What is living authentically?
Welcome to, The Sunny Side with Kody!
What does living authentically mean? Well, it could mean a variety of things depending on the person.
We can share our truths, show the best version of ourselves, be honest with ourselves and others. Living authentically, is what you make of it.
Hi, my name is Kody. I turned 30 almost four months ago and I thought this was going to be one of the best decades of my life. I had what I thought was a very intimate blissful 30th celebration with people I loved and cared about. It was small, yet just what I needed while still living in the middle of a pandemic. Then, almost two months later my life was flipped upside down. I decided then, I would no longer let someone else determine how I lived my life. My 30th year has not gone the way I imagined it would, however it’s never too late to take the bull by the horns and take the control back.
For the next 30 weeks I am going to share a lesson I have learned, a piece of wisdom I can share, or an experience I have had.
Getting back to the title of this initial blog post. What is living authentically?
For me, this means being honest with myself and others. It means accepting myself for the good and the bad. Allowing myself to be vulnerable and try new things. Not being afraid to step outside of my comfort zone. Sharing a personal blog with the world… well that sure is one way to step outside your comfort zone and be vulnerable. I admittedly, am not a writer. However, I believe I am good at sharing stories and experiences. If I am able to build any sort of connection with you or help you in anyway by sharing my stories and experiences, then that is all I can ask for.
Living my life authentically started two years ago. I should say, it restarted. I remember being 10 years old and thinking to myself, “what if I like girls?” This was such a confusing thought for me at that age. Growing up in a small conservative town, the term “gay” was not associated with anything positive. Sexuality wasn’t something we learned about in school or how people can love different people. My 10 year-old self considered it as just a thought and nothing more. That was until three years later when I learned one of my friends was gay. At first I was incredibly supportive and understanding. Of course, because this was who I was. I loved everyone equally and supported the people I cared about. Something about them telling me they were gay, scared me. So I distanced myself. I ruined a good friendship over my own fears.
Three more years went by. In that time another close friends of mine came out to me. Once again, the fear of their sexuality scared me away from mine. I have come to learn that this is called Internalized Homophobia. This is defined as “Internalized homophobia and oppression happens to gay, lesbian and bisexual people, and even heterosexuals, who have learned and been taught that heterosexuality is the norm and “correct way to be”. Hearing and seeing negative depictions of LGB people can lead us to internalize, or take in, these negative messages. Some LGB people suffer from mental distress as a result.” (Rainbow Project). The Rainbow Project goes into great detail about what internalized homophobia is and how it can manifest. Click here to learn more.
My coming out story will be saved for another time. It takes a lot of courage to accept yourself for who you are. You are afraid of what others will think. How it will affect your professional life. How it will affect your relationship with other people. I can say this with gratitude and pride, the people who love you for who you are will stand by you no matter what. They will accept you and love you, in every form of yourself. I will also say that sexuality is fluid, I identify as queer. I do not see gender in people. I love people for who they are, not their sexuality. I know that to live my life authentically, I will not live by someone else’s constraints or by societal norms. I may have had a boyfriend five years ago and a girlfriend for the last two, but that doesn’t mean I have to strictly date one or the other. This is my life.
What I have learned so far since turning 30… IT IS YOUR LIFE! Live where you want to live. Date who you want to date. Dress how you want to dress. Just be you. Live your life authentically. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Until next time my sunshine!