Embracing authenticity and finding inspiration in being true to yourself


  Embracing authenticity and finding inspiration in being true to yourself

Being authentic means being true to who you are and what you’re about. It means this is your life, your look and your story, and it needs to be told authentically.

In the words of Karl Lagerfeld, “You need to be able to laugh at yourself. You have to make fun of things about yourself that are ridiculous or funny or whatever... That’s why I do caricatures — because it's not me.”
It sounds easy enough but in reality being authentically can bring up a lot of feelings that we may not want to face. When you own your story and are true to yourself, you will begin to see your life differently. In a world that is full of edited selfies and #goals posts on Instagram (where everyone has a seemingly perfect facade), it can be difficult to put yourself out there.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” - Albert Einstein
You don’t know what you don’t know until you try it, and sometimes when we make mistakes or fall flat on our faces, we realize it was the best thing that has ever happened to us.
It’s easy to give into the idea that you have to please others and keep up with what society thinks is cool. I want you to ask yourself, what will make you happy?
What if you were able to find the courage to do things out of your comfort zone that make you happy? What if we could do this together?
I’m not asking you to be perfect — everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has flaws, flaws are good. We all have our own unique struggles and it’s ok.
All I want for us as a people is happiness and healthiness. But in order for us all to get there, we need a little bit of love from ourselves first. We need to say “This is me, this is what I look like, and I’m pretty cool.”
Go out there and try new things, fall on your face once in a while and it will strengthen you a lot. It’s only when we find out what we can’t do that we discover what we can do. And when you realize that, there's nothing to fear but fear itself — which is usually just poor judgment anyway. By being real with yourself you might actually be able to give others permission to make mistakes as well.
Do you know what your authentic self looks like?
Have you found it yet?
Let’s go out there and find something worth loving!
Art: Jesper Ryelund
Narrative: Recently I had a conversation with my younger sibling. My brother is a brilliant poet and has always been one to show great amounts of insight beyond his years. We decided it was high time we exchanged words in print instead of just over text or social media. Thanks to Ashley Davis for helping me shape these thoughts and ideas into something both readable and presentable. **This blog post was originally published on Tumblr. No permission is needed to reprint, all proceeds will be donated to charity. With exceptions granted by Brinley and/or Kylie.**  In the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling more and more disconnected from what has been going on in the world, whether it be politics, or even music. I was wondering why this was happening to me lately as it seems so much is out of my control not only politically but artistically as well. You can view the time in which I wrote this as a time of personal growth and figuring out what makes me happy.
I remember being in 9th grade when I was watching the movie “The Break-Up” with my grandmother and aunt. The movie was about two best friends who meet up after 10 years of not talking or even knowing each other. Their relationship starts to go downhill, but they are able to reunite before their minds cave into old habits and they break up again. Through most of the movie things are going great (although it ends really badly) until they get together on Christmas Eve to discuss what they want for a future together (it does somehow end well). I liked the movie because it had nice winter scenery and I see a lot of myself in its characters.
“What do you want to do?” “I want to live in the moment.”
Things like this always seem to jump into my head around this time of year, although I can’t remember exactly why, but I think it has something to do with Christmas and fake trees. Fake trees are a big thing when you live in Arizona, as Christmas comes a lot earlier than most other places so you don’t have to deal with snow for too long.
I think the reason I like these kind of movies is because they reflect my feelings as a teenager. I was really big on the whole “living in the moment” thing. I always wanted to find things that would make me happy but also keep my high standards, and that of course meant keeping up with what was cool to do and say. My 9th grade self would probably see this paragraph as jaded or just plain mad, but I wanted to be a role model for my friends.
I have no idea how or why things have gotten this way in my life recently, but going back through old texts from when I was younger really solidified some beliefs that have stayed with me down through the years. It turns out that my high standards, my need to believe in good things, and to keep searching for happiness was really just a mask I put on for the sake of “being nice” or “not hurting anyone’s feelings.” I had let it slide into being more and more ridiculous as time went on.
After looking back at these old texts, I have come to realize that the way people viewed me in 8th grade was probably pretty accurate. People would say things like “She seems like such a good person but she is so weird” or “She's always taking pictures of everything. What's wrong with her? She's so obsessive.

At this point, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. But the thing is, I’d rather be a photographer than anything else. Photography has always been my main thing because it allows me to live in the moment and find happiness through something that is connecting me with who I am today.
I started reading this book recently called “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor. I would highly recommend it as there are many facts related to happiness that aren’t really common knowledge or belief, but can actually make you feel better about yourself if you decide to try them out for yourself.

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