Monday, January 21, 2008

Being authentic

In the course of the film, "coming out" becomes a metaphor for all closets and for all inauthentic, frightened behavior.
Which parts of you do you hide simply in order to fit in?

Perhaps we all have closets to come out of.


TR Ryan said...

This is a very special post - it gave me little chill bumps. And the attention to detail is extraordinary -- right down to the little candle lights of diversity on the coffee table.

Living an authentic life is often a brave choice for anyone. And when we make that choice and then lead by example -- we open the door for others to walk through.

Sadly too many gays and lesbians are forced into the "gay and lesbian box" by a disapproving society -- and once again loose their authenticity by working too hard at being the gay stereotypes within that box and not working hard enough on being a good human on the planet.

Part of living an authentic life is daring to live out of the boxes that life asks us to remain within.

Unknown said...

Wow - such a thought provoking post. I am not gay but living my authentic life has always been my goal and for that to happen we moved to Georgia. I feel like my family prevented me from being me.
As far as my career goes I am more successful here than I would have been at home.

Laura V said...

Hooray! You DID draw last night! And you posted our evening! I look GOOD in crayons...

I watched "I Exist" yesterday and it made me so sad. I wanted to hold the lot of them in my arms and tell them not to despair. My own coming out was very similar. I felt like a tree that had a major limb cut off -- my family. But guess what? A new limb grew back, much stronger and more beautiful than the original.

Granted, only the strongest love will survive during your journey to authenticity, but that's the love we really want, isn't it?

Becoming more authentic can be very frightening and hurt like a "mo fo", but if you can hang on a little bit (and lean on good friends), life becomes sooooooooo much happier and easier.

kate said...

These are wonderful, thought- provoking drawings. I loved the multiple-door drawings.

I like your use of colour. It really makes a difference in your drawings.

In order to fit in. Well, I do that often - having a hidden disability is just that.

Sometimes I don't state my opinion on things I feel strongly about, although I am getting better at that.

I wish there were more people like you in the world.

Anonymous said...

You go, girl. Great drawings. I see your confidence growing bit by bit. Like TR I felt something special about this post. That film seems to have touched your heart.

Terry said...

Caroline, thank you. I have your first picture as my desktop wallpaper. This all inspires me.

Suzy said...

Getting older helps --- and yet there are still plenty of situations where I feel like I am an imposter (even my authentic self!)

Lovely post.

Lana Gramlich said...

A wonderful post. :) I've been my "authentic self" for at least 10 years now. Life is just easier to live this way. I might have lost a friend or two, but I gained so much more (including all new friends who are also "authentic selves.")

Crayons said...

Thank you for all of your comments, all of which I read carefully and with pleasure. The content was hard for me. I worried last night that the post sounded too preachy or too academic.

Also, I feel so happy when readers can tell how hard I have worked on a certain image. Thanks for noticing.

Anonymous said...

You are such a talented artist and always write a thought-provoking post. I think of being 'authentic' as being true to oneself and trying where possible to think outside the squares that box us in. It's not easy but it's always worth it!

Pam said...

This is a wonderful post from a very authentic woman. I think age helps us to be more of who we are, and resolve.

I love your drawings, as always.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I can authentically state that I love this post.

Ginnie said...

A wonderful and thought provoking post Caroline. My journey into being authentic came when I joined AA...we are encouraged there to face ourselves and own up to our pasts as well as being responsible for all that we do in the present and the future...a tall order.
Your pictures are a delight.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

With age, comes the realization that we're only fooling ourselves when we aren't authentic.
Life is too short to pass time playing a part acceptable to others.

There's a good book about this--a take off on the Velveteen Rabbit, called "the Velveteen Principles : A Guide to Becoming Real."
I gave it to each of my daughters when they graduated from high school.
The Velveteen Rabbit has always been my hero!

cestoady said...

Regardless of the closet one comes out of,one MUST be authentic to realize the wisdom of the expression " The truth will make you free".

I so admire,and enjoy too, your unique drawings that capture with color,expression, perspective and a personal spirit, the joy of the moment. Anyone can take pictures,but I would never attempt to do what you do so well -- a rare talent indeed.

Weeping Sore said...

Your images and thoughts are beautiful. I never thought about how it requires bravery to be ourselves, but I realize you're right. It does get easier as I grow older though, perhaps because I don't have to bounce my reflection off other people to see myself.
I will borrow your toast this evening, and then take on the challenge it presents.
Your post reminds me of my favorite quote from Tom Robbins:
"When people tell you to shut up, they mean stop talking. When people tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing."
Keep up drawing and writing and growing!