This is a tough question. How do you measure someone’s value in society? What is one person worth? And who is to determine my worth — my coworkers, my family, my peers, my neighbors, or the greater society of my state, country, world?
I have just finished the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. His impact on society and the world is great. But, I am left with the impression that he was not a very nice man, not even with his loved ones. He was often very difficult to get along with. I can’t say that Steve was a good person, or a likable one. I respect all that he accomplished and I am a lifelong Mac fan, but not a Steve Jobs fan after reading that book.
Do you have to have made millions of dollars? Or have invented something great? Or found a cure for cancer? Do you have to have raised some great kids? Or encouraged your spouse to greatness? Do you have to go to church every week? And have voted in every election?
I know for me, it has taken me a long time to say that I am valuable. I dealt with low self esteem and shyness issues for many years, not to mention the weight of being gay and Catholic. I felt so unworthy. I was a wallflower, someone in the background. Why did God make me the way that he did? I didn’t like me, let alone love me.
What does it mean to life an authentic life? According to Dictionary.com the definition of authentic is:
1. not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
3. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa.
So when we are talking about authentic life, it would be a life that is real, genuine, reliable, trustworthy. My life in my 40’s is the closest that I have come to living an authentic life. What you see it what you get. I am what I am. I offer no apologies for who I am or who I love. And why should I? I did that for years and was not happy with my life.
This week marks the one-year anniversary for this blog! Thanks to everyone who read, looked at, commented on, or reblogged one of my posts. It has been a wonderful journey. It was nice to know that I could be creative in more than one area in my life. The year has flown by, and I hope to keep everyone interested and entertained for many years to come. Here are some of the highlights from this past year:
Real Men Wear Speedos — I will never live this one down. And why should I? I still feel the same way. Guys look good in them, and men shouldn’t be afraid to show off their bodies if they are in good shape. I am looking forward to wearing mine to a water park this summer. Anyone with me?
Letting Go of the Past — Sure, I can do fun topics. But this one also struck a chord with the community. Everyone can relate to hanging on to things (and people) and that sometimes it is best to just let go. Letting go allows us to grow as individuals.
Seeing this has been my most popular blog post, I am revisiting the topic.
I wanted to mention a few things I saw on the internet regarding this issue:
First, I saw a posting on a message board from this guy who was considering wearing Speedos when he went on vacation toEurope. He was basically asking people for permission to wear them. I say, if you are feeling like doing it, just do it. Who cares what other people think? It is your vacation and you should not conform to what other people think is best for you to do. Like Madonna says “Poor is the man, who pleasure depends on the permission of another.”
I also saw on another message board about someone having a cousin visit from Brazil and going to a water park. The question was shouldI let my cousin wear Speedos at the water park? There were people quoting the park regulations and such saying there were no rules against it. Some people saying to buy the cousin some board shorts, others saying let him decide for himself. Others saying under no circumstance should he wear Speedos that they were too “showy.” Again, let the cousin decide. If you love and accept him as family, it will not matter what he decides to wear.