminds me of all the more ‘useful’ things I could be doing in that time. When I muffle her (she sounds something like Whoopi Goldberg) enough to get through a chapter, I am then confronted by her cousin whose voice screams at me (she’s quite high pitched) to find ‘lessons’ in the book, after all, no time must be wasted. But no. I just want to read for reading’s sake. I want to read for pleasure. I want to wear sandals in the middle of the day. I want to breathe for breathing’s sake, not to stay alive.
These days I am drawn to authenticity in others like a thirsty deer. Possibly because I seek it for myself. I’m trying to remember who I was before the noise interfered. I am trying to be that person for the world. Because that person is whom the world needs. She is why I am here. Why my father met my mother, and my grandfather my grandmother. I don’t know why the world is so big on sameness. We are not the same. We are not the same. Everything in creation points to this- our different looks, behaviours, fingerprints…but yet we spend so much of our time expecting, no demanding sameness.
I resigned from my 9-5 the other day. No, I hadn’t saved up a trailer load of cash to ‘fall back’ on. I only knew that I had to find authenticity again in what I did. I no longer wanted to have a ‘work side’ and a creative side. My creative side was being swallowed up by my work side, and I wanted my creative side to be my work side; my only side. I had chosen, and she had won.
So. How does one go about finding authenticity? I can’t say that i know the full answer to that yet, but I started with God. It made sense to ask the inventor about the reason for the invention. So I did. The first thing He said was to cut out the noise. To stop using the invention for the wrong things. How are you going to figure out the right use when you’re bending it out of shape to do things it’s not supposed to do? A book can serve as a place-mat but you’ll never know how it is supposed to be much more unless you quit that place-mat business, pick it up off the table and open it. Re-purpose. So I’ve cut out the noise. And doing that alone took away so much of the ‘heavy’. It’s lighter now; so much lighter.
My next question was, “now that we have created this white space, what are we filling it?” I’m figuring it out as we go, through GlasSlipper Collective. Trying out everything that comes to me from inside. The results have been mind-blowing, but that’s a post for another day. Speaking of posts, I’m also writing about it- my thoughts and experiences on this journey to authenticity (authé) – under the category ‘Journey to Authé.’ I hope you’ll follow.
I’m in pursuit of authé.
I cannot wait to find it.
Or maybe I have.