Since turning 30 in February, I guess I’ve been going through a bit of a mid-life crisis so to speak. Like a lot of thirty-somethings I’m guessing, I thought my life would have been a lot different by now. I expected to be married and have those three kids by now. I thought I would have “it all figured out” and be a real live grown-up. Honesty, I am so far from all of that. I’m not married and I’m not even close to being married since I just ended a 10 year-long relationship. I don’t have kids, a house, or a career that I’m passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful for all that I have, but I can’t help but wonder if there is more out there for me.
So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about living authentically. To live an authentic life means aligning your beliefs, values, ideals, passions, goals, and self with your actions. To live authentically means to be your true self and not pretend to be somebody you’re not to fit in. This is easier said than done. If I were to be honest with myself and others, I’m not living authentically. My job at times embodies all that I think is wrong with society. I eat food from unsustainable and unethical sources. I buy products from and support companies that I know I shouldn’t, but do it out of laziness and convenience. I talk about and read about simple living and doing what you love for a living, but I’m not doing it myself. I have succumbed to societal pressure to buy an identity through consumerism and work an 8 to 5 job in a cubicle so I can retire at 65 years old with a 401k.
So why is living authentically so hard for me? Is it fear? Is it laziness? Is it pure complacency? I think it’s all three of those. I’m afraid of being labeled, of being judged, of being an outcast. I’m afraid of failing. So what’s a girl to do? Take a risk or stay in the safe zone? This is the question that weighs so heavily on my mind, that keeps floating in and out of my head.