The post generated some comments and discussion, but I'm afraid that it might have been misinterpreted as either accusing others of being fake, or of encouraging people to be radical non-conformist. I certainly didn't mean either of those things. I simply meant to point out that I still see too many people afraid to be themselves, and this simply isn't going to fly in our ever-changing world. Life is moving at a faster pace than ever, but rather than eliminating the problem, I fear it's compounding it. Once upon a time, there were pretty clear "norms" that we were expected to conform to in order to "fit in." Now there's such a camphoney of voices coming at us all the time and from all angles, that sometimes we don't know what exactly it is that we're supposed to conform to. And you can't escape it, either. Once upon a time, your home was sacred. Now with the Internet and social media, you can have those voices infiltrate you through your cell phone! The pressure is mounting from too many angles, and I think that's the exact reason why we need to make finding ourselves and accepting our authenticity a priority.
One thing I said in that post was that when I started writing and publishing a decade ago, a lot of people thought I'd totally lost it. They couldn't understand why I would want to do something like writing a book. There was very little support, but writing and publishing a book was something that I wanted to do so badly that I did it anyway, despite the lack of encouragement at the best of times and heavy rejection, criticism, and ridicule the rest of the time. Things like Simple Abundance encouraged me to shut out the voices to find what I truly wanted and to pursue it. Lo and behold, one book led to more published works, and then the ebook wave hit and now here we are at a place where people expect me to be working on a novel at any given point in time, and the question going from "why write and publish?" to "what are you writing and when will you publish again?"
The point: Accept yourself, and others will accept you. They may not always understand you, encourage you, or even "get it," but they know that this is you, and respect it. Because everybody can sniff out a fake - they know when you're putting on a mask, and while they may play along, they don't really respect it. They just look for ways to keep playing you.
I think what I hoped to accomplish with that post was to encourage people to accept who they are, and not be ashamed of it. If you want to write a book, write a book. If you prefer sci-fi and fantasy to reality TV, romance, and erotica, then proudly like and share Game of Thrones, Arrow, and The Flash every week. If you hate wearing dresses, then wear pants instead. If you watched the Superbowl just for the commercials (like I did), then just admit that you didn't care for the game, but the Heisenberg "Sorta Greg" Esurance commercial cracked you up. Let them roll their eyes, or snort, or whatever. But I'll bet next year they remember to ask you which commercial was a winner instead of your take on the game! I'm not saying to chuck your manners. You do still need to remember your please and thank you, and you do need to adhere to the rules of where you choose to live or work. But those rules almost always leave room for personal expression, so take advantage of it. So be yourself, be proud of it, and give others a chance to get used to the real you. Take it from a girl that's most definitely not girly: people may be shocked at first, but you'd be surprised at how quickly they get used they get to weird every now and then, and how many doors it can open that you never knew were there. Who knows? More people may agree with you than you imagined!
That's all today. Take care and have a great week.