I feel an evolution happening within me—a revolution really. I’m beginning to feel free in a way I haven’t before. I’m beginning to feel settled, on the inside.
For decades, I’ve been trying to figure out how to live authentically. I recognized when I was in my mid-twenties that I was struggling to allow myself to be seen. I had developed a habit of hiding behind what I’ve come to think of as my costume, the outer me that I projected to all others.
On the inside, I was someone different from the person everyone thought they knew. I had learned how to observe what people expected from me, what made people respond to me, and how to contort myself into these shapes. When I was very young, I wasn’t conscious of doing this. But as I matured into adulthood, I became aware of the disconnect between my inner and outer selves. It manifested as a tension that threatened to rip me apart. I managed to cross the breaking point without being swallowed, and I’ve been slowly making my way across the other side ever since.
But I’m still not living authentically. Yes, it’s gotten a lot easier to reveal myself in some situations, but there are still too many instances when I bend and twist myself. Why do I do this?