G is for Genuine




“Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.” -- Joss Whedon

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time…from one of my favorite writers. Until I reached my later years, I always struggled with the concept of being yourself…or appearing genuine…because I didn’t have a good sense of who that was.

I feel we’re all a work-in-progress, constantly re-imagining the concept of who we are…what we stand for…what are our values…attempting to solidify the blurry lines that define our identity. But as we grow older I believe that process slows down and we’re more fully formed…like an emotional Jell-O mold hardening. Maybe we just care less about others think of us – because isn’t that what drives a lot of change anyway – and we stop adapting to conform? Is that why being genuine when it comes to the elderly is often labeled as being stubborn – or hardheaded?

Whatever the reason, these days I feel about as genuine as someone can be. I’m comfortable with my place in the world and the goals I still have before me. For years I fought against my introverted-shy nature and tried to interact with the world on its terms, but I no longer feel the necessity to do that. You’ll not find me following society’s blue-print for selling yourself anymore. I’m going to be the true me.

Wait a minute…you say…you’re a writer, and if you ever hope to sell any books - won’t that mean selling yourself…in a public fashion. Wouldn’t that contradict everything you’ve been saying about being genuine? The short answer – NO. I genuinely love being around writers, people who want to talk about writing, and especially those who want to discuss MY writing. This is an arena that I don’t feel like I stand out (in a negative way) and can contribute as much as I receive. I am at home with the writer crowd.

That’s just another way it’s easy to be myself nowadays. I’ve found my niche.

15 comments

  1. Yes, totally agree. I used to try to chameleon-ize myself to fit in with the people around me but I have finally found who I am and I'm pretty happy with being myself.
    "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter."
    Keep up the great work with rockin' out being yourself!

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  2. I think, as we grow older we don't care about pleasing people, and realize the importance of being ourselves because it makes us happy. When we're younger, we think we'll get that happiness from acceptance, but experience teaches us otherwise. Be true to who you are!

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  3. I think realizing that what other people think is irrelevant is exactly the answer to feeling genuine. It's taken me a long time to figure that seemingly simple lesson out. On the scale of introvert-extrovert I am a solid far-left introvert and for the longest time I struggled with the "you should get out more" statements that I got from a lot of people. Now, I'm quite comfortable with the fact that I don't like to go out, that it is exhausting for me, and that I simply do not enjoy it. So why should I do more of something that makes me feel like crap?!
    Brandy from Brandy's Bustlings

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  4. Being genuine is so important. Especially in this day where we're all online and it's easy to be fake with no one looking at you. I still do have a problem with caring what other people think. That's something I need to work on.

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  5. So I was always told that being shy and introverted was something that I had to overcome. I was advised that I needed to come out of my shell. At this point in my life, I kind of understand now that perhaps some of what “they” were telling me would have made my life richer and fuller. Actually, it is sort of what you are saying too. By coming out of myself, not being as self conscious, taking more of an interest in the other person, rather than worrying about what that person thought of me is something that I am only just starting to make an effort to change. It has already had a positive effect. I am finally learning how to cultivate relationships which have begun to turn into real friendships.

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  6. When you're comfortable in your own shoes, life is good.
    And you can be both genuine and private at the same time.

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  7. Excellent. Yeah, for some of us it takes awhile to grow comfortable within our introvert skin. Society (at least here in the US) rewards extroverts easily enough, but doesn't always understand the rest of us. It can make it hard when you're younger and still trying to figure out where you belong.

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  8. You can be genuine, just don't whine in your gin ;-) Being oneself is important, being comfortable with who you are is even more important!

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  9. Hi DL .. it's a great place to be isn't it .. helping others, being available for people, smiling and laughing often .. and as you so rightly say being genuine - about who you are ... Cheers Hilary

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  10. When you're young, your world is so small. And since we want to fit in, I feel like we have to conform more. Cool clothes, cliques. As we get older, as our boundaries expand, we can look for communities where we feel comfortable instead of changing ourselves. So in that way, yes, as we get older we get more genuine. But I don't think it's cuz of stable self but our wider pool of connections. I'm constantly changing (but hey, 20s writer here), and sometimes that does make it hard to find a community, but I'm always genuine. (At least I hope so.)

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  11. Hey Don,

    Not blowing smoke up yer arse, but that post could have been written for me, too!

    I was nodding, and nodding and even went "uh-huh, preach it brother" on more than one occasion :)

    Well said, Hammons, well said :)

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  12. great post, i think i will have to read all of your posts

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  13. Amen to THIS! Life is too short not to be comfortable in your own skin

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  14. I'm making it my favorite quote, too. Then I'm going to check with friends to get their honest opinions of me. Wish me luck. :-)

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