I had the privilege of making a trip “home” recently. To me, the definition of home is always going to be where I was born and raised: a tiny town on the South Coast of Oregon, nestled between the ocean and the hills. There is so much about how I was raised that has shaped me into the person I am today, and especially, the business owner I am today.
I was raised to trust people; to take them for their word and at face value. I was raised to live without a lot of access to fancy things. The nearest Nordstrom’s location was a five hour drive. Yep, five hours. We didn’t have stoplights in my town. In fact, there still aren’t any and there’s honestly no need.
I was raised to appreciate the beauty in nature. I know what dirt smells like. I know what pine needles smell like. I know what ocean mist smells like. I know that if all of the cows in the field are laying down and facing a similar direction, there’s probably a big storm coming. This means you’d better have plenty of food, water, candles, and firewood ready – just in case a giant fir tree takes out a powerline or blocks your road and you’re trapped for a few days.
And there were our friends across the road: they lived on the ocean side. When the big storms came, we would meet them in their drift boat – yes, their drift boat. You see, their Dad would ROW them across the river that had flooded their road and would get them as far as he could. We would pick them up and drive them to school. Yep, that was normal.
To me – this was what an authentic life looked like – and still does today.
The point of all of this is to show you, reader, that I’ve been living a very different lifestyle for the last ten years. I moved away, got married, and now live all over the country depending on where my husband’s job takes us. #militaryspouse This is great for adventure and seeing the world, but it is not good for experiencing authenticity.
I had a call with a dear client, who has also become my friend. We talked about authenticity for awhile this morning and how it’s a dying breed. Finding truly authentic people is rare these days, but when you find them – hold them tight, because they are true and they are good.
What does authenticity look like to me now?
Sitting down for coffee with girlfriends from high school that I haven’t seen in years and not skipping a beat. Being able to be my REAL, TRUE, and AUTHENTIC self and not think twice about it. The ability to be authentic and be accepted, as opposed to judged, is a rare thing. So, when you find this connection, whether it’s with a friend, a dream client, or colleague, hold tight. It’s important. It’s the stuff truth is made of.