my new year’s resolution: authenticity

Authenticity was always a mystery me. I never quite understood what it was or what it meant. Eventually, I learned that it meant someone or something that was true, raw, and real. I remember seeing people I looked up to; Lady Gaga, Eddie Izard, Opera Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Sia, and Elton John. They all had something about them that I admired, authenticity. They were so real, relaxed, and nothing could touch them or their opinions. They weren’t angry, they weren’t spiteful, they were accepting… of everything and everyone, no matter the issue. They were inspirational in that they were fully and entirely themselves.

I strived to be like this. I wanted to be calm, cool and collected. I wanted to be able to make mistakes and still seem flawless in them. But time and time again I grew embarrassed. I tried to eliminate people from my life whom I never spent time with and burned bridges. I tried so hard to appear “authentic.” What I was really doing was putting on a perfect persona that was not me. What I failed to see is that you do not “try” for authenticity. You are.

 

This New Year’s my goal is to be authentic. I will just be.

My authenticity is being me.

My authenticity is making my mistakes with the ability to forgive myself.

My authenticity is resting in a constant confidence because I love myself for everything that I am and everything that I will be.

My authenticity is loving everything and everyone unconditionally.

My authenticity is forgiving.

My authenticity is understanding and keeping silent when I don’t.

My authenticity is everything I am, loving it, moving on, and being happy with what is.

 

Forget the workout plans. Forget the daily meditation plans. Forget the new diet. Forget to study more. Forget the expectations. This New Year I vow to let go, trip up, make mistakes, and love every moment of it because I will authentically be me.

dear winter

Dear Winter,

You sprinkled your white dust upon my home a lot sooner than I thought you would this year. Your cold blanket shuffled me indoors, cuddled under a blanket with a warm cup of coffee. The people I love and the ones who surround me grew depleted with your fall and the world grew quiet. I mourned the loss of the constant time spent with others but soon grew to love your silence, just as I do each year.

Winter, you give me space to dream and think about myself and my life. I love to sit in your solitude and plan for my future as my creativity blossoms under your falling snow. The holidays are always confusing when you’re near. I wonder what it all means. Each year it seems as though the holiday cheer shrinks into a corner as the commercial influence engulfs the family laughter. Each snowfall, the world becomes so much clearer. I feel the sting of reality, along with your icicle droplets. And somehow this calms me to know that the snow can reflect the bitter things that I must encourage to take care of in my lifetime.

Each snow storm I discover a little extra part of me. Sometimes I like it and other times it hurts; but all the time it’s refreshing to know that I am authentic, even if authenticity means making mistakes. No other season can bring me the appreciation of having a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, a family to be with, and food on my table. I appreciate the warmth of a blanket and cozy sweaters so much more than I would if it were summer.

Thank you winter, for giving me the time to grow under silence and so much more.

let’s talk about change

“We all change when you think about it.

We are all different people, all through our lives.

And that’s okay, that’s good.

You got to keep moving.

So long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”

– Doctor Who-

 

I’m going through a massive change in my life. I’ve just turned 21 and my ideas are different, my personality is different, and my aesthetic is different. However, I’m still me. I’ve been so many different people in my life that sometimes it feels redundant for me to say this. But people change. Everyone does.

Doctor Who is a perfect and physically clear example of this change. If you haven’t watched the show; Doctor Who is an alien from a dead planet called Gallifrey, who looks human, can travel in time and space in a phone booth called a TARDIS, and has two hearts. These three things will never change about him, but because he is an alien he has a special power. Whenever he is hurt or dies he regenerates as a different person. He’s still himself with all of his memories intact but his personality changes, his morals, and most importantly his genetic features. Basically, the actor playing his character is replaced with a new actor.

I’ve always related to this aspect of the television show because I feel like in my lifetime I have grown and changed so much as a person. I’ve held so many different faces and so many different experiences, and every time I feel like it’s the last time I learn something new and I change. This change is usually scary because I sometimes worry if I’ll have the same friends or if the people who liked me before will like me again. I worry about that untitled page and wonder if it will hold good or bad for me. This change is also exciting with a new look and a new perspective and so many things to explore.

What has happened recently is mostly due to my age. Turning 21 brings on a lot of new things. I’m looking forward to graduating from university and possibly starting a new career. Love and relationships are different for me now and more committable. I’m an adult with bills to pay and responsibilities. As soon as I walked into my first bar I reverted inside. I didn’t feel confident and I immediately began to create fantasies and distractions to escape this terribly real world that was suddenly in my hands. Instead of concentrating on myself I began to concentrate on other people and I started building fantasies about them. I began to grow nostalgic. All of this, in turn, resulted in disappointment and a loss of control. Luckily it didn’t get too out of hand. I recently just got a kick in the face with a major disappointment and I’m ready now to be 21. I’m ready to embrace this age and face the realities life is giving me to attempt to figure out.

This is, of course, scary because I’ve never walked down this road and I just lost a very close friend of mine who was there for me for a very long time. This is okay, though. They weren’t ready for this change in my life. I have a handful of new friends now and my family is still close to me. I have a winter intermission to think about life and what I want out of it. I am going to read, eat, drink, laugh, love, and dance. I am going to tread through these new waters and experience the new experiences this chapter has to offer me.

Don’t ever be afraid to let go of the past and start anew. You don’t have to disregard who you once were or throw it away. That person is still you, just matured with new experiences, like a fine wine. It’s time to make something of yourself and start a change because without change there is no forgiveness of mistakes and there is no future. Embrace it, follow it and be it.

an open letter to coffee

Dear Coffee,

I remember the day we first met. You were swirled with a half a cup of milk and 3 spoonsful of sugar and served with whipped cream on top. My father knew I couldn’t handle the bittersweet richness that you had to offer yet. None the less you were my favorite thing to look forward to on Sunday mornings. Soon enough I began to embrace your bitterness and drank you every morning of my senior year of high school. When my freshman year of college came around you became my main drink of choice. I indulged in your caffeine goodness every spare moment I had and you were practically running through my veins. You helped me through every moment of my college years.

You were there the night before my first exam when I was crunching in the last precious study hours and the sun was moments away from rising. You got me through that first night of tears and stress, and you were still there after my exam when I needed a white mocha – vanilla pick-me-up.

You there after my first break-up when my best friend delivered you to me in the form of crushed ice and white mocha deliciousness with whipped cream on top.

You were there on the morning of my first job interview when I was already filled with too many nerves only to bring them to the 10th degree with your caffeine. However, your warmth seemed to calm me as well.

You were there to give me the image of the perfect host whenever my friends came around and I offered a lovely cup ‘o joe. You stimulated our conversations and gave us something to talk about if things ever got awkward.

You were there on all of my lovely and cringe-worthy dates. You gave me the perfect space to test the waters out with any man I had an interest in and you were always free.

You got me through all of my all-nighters and the days after when I wanted to fall asleep in my classes.

You were there as the perfect companion whenever I did my work or indulged in a moment of creativity or sat down with a good book.

Coffee, you were always there for me. Whether I was happy or sad and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you in my life.

Love Always,

Elizabeth R. Brigham