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Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Authentic Self.


When do we ever just act on our instincts, not caring to please and be accommodating, discarding others' expectations, jumping into situations with joy and thrill and self interest? Do we do this only as children and by the time we've grown up we have internalized bibles of do's and don'ts to serve us well in most situations? How invested in our public image do we become? What would the real you look like, act like, if your private and public self were one and the same?

This particular morning, we planned  to go take a walk on the beach, in our sweats, walking shoes, sun hats. On a whim, my husband drove an additional twenty miles before finding a place to walk that was new to us. (Somehow, finding a new place to walk is our version of fun these days.)

Before noon, tired and hungry, we saw a country fair sign advertising free-entry for seniors,  and talked ourselves into dropping by. I looked at myself in the car visor mirror, and accepted the fact that dirty and sweaty was not going to change our experience much. Usually, I'm quite particular on how presentable I am. Not this day. We were too far from home, and the chances of running into anyone we knew were slim.

As we sat at this outdoor stand, waiting for our burgers, I noticed the rest of the audience.
We do feel anonymous in a big crowd, I thought. What if that lady's boss from the bank, for instance, would see her today in this T-shirt?

Within seconds, we ran into a couple we knew who joined us right there at the burger counter. Somehow this much exposure of  my authentic self ended up giving me indigestion.





15 comments:

Helen said...

I'm smiling ~ at least you wore clothes (unlike the Emperor!)

Happy Sunday!

mxtodis123 said...

It wasn't until I retired that I began exposing my authentic self. Despite being in a dress down type of job, I always felt I had to look my best. Now I am always in leisure clothes. Had my hair chopped short so it is wash and wear and wear only the minimum of makeup. I feel so much happier this way.
Mary

mxtodis123 said...

It wasn't until I retired that I began exposing my authentic self. Despite being in a dress down type of job, I always felt I had to look my best. Now I am always in leisure clothes. Had my hair chopped short so it is wash and wear and wear only the minimum of makeup. I feel so much happier this way.
Mary

yaya said...

Heck, I was hoping when I retire I could wear stripes with plaids, and that big old purple hat without giving a hoot what people would say. Or I'm hoping they would say.."Isn't she an old cutie!...what a character!" Guess I'd better find some nice t-shirts to hang out in! I laughed when somebody you knew was there! Go figure! Keep on being yourself...it really doesn't matter as long as you're OK!

Becky Jerdee said...

Little by little, I expose my authentic self. People still smile at me and treat me well :)

Tom Sightings said...

I say, there's nothing wrong with being dirty and sweaty; it just means you've been doing something interesting!

P.S. Well, as long as you're outdoors ...

Rob-bear said...

A delightful tale, Rosaria! Being ourselves is not so easy when where are dress codes, etc.

I hope you keep doing what you're doing, and having a good time in the process.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It sounds like a perfect day -- just following whims -- and basking in invisibility. Who would have thought you'd run into someone you know -- but it sounds like it was a positive.

There is such comfort in being authentic! I just got back from another trip over to L.A. to help my friend Mary who is experiencing much stress and sadness as she nurses her husband through Alzheimer's. We were able to get out for a few hours as a helper cared for him and we laughed and cried and she expressed long-pent-up anger in a very authentic way. We both agreed that it was a perfect outing -- feeling safe enough with each other to express ourselves without worry or censoring.

Meryl Baer said...

Totally understand. On the one hand I want to look presentable, on the other I love forgetting about clothes, makeup, hair, and enjoy just doing my thing.

Amanda said...

We are all so used to wearing masks in our culture, so I think the more layers we are able to peel off, slowly but surely, the freer we feel..

Rubye Jack said...

I've never been one for dressing up or wearing makeup, but yes, there have been moments when I've wished if only I had ...

Kerry said...

Ha! I go through these thoughts almost every time I go into town in my torn jeans and stained tee. Usually I change the tee.

Brian Miller said...

ha. let it all be real you know...if they can still stand you fully exposed they are real friends right? smiles.

the walking man said...

Rosaria maybe it is a habit of upbringing or having to much of a wardrobe but with me, what you see is what you get except I tend to swear less on line.

Vagabonde said...

Like The Walking Man above says “maybe it is a habit of upbringing.” My mother was born, raised and lived in Paris. I know for a fact that she did not own a pair of trousers or a pair of shorts. I never saw her in anything casual like this. She had tons of dresses, suits, skirts and some were more casuals than others, but that was it. She always wore stockings when going out, even just to the outdoor market. Then my father, who was an Armenian, brought up in Egypt, forbade me to wear trousers or tight skirts and never, never shorts (too revealing.) So now I do wear jeans out once in a while, but still no shorts or much casual clothes when I go out. I wish I could wear these very casual clothes like Americans do, but I feel so uncomfortable in them, even after all those years here. The most casual I’ll go would be with a linen outfit with a nice tee-shirt in summer or a blouse. People here wear casual clothes to be comfortable and I don’t for the same reason!