Within & Out

In an era of hashtags and highlight reels masquerading as real life, it’s normal to feel as if you’re the last person in the room to pull it all together. It’s normal to see people your age (or younger) in places doing/achieving things that you’d never conceptualized, let alone made plans to execute. It’s also normal – in the interest of fomo (fear of missing out) – to skip vital steps in your development to achieve the perfect photogenic goal.

So many of us jump out there in a flurry of hashtags and quick fix inspirational quotes (look up Boss Babe in the Urban Dictionary and get your life. You’re welcome), in the hopes that someone will believe us enough to invest in our social media projection. Some even neglect the very real task of doing the work and investing in themselves before having the gall to demand that the world invest first. It is so easy to point fingers and blame the ever changing elements surrounding any circumstance, without first turning inside and asking oneself: how can I contribute to this change I so desperately seek?

It always goes back to the question: What do you want? It always goes back to doing the work to dive past the layers; first the shiny veneer, to the publicly acceptable… and finally to the heart of what you really seek, and the honest answer of why. To know oneself is to know the universe. And before you write that notion off as some utopian pipe dream (or worse, use it in an ‘inspirational quote’ or a hashtag), consider how much of what is truly authentic comes from the inside out. The more you tell yourself the truth of what you want and practically take the steps to achieve that goal, the more likely you are to be honest with others without manipulating them to view you in a false light.

It’s perfectly fine if you don’t like what you see or where you are. It’s also okay if you have no idea where to start. Every breath is an education. Every step is an opportunity. The more you become conscious of the very basic tenets of your physical and emotional existence, the easier it will be to explore possibility beyond them. So open up. First to yourself, then maybe to someone you trust. Then take a breath and open up even more. Resist the urge to gloss over or lie about the way you feel. People may not always like what you say, but no one can in good conscience disparage you for telling the truth. Live in your skin and get comfortable with that person, and then let the rest of the world see how truly amazing you really are.

What may surprise you most is how much the world needs you to be honest. What you’ll find is that for every feeling you have, there is someone having that same experience in some way. Often we live with the false narrative that we are alone, so we hide our true selves and present only what we wish to shape for public consumption. With an incredible leap of faith, a little courage, and a lot of resistance to filters and hashtags, how wonderful that you would contribute real benefit to this existence of ours… by simply telling the truth.

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