LIVING an AUTHENTIC LIFE
Why We Haven’t Yet and Why We Should
When I was growing up, maybe when you were too, there was a strongly implied life formula that we all were expected to follow. You know, that ever-watchful, societal eye that said, you WILL get a job that pigeon-holes you into one particular identity.
You WILL work 40, 50, even 60 hours a week, only being able to use the restroom when given permission. And you’ll live in this straight jacket forever and like it. Because that’s just how we’ve always done it. (I’m exaggerating, but you get the picture.)
By the way, that’s my least favourite excuse, heard time and time again, for continuing to do something a certain way. Especially, when that way makes zero rational sense. In an ever-changing world, what made sense even two years ago, may not now.
REINVENTING YOUR LIFE is NOW A THING
Anyway, living an authentic life wasn’t even close to being a thing then. A song encapsulating this concept debuted in 1988, entitles “Birth, School, Work, Death” by the Godfathers.
This was just about the time I was getting ready to venture out of the nest, myself. This style of music was a bit out of my league at the time. But, I felt the lyrics eloquently summed up the conflict that I and many in my generation felt about all of this.
Should we continue on the old ways or invent anew by individually redefining how life is best lived? Casting aside traditionally stringent expectations seemed more an attractive idea to me. This would enable a more free ebb and flow of time that might truly speak to who I was.
REINVENTING MY LIFE
In my own life thus far, I have hit three of the old markers. Birth, school and work. Yearning for some hint of individuality and freedom from social and economic expectation, I’ve managed to embellish these markers with some beautiful highlights that are starting to give my life a sheen of authenticity.
Motherhood, life-long friendships and a solid life partnership being the foundation upon which I’m tinkering with the re-invention of Jen.
So, what does my “tinkering” look like? Well, first I carefully and methodically arranged my finances and my life in such a way that I could kick that rigid 40 hour work week thing to the curb. MAN! That felt good.
“But, how do you make a living? How do you pay your bills?” Incredulous questions like this buzzed around my head whenever I dared to share my plans. As if they simply could not fathom living this one life we get free of that expectation straightjacket.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m nobody to be dictating to anybody else what they should and should not do with their lives.
Many millions of my fellow humans, around the world, live very structured, prosperous and fulfilling lives. I’m not saying you should go out and dump your whole lives upside down. I’m merely suggesting that your life should be more of a mirror, reflecting YOU. Instead of something fresh off the assembly line.
It should look like you, feel like you, smell like you, taste like you…
That’s what gave me the idea to create this site. It feels like me…a more authentic me. And gives me a platform to share my passions with people.
Shifting the boundaries of my paradigm even further, I moved to another country. It may sound strange but learning more and more each day about the world at large has taught me more about myself, as an autonomous individual. Shedding the many labels that have been assigned to me, in the past.
REINVENTING YOUR LIFE
How might you go about adding a bit of authentic sheen to your life? You could consider your passions and make a career out of one of them. Take up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. Painting? Running a marathon? Maybe become a sommelier, who knows? The sky’s the limit, really.
By choosing not to force ourselves into a regimental box, that no one, unique individual really fits into anyway, we open ourselves up to the opportunity of seeing the true beauty of this world, of this life and the revelation of our authentic selves.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
GREAT BOOKS on LIVING an AUTHENTIC LIFE
- Follow Your Detour
by Lindsay McKenzie
- A Whole New Life by Lucia Giovannini
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