AUTHENTICITY

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 Having a mid morning Carrie Bradshaw moment. I love her character in Sex and The City because I feel like I relate most to her and not because I’m a writer–although that is very much what I love about her. I love how in the series she’s so raw and vulnerable and authentic–through her ups and downs in life as she discovers herself through dating, love and writing for a sex column in New York. Her curly hair. Her gold plated Carrie necklace. The episode where she freaks out over being mugged and yet she finds herself more upset over the loss of her designer items than the act itself. Or when Aiden’s dog chews up her shoes and she looses it. Or when she breaks out in hives when she tries on wedding dresses for her engagement with Aiden and decides to wear her engagement ring around her neck. In all of those quirky moments, America fell in love with Carrie Bradshaw. If you’ve never watched Sex and The City, I’ve just lost you. I’m hoping you will stick around for the real reason I am writing this post. I promise, or at least promise in hope, that it will be worth it.

Either way, she’s this doll. She’s perfectly imperfect. She’s funny and outgoing yet quirky and emotional. I can relate to that. But maybe people loved her because of her authenticity? I don’t know.

But the point of it is that I’m sitting outside in my three seasons room, legs under my butt, smoking a cigarette. I’m trying to come up with something valuable to say, yet my hair is a mess. I’d like to imagine I’m Carrie, toiling on my next post that will keep New York talking–although I don’t care if New York is talking. I too, like Carrie, have found myself stumbling through my life trying to figure out how to walk in my off brand Manolo’s. But the funny thing is I’ve found myself trading in my designer duds for free flowing, moving duds that make me feel like a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Tangerine colored, now limited edition Michael Kors bag (because the color was discontinued and I bought the last one in Bellevue, Wa when I was visiting Seattle) and there’s nothing like wearing Chanel parfum. And trust me even though my grammar isn’t perfect, I’d love to wear designer from head to toe–not because it’s designer but because I genuinely love it–but trust me–can not afford to. I can’t say I don’t love attention or crave affirmation. I wish I didn’t. I bet if I had a father that affirmed me as a child I probably wouldn’t seek approval as often as I do.

But can I tell you? I’ve begun to care less about those things. I’m trying to be as honest here as possible. My life has taken a really different turn since I’ve begun my Medical Leave in June, and it started when I moved back home to Rockford in January from the Suburbs of Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, I had exhilarating highs from my former high profile role within the company. I loved the status, the clout, the highs, and the accomplishments. I’ve loved the major victories that I’ve had. I’ve taken pride in creating things and bringing people together and forging my resume in a way that even people with a high degree and pedigree haven’t even accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, I still relish those moments and cherish them for what they were.

BUT.

Today, my biggest victory is taking a shower and brushing my teeth, taking my meds on time even though I feel like a pill popping machine and not going off on people or simply even opening my mouth and letting my real thoughts come out–which generally ends in conflict. It’s a huge WIN to walk by a sharp object and not pick it up or think about self harming. It’s a victory when I actually sleep through a full night–which hasn’t happened since I’ve been in the ward. Sometimes the scariest thing is being alone in the house by myself, so when I go take a bicycle ride or walk on the treadmill and get exercise that’s a huge win. Sometimes just leaving the house or calling and taking care of things is a struggle for me. I get exhausted easily. Those are the victories I’m concerned over.

And lately, I’ve been putting others before myself and have made changes in my life to make sure that I am putting myself and my recovery first–which is not easy.

I want to save the world, but when you’re broken you can’t bear the weight of yourself and the weight of another.

To my Beau, know that I love you and I’m praying for you daily.

I might actually write several posts today because there is so much to share and I don’t even know if I’m being effective at this point.

OK back to the subject at hand–Authenticity.

It’s funny how everyone walks around with masks on. I’ve always known this and felt this for some time, but it was very fitting to hear the sermon on Sunday. My plan was to write last night but I spent my entire evening resetting my MacBook so that wasn’t going to happen.

But when I reflect on myself and my authenticity, I’ve realized and come to realize that I have not always been honest outwardly with what’s been going on inwardly–Thank you Social Media.

I’ve always strived to be encouraging through this site and it started as a FB group which grew somewhat organically and stemmed off to this blog you see. I wanted to create something BIG a movement, of people who found love and peace and honesty and run on sentences for days. I can just hear my friend Bethany critiquing my run ons. I don’t know why. LOL.

But what’s funny is, I was always trying to be this woman who I know God has called me to be, but I was STRIVING. And maybe this is my Carrie moment where I have found myself breaking out in hives wearing the wrong dress engaged to the wrong man, realizing that I have to break out of my shell and be my whole real self in front of everyone because that’s just where I am at today. I can’t keep up with the outward presentation I’ve created–because it isn’t me.

I feel like that. I feel like I am coming into my own. I once knew a beautiful Haley who told me I was like a beautiful flower that hadn’t quite bloomed yet. I feel like I’m beginning to bloom. And not in a forced weird way, but in a natural unfolding.

What I’m trying to describe is that I took a huge step into the unknown by posting my last post. I took down my mask and let others into the deepest most hurt part of me. The lost me. The confused me. The unfound me. The unhealed and un-whole me; A me you’ve never seen.

But in one of my favorite songs, or at least a song I like, she sings that there is beauty in the breakdown.

It’s okay to be who you are. I really love that God, as a creator, made everyone completely different yet fully relatable. Some mesh better with others, but you are a one of a kind original. No set of prints or dentals are the same. How crazy is that. Just like snow flakes that fall, all have a different pattern. No two are the same.

I’ve always fought with myself and God over being so different. I know I’ve yearned for years just to be like anything but more like me. Less talkative, less problematic, less aggressive? even though I still don’t fully understand my aggression. Prettier, thinner, more able to project into my future and create a plan around it. But I’ve felt stuck so many times before. Stuck in my own skin, stuck where I’m at in life and bound by red tape and regulations.

I’m still lost don’t get me wrong.

But I’m comfortable in the mess.

I’d rather be who I really am, and develop and grow into that than play charades.

Life isn’t a game.

I think what I’m most excited about is that I don’t have an agenda.

I don’t care if I have a boyfriend, I don’t want to be married. I don’t want to have children because I’d hate to knowingly put my child through what I’ve went through (I realize God might have other plans)

I am okay that I’m 30, broke, and living with my parents on LT Disability.

I’m okay with the fact that I need help and I’m seeking it.

I’m okay with the fact that I’m brave enough to say it when others aren’t.

I don’t need you to like or read this blog.

I’m 30 years old. I know a little bit about who I am and don’t know a whole lot about where I’m going, but I’m right in the midst of Grace and I’m fine with it. A wise young man once told me, He’ll tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it. (He was overhearing me talk with a friend about dating/marriage blah blah)

I’m just grateful to be alive.

I’m grateful to be a writer.

I’m excited to figure out how I’m going to write my memoir.

I like that I’m a somebody who is a nobody to others, that’s going to write a book that shows others who I am and makes me someone they want to know; rather than being a somebody writing a book and others reading it with their minds made up on who I already am. (Learned that today listening to the news and hearing a famous former President’s daughter talk about her book)

I’m just glad to have me and my MacBook.

Me. The real me.

I’ll show you a little more of her later.

That’s all for now.

With love, Alli

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