Tuesday, June 16, 2009

authenticity - mine and theirs

If someone were to ask me what is the biggest lesson I have learned in the last ten months, I would have to say the importance of authenticity...in myself and in others. I used to be a person who would see a fresh-faced young woman, toting her yoga bag from a Sunday morning class, heading into Starbucks for a hot green tea and immediately say: Yes..I want to do yoga on Sunday mornings and drink green tea and be centered!



I would attend one class, maybe two...sore and unhappy...and would also discover that I actually found green tea quite bitter and that would be the end of that. It wasn't the authentic me. I bought a designer hand bag once after working with a lovely, posh, stylish friend. It came with it's own "dust bag" to keep it in. I think I have used the dust bag more than I have carried that beautiful, soft-as-butter leather, Kate Spade bag. Again...not the authentic me.



Life is too short to do anything but be yourself. I like coffee in the mornings...with lots of cream and sugar. I never read the paper, but I will read the same book year after year and will get lost in the plot and fall in love with the characters every time. Nothing beats a cold beer after work on a Friday...no matter how many calories are in the glass. I take absolutely no pleasure in gardening...at all. My favorite way to spend a Sunday morning is lying in the dirt and grass, camera in hand, trying to the get best shot of some wonderful dog. If I could spend one third of my day writing, one third behind the lens and one third on the trails with Sophie, it would be heaven on earth.



I have also discovered how much I value authenticity in others. I am heading up north on Thursday for my Girl's Cottage Weekend. There are seven of us going and many of us have known one another since high school. We have been having this girl's weekend for over a decade. Each of these women is so unique and is never anything but their truest self. I always look forward to spending time with them....to their stories, to their grace, to their laughter, to their insights. Their friendships have been some of the strongest threads of authenticity that I have woven into my life...and for that they may never know how grateful I am.



I am sure I shall return with a good story, and a photo or two, for sharing. Until then, enjoy the rest of your week and your weekend.

32 comments:

Sharon said...

Enjoy your weekend...hope it is a "divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood" gathering.

Mildred said...

I remember your get-together with friends because it reminds me so of my group. Hope everyone has a great time and hope you'll share some of your wonderful photography.

Oz Girl said...

Have a wonderful long weekend with your friends, it sounds heavenly!

Love the photo of Sophie on this post. Priceless. :)

Emma Rose said...

Awesome photo of Sophie! Have fun on your trip. We will want to see and hear all about it when you get back :)

Becky said...

Ok, now I'm losing my mind. The first time I read this post I didn't see the comments and now it is there. Enjoy your special time at the cottage and tell us all about it when you return.

Kathy said...

Have a great time this weekend. Can't wait to see the pictures you take there. Your pictures are always the best.

♥Mimi♥ said...

Spot on, sweetie. To be authentic, even if it means that you do not measure up to what others would like you to be, well, it's priceless. Be who you are completely, wholly and without reserve.

Carolynn said...

I'm big on authenticity too. There's really no higher calling.

I've never had that kind of experience with other women. It's not that I don't have close female friends, I do. My friendships are singular though, no group dynamics. Have a great time!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Andrea, Keep on keeping it real! I had to chuckle at your laying in the grass and dirt..at least the ground is warmer and dryer now! You have a great weekend! Love that photo of Sophie..very nice! :)

Pam said...

Enjoy your weekend.

Lovely post, thanks for the reminding us of what is important.

Ed said...

Have fun, great shots, especially the last one..:-)

Joanne said...

A perfect post. Thanks for reminding me that there's no reason to be anything but authentic. Enjoy...

Maria said...

sounds like so much fun, enjoy your weekend & I love that photo of Sophie

b&g girl said...

you hate gardening! what?!!!!! kidding of course.
i think we have to 'try' new things to keep finding or reaching deeper into our core, it helps us walk further down that 'path'. drinking the green tea made the coffee taste that much BETTER didn't it?

Holly said...

have fun on your weekend, love that last picture!

GoldenSamantha said...

Lovelovelove this post! I have tried to mold myself into something that is not me cause the image appealed to me for a moment, but it's never worked!!! Hope you have a wonderful gathering with old pals - it's the best kind! (And I love taking pix of Sammie, but they're not nearly like yours!)
Hugs xo,
Sammie

Hilary said...

Beautifully stated. :) Enjoy your time up north.. I know you will.

The OP Pack said...

To thine own self, be true - very wise words.

Fenway said...

What a great blog post.

All I can say is that my Ms. Alpha and you are simpatico. Listen to your heart...march to your own drummer. Even the act of "trying on someone else's life" by buying an "important" handbag or drinking green tea HELP to point to your center and re-teach us who we truly are.

There are no wasted moments nor efforts. And, I think Ms. Alpha would find you a fascinating friend!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Good for you for discovering such great truths at a young age. I had to hit my 40's before I told myself it was okay to be ME. Even now, as I sit down to blog, I will sometimes ask myself, "Would so-and-so say this? Write this? Do this?" and I have to catch myself and say, "It doesn't matter." I have to be authentic and embrace who I am or no one else will.

I feel like I lived too many years, as you describe, imitating others because I didn't know who I was. At my blog, everyone is free to love me or leave me and I take no offense. I will not be everyone's cup of tea but shouldn't I at least be my own?

Thank you for this great post. Have a MARVELOUS weekend!

Tatersmama said...

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend with your friends! I'm looking forward to the photos. ;-)

This was my quote for the day - and I wanted to share it with you...

"Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom."
~ Thomas Jefferson

Andrea said...

Oh my, you are so wise. Once I figured out that being true to myself was the goal, life got so much easier and more enjoyable.

Enjoy your weekend!

Natashya said...

Have a wonderful time this weekend, the photos are absolutely stunning.

The Write Girl said...

This is beautiful Andrea...we love your authenticity on this blog and your insight and Sophie and all the other lovely things you bring : )

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I love the authenticity in your writing, and yes I see myself in what you write also. I guess we need to try different things, yoga, green tea, and super soft to the touch Kate Spade bags to really find out what the truth is. And when we find it, there is nothing more precious.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Jen

T said...

Enjoy your get together, and weekend.

Wise words, and a good post. I think to truly be happy, one needs to be true to themselves.

Jan said...

To thine own self be true. Don't know who said that but still holds true. Enjoy your weekend.

Jeanne said...

We have an interesting parallel -- our lives got substantially better after we lost our "great" jobs.

Just got home from a dance recital that included two of my granddaughters. God, I love being a grandma. I think this is the authentic me I was waiting for all my life!

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

beautiful post!!!! I also love your photos, the last one especially!

Stella said...

To me, the best part of getting old is shedding off those layers of things that once seemed important and now seem trivial. You are what you're gonna be! I love it, just love it.

The worst part of getting old: they are Legion but I don't think too much about it.

Thanks for another thoughtful blog,

Jo, Stella's Mom

Sherri said...

Great post, Andrea. Have a wonderful girls' weekend! Is Sophie going?

moresecretwhispers said...

i think the way frame your subjects in your photos is rather nice, it's left on center & refreshing
so many people stick to the -subject must remain in the entire photo-
i like your cropping :)