“You are a little too real for me.”
That is one of the nicest things someone has said to me in a long time.
Some years ago that comment well might have shattered me. It most certainly would have sent me back into closure. I would have gone back into hiding, reapplying the mask that I had momentarily dared to remove.
I lived decades of my life trying to be what I thought you wanted me to be. My protective coating was everything. I had made the equation that to be real and authentic was to be rejected. And so I played the role I needed to play in order to have a small yet tenuous sense of belonging.
The problem was that then I never really belonged within myself. I lost track of who I really was and what was true for me. The roles were circumventing my reality. It was a toxic dishonesty. And it was exhausting.
It took a long time to rediscover who I am and what is real, authentic, and vital in here. It has been risky. It has been scary. And it has been liberating. I no longer base my sense of belonging on what you want me to be. On how you think I should show up or what you think of my choices. I am not interested in being a member of a club that requires that I be anything different from just what I am.
I have gotten real.
That is displeasing to many people that are still in hiding. Vulnerability scares many of those who are still wearing a mask. Authenticity is frightening when it veers from the social norms. I no longer want to save face. That can be unnerving. And for me it is nonnegotiable. I am committed to finally staying true to what is essential in here. I am devoted to showing up openly and unarmored. I am strong enough now to prefer rejection over pretense.
I am done hiding.
Take me or leave me. This is what I am and who I am meant to be. I am more than willing to see and to embrace the authentic you, and it is my sincere desire that you will give me that option. If you are not yet ready for that level of sharing I completely understand. But I am not going to pour myself into a mold that keeps you comfortable. If I am a little too real for you than I am peaceful with walking away, heart open and head up.
It is for me a beautiful realization that I have finally reached a point where I can show up as me. As is, real. And I am willing to risk being a little too real for you.