“When you become true to yourself, a whole new journey begins”.

There’s a whole new movement for people following their passion and learning to make money off it. I believe that this is brilliant. But, you see I believe that the real work comes when we start to not only preach the sermon, but practice the lifestyle. In other words, convincing people to live their most authentic lives is all well and good but, we might want to not contradict ourselves when we choose to chastise them for taking our advice.

Now, being your most authentic doesn’t only translate to career goals and choices; it seeps through down to the very core of the individual. It’s the posts on Instagram, the perceptions built on Twitter, the ‘tensioning’ on Facebook all while living a make-belief version of what we think our lives should resemble. It’s present in not coming to terms with our reality and trying to progress but blaming everyone else for a life that is ours, it’s in choosing to stay in unhappy places where we are not welcome, it’s in not wanting to get up from a table where you are not being served what you deserve yet, constantly putting up a show for an imaginary audience. It’s in our life’s choices… it’s in who we get in bed with…

Marriage-shaming is one way in particular in which society still pressures us as women to be enslaved to making decisions that are not necessarily pertinent to our wellbeing but are more in tune with keeping to ‘time’. On speaking to a famous marriage counsellor recently, he estimated that over 70% of marriages in Nigeria alone were in shambles but, one would never guess those figures, as it never looks that way from the outside looking in. He got me to promise to take my time and pray hard before taking the leap. Waiting, he added, was better than regret.

The most recent rising suicide rates have got me pondering on why we as a people avoid confronting the reality of depression as an illness that can in fact affect black people as it will force us to take a closer look at ourselves and our surroundings. We would much rather stay in a bubble, sing ‘kumbaya’ and pray it all away, if we acknowledge its existence at all. Our social media reality has become our go-to source of self-esteem, support and validation. Again, living the faux life.

Where are you your most authentic? Who are the people you can fully be yourself around? What activities bring out the real you? It is in asking ourselves these prevalent questions that we can truly come to terms with our truth. It won’t happen overnight, some areas might be more difficult than others but making the choice to begin at all makes all the difference in the world.

None of us are perfect, nobody has it all figured out. The sooner we learn to accept people at their worst, the sooner they can believe in themselves enough to give their best. Creating perceptions might be great for branding, but by all means safe-guard your sanity. Have your tribe-your girlfriends, sisters, family with whom you can completely unmask around.

There is no greater peace than that enveloped in living your truth.

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