I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I’m authentic. I’m never quite sure if it is intended to be a compliment or not. I suppose it is what it is – I make no pretense. I make people laugh, I make them cry, I make people want to hug me and some want to wring my neck. I mostly make myself crazy for being who I am – yet I just can’t help myself.
There are times when I wish that I didn’t care so much. If I see a wrong – I’ll always want to right it. If I see someone or a cause that needs support – I want to be there for them. My passion sometimes consumes me and overwhelms others, yet I often feel that I have no control over what it is that drives me to be me.
I also have no control of how others perceive me. How someone reacts to me is not about me at all. When I’m being totally true to myself, I’m usually acting on my own instincts and not doing things for the sake or recognition of others. That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate recognition when it comes – it just means that is not what’s in my mind when I’m working on something.
The problem with being “authentic” or being true to ones self is that, is that you usually make yourself and others crazy because your passion and vision are just too much for most people. There have been times when I’ve wanted to take a vacation from myself. I’m sure I have alienated my fair share of colleagues and friends over the years.
I have always been the sort of person, even as a kid, to question and think for myself. In that regard, I wasn’t an easy child to raise. I can’t say that I’ve changed much. I’m still questioning and still thinking for myself. There are days, I wish I could turn off those voices in my head that constantly push me into unknown and potentially dangerous waters. Some days I’m successful and take refuge in my familiar confines. But there are more days when the voices in my head win out.
When the voices win out, I remind myself something that Steve Jobs said “ Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”