Bonafide Authentic

 Being a teenager is all about being absolutely real with yourself at all times. Shakespeare said it best, and it's my all time favorite quote "Above all else, to thine own self be true." The man got it right, there's nothing more important in this world than being down to Earth, and aware of who you are. If you can't even be honest with yourself, you can't expect to be vulnerable, open and real with everoyne else. It's all about that bonafide authentic.

Cutting the crap and getting to say exactly what you mean can be one of the hardest things to do as a teenager. It's so difficult to be explicit and just say what you need to say. You don't want to hurt people's feelings, don't want to come off as some wannabe Chuck Norris type badass, and don't want to be on the one who has to get real and say the tough truth. I know for a fact just how excruciatingly awkward, scary and crazy it is to do just that. Today, the executive board for IRA had our first restorative practices circle, and let's just say it didn't turn out like anything I would have expected. Our co-advisor, Drake, urged us all to be honest, to dig deep, and say what we were actually feeling. I took a leap of faith, said my piece, and somehow (who evens knows how) ended up looking like a melodramatic power-hungry ego-maniac (which isn't representative of me at all). It took so much courage for me to even say how I felt when it came to my decisions not being followed, and not getting feedback when I sent out messages. Then came getting called out for perfectionism. It's a gift and a curse, I do things to the point where they either cannot be messed up, or just go as I've planned. All I have to say is ... if the day comes that I do something wrong, anyone has the right to call me out (if they see fit) and to let it be known that I have not and will not be calling anyone out - I'd rather help the person instead of criticizing them. After that little super dramatic pow-wow, I definitely felt disheartened and I was just in my head analyzing my emotions and how I was going to react. I thought it through threw out the irrational ideas like quitting, telling people off, and causing a well-deserved scene, and brought it up to my young adult self to take what people had to say into consideration and move on. What's been said has been said, end of story. I know now that I'll be way more hands off (not that I had planned on micromanaging everyone's lives anyway - I don't care enough to do it) and I'm done. More than done, and that's the absolute truth. Having to be brutally honest and say how I felt was one of the wildest things I've done so far this year. When it was all said and done, I was still myself and bonafide authentic.

Authenticity is inherently something you can't fake, doing so would be an oxymoron. It's important to be honest and true to yourself so you have the opportunity to do the same with others. Monday was the last day off except for weekends until Thanksgiving Break so it was spent with me doing tons of homework and being whisked off by my hilarious fraternity brothers, Dom, Derrick (aka Papa Dubois), Zachy & Bela to North Beach for an obligatory BBQ. Nowadays, I feel like people just want me at places because of my campus importance and my notoriety that comes with my position. Whether it's the reason or not, a forced break was exactly what I needed. We spent our time at the Greek Life table and in the water about mid-leg deep tossing around a football (#thingsIneverdo). It was actually really fun, my brothers took me out of my comfort zone and I had a good time. We made a Rite Aid run (I got candy of course, my life is literally a physical version of Candyland) and made it back to campus after jamming to the radio. Derrick, Zach and I tag-teamed one the new kids on campus, Christian, and we went to Brennan's for dinner. Homeboy might be the perfect mixture of the three of us, quirky, funny, young & ambitious (the best parts of me). I seriously hope he joins our fraternity, I need a youngin' like him to be super youthful with. Monday night was spent honestly doing tons of homework and that was the end of that. Tuesday started off with office hours for IRA in which I took some time to write in our executive journal-type thing. It was so cathartic like when I used to chronicle my life in junior high. On to tennis class where we did exercises to control our long strokes - that ish got intense fast, and I found my grove and definitely made improvements on my hits. I even got to overhead smash like a fricken champ, successfully. More office hours, and packing up stuff for the activities fair with Sam. I went to and from that office so many times I actually lost count. I'm a frequent bus rider like nobody's business. The night mean a quick MarcĂ© dinner and an unnecessary adventure to Rowell for an honors college "seminar" (aka question session for new kids). Off to Hall Council meetings in the Heights and Harris-Millis where I fielded questions left and right and did my best to give a little part of me to everyone. Multiple essay papers completed and I was truly done. Bonafide authentic.

Honesty really is the best policy. Sometimes it definitely gets hard to let people see you vulnerable, emotional or let them know that they hurt you. That's one of my biggest problems, it's obvious when I'm down and I don't do a very good job of masquerading as okay (which I guess is a good thing in some ways). Wednesday was my day of nonstop go, once I left my room at 8:15am (dressed as preppy as possible) I didn't return until just after 9pm like damn! Another spaced out HCOL class (my professor said that seeing interracial couples - so black & white couples was more stare-inducing now than back when slavery was around ... mmmkkkay) and it was on to the activities fair where Sam and I waited in line for like half an hour for half a table. We setup, got it started and departed for chem lecture. Another great lesson learned from our Scottish dynamo, finally I understand sigma & pi bonds and it on to religion where we talked about the differences between the Jewish & Christian religious sciptures. Class done and back to our table to turn on the spirit, turn out the swag, and do the most to get people fired up for IRA. Bret and Anna pushed me just enough to get over my nervousness and even talk to one of my famous #collegecrushes. Everyone did their part, and it was a total success for us - glad I have people to do their fair share of the work we all have. On to biology lecture where Anna and I were just a legit mess all over. My stupid iClicker didn't work and we did battery transplant surgery to revive it, I ate muffins and drank a Caprisun, and then we both fell asleep. Someone help us all. I made friends with the Prince William looking kid, Kyle and we bonded over our dislike of math in a biology setting (no bueno). I caught the bus and talked to Robbie my "pledge bro." Before doing more office hours and doing some office clean up. I ordered pizzas and went to a meeting for my TV show "Dirty Pop" everything pop culture in the Davis Center, stopped for beef quesadillas (half hour line), and caught another bus back to the office. I got the pizza and then we had circle time - where you know what went down. I kept it real and kept it me - that's all I have to say. I'm bonafide authentic.
Being a teenager is all about being the most bonafide authentic version of you possible. You only get to be yourself, why try to be someone you're not. I wouldn't want to be anyone else, and that's something I hold near and dear to my heart. I am me, will always be me, and can only be me. I'm bonafide authentic.

My blog post question for the day is ... when was the last time you had some drama? Oh you know, it's kind of like a daily thing with me - only that I'm one those mature young adults capable of thinking things through, and making what I have to say meaningful, deep, and useful. It's not just an insulting comeback.


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