Wednesday, October 5, 2011
A Few Thoughts on Authenticity
Mr. Wonderful and I often joke with each other about how we better never expect one another to change because we've both been the same people we are right now for as long as we can remember. We're set in our ways. Defined in our personas. Consistent in our behavior. Thankfully, we both like each other's unwavering personalities.
Although I wouldn't call myself averse to change, I don't often seek it out. I like familiarity and comfort. I like knowing my way around—places and people. Some of my closest girlfriends have been in my life since kindergarten. I've lived in the vicinity of my childhood home almost my entire life. I still love Grease as much as I did when I was 4.
I do not understand people who can swing back and forth like unstable pendulums. I have a very hard time when I don't know whether someone is being authentic or a chameleon. It just doesn't compute with me. And frankly, I think people like that are doing themselves a great disservice. Because in one or another (or yet another) dimension of their lives, they are not being who they really are.
Several years ago, after our break up, one of my ex-boyfriends began actively attending church—something he never did when we were together. At one point, we were having a conversation and he told me he believed that if you didn't accept Jesus as your personal savior, you were going to hell.
My brain scrambled.
Not just because that notion seemed ludicrous and there was no way the God I believe in would ever punish a good person simply because they'd never had exposure to Christianity, but because my ex-boyfriend suddenly looked like a stranger to me. He was not the person I once knew.
And once you show me that you're a complete departure from the person I thought you were, it's really hard for me to want to maintain a relationship with you. I want the person I signed up for in the first place. Not the swinging pendulum.
This may make me seem short-sighted, close-minded and judgmental. But at least I know it about myself. At least I'm consistent. At least I'm authentic. And at least the people in my life know they can count on me to continue holding them to the same standards I have since I met them.
There are no chameleon scales underneath this skin.