What Does Authenticity Mean?

Well, the fog I described last week is lifting, but I continue to be a scattered-brained mess! :-) My house looks like a tornado hit, and as I sit here in my little office, I’m surrounded by fake dollar bills (the play kind, just so you Feds know, I’m not creating dollar bills here), an atlas, Ebay and Etsy receipts, three cameras, my new deposit slips, stamp and fancy checkbook for my business checking account, scribbled notes written while trying to find a hotel for our trip up to North Georgia later this week (thus the atlas mentioned earlier…who knew we’d be visiting Aunt Livy the same four days as a huge gospel fest AND softball tournament in the same area?), a few shells, baby lotion, kids shampoo, a large comb, innumerable blankets, quilts and scarves the girls have pulled out of their room to play with, and um, a reindeer that poops jelly beans. And that’s all just in my little 5’ x 5’ office nook! And that doesn’t include the “normal” office stuff that’s supposed to be here! The rest of my house is currently in a similar state. Oh well.

I made this necklace a couple weeks ago while my friend Dana was over for a play date. It's now in my Etsy store here. That big piece of jade up front used to be in a different piece that I’ve had laying around for a while, so I reworked it for summer. Dana just finished Florence, and we were celebrating. Who is Florence, you ask? Florence is a mannequin Dana collaged from head to toe with all sorts of fabulous stuff. Took her two years! Serious dedication there! My only suggestion was that she change out Florence’s boring brown wig for a hot pink one. That was my contribution, and we both feel it was the finishing touch. Sorry, no pictures of Florence to share with you because Dana is thinking about starting a blog, and when I suggested that maybe it could be Florence’s blog, Dana’s face lit up. So I’m hoping she’ll follow through with that, and THEN Dana will share pictures of Florence with you.

When talking about Florence and her potential blog, Dana and I got on the subject of authenticity, which seems to be the biggest buzz word in blogging. We talked about what we think that means. What the heck does that mean anyway? Dana is a psychology instructor, and though we are very dear friends, we have very different approaches on life. Dana, God bless her, is a mega-analyzer. And I’m really, um, not. I’ll analyze temporarily, but then I’m over it; the old “it is what it is” motto I live by. Experience it, learn from it, move on. And while I certainly touch on my personal life here, I try my darndest not to dwell on issues I may be struggling with. Hashing out my problems, insecurities, fears, what have you, in a public forum is just not how I process things. Other people do, and if that works for them, I think that’s great! But just because someone chooses not to hash out those things on a blog, does that mean they are not being authentic? I certainly do not think so, and it’s that line of thinking that really bugs me about authenticity talk.

Lori mentioned something similar on her blog a while back, and she has the exact same outlook on life that I do (one of the many reasons I love you Lori!). No one’s life is perfect. Bad things happen to everyone, regardless of whether you are a stay at home mom or working mom, regardless of your income or lack thereof, regardless of your marital status, regardless of where you live and whether you have a river in your backyard or not, regardless of what you choose to share and choose not to share. Bad stuff just happens. That’s just life. The one thing that we all have in common is that we all have the choice regarding how we react to that bad stuff. We all have the choice of whether or not to choose happiness or dwell on the negative. 99 times out of 100, I choose to be happy. Am I Pollyanna-ish enough to think that I’m, therefore, going to be happy every single second of every single day? Heck no! I have my moments. But when I’m not in a happy place, I typically choose not to share that with the world. That’s what works for me. That is the “authentic” me, take 'er or leave 'er. And I eat lots of chocolate and lick batter directly out of the brownie batter bowl.


lori vliegen said...

you are singing my song, girl!!! i love being authentically happy, genuinely making choices every day to be accepting of what's thrown at me, and always, always listening to that pollyanna voice in my head (you did know that pollyanna and i are best buds, right?!). and yeah, crud happens all the time......isnt' that what eating the brownie batter and chocolate chip cookie dough is all about?! (why bake when the dough is so much better?!).
love your necklace, gal....you are gifted beyond belief!
xox, :))
{p.s. thanks for the linky love.....you always say everything so much better than i ever could!!}

Anonymous said...

If everyone ate more brownie batter out of the bowl the world would be so much sweeter!

Choice to me is what makes my life authentic. I may not be able to control everything around me but I can control my thoughts, which gives me the strength I need to flourish. It's all temporary, so why freak out when it all takes care of itself in the end?

And besides, we have things to create and you can't do that if you're not authentic to yourself :)

cath c said...

i hear that. i've had a few things on my mind lately, but don't have that as the focus of my blog, and just cause i have one doesn't mean everyone needs to watch me go through stuff i'm trying to work out for myself. so my blog has been quieter lately, not a post a day.

does it make me inauthentic if i don't want to whine about somethng that frankly takes a little more thought for processing than whining typically allows for anyway? i don't think so.

and sure, i'll discuss my thoughts with people i trust, but the world really doesn't need to see that part of my landscape.

cath c said...

love the oceany necklace by the way!

cath c said...

thank you, kelly! i am wearing this lovely necklace and matching earrings now. will blog it for the weekend.

they are perfect!