My friend Aj Luck gave me my topic for today. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to come up with things I like about me, and she said it’s likable that I am honest enough to recognize that and to put it into print.

I just know that being real is and has always been one of my highest aspirations.

I’ve never liked pretenses, masks, putting on airs. It’s always felt so inauthentic. Misleading. Fake. The world has too many fakes, and it’s not something I would ever want to be.

I am struggling today. Hormones kick me into clouds of dust once or twice a month, and on those days I feel like I am being buried alive by my emotions. Logic and reason go out the window. I am woven crooked and distorted in the mirror and the scars show through.

I am uncharacteristically quiet on these days, mainly because I don’t trust myself not to unwittingly hurt someone’s feelings. Only the bravest of souls venture into my world at such times. I honor those who do.

Painted smiles are for clowns, not people. I love making people laugh, but I am no clown.

If I cannot be honest about who I am and what’s going on in my heart, I cannot live true. Whatever life dishes out or what changes come with the passing of time, the one thing I can always be is true to who I am. To be otherwise dishonors my Creator.

So I like my authenticity, as rough and sad and confusing as it can sometimes be. It’s me, all of it, and I might as well shrug and hold it out as an offering to the world.

My realness is all I have to genuinely give.

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