Seeing to the ugly

“The less of yourself you feel when you are with someone, the less of them you should probably see!” – Lakara Foster

I logged into Facebook this evening, and my friend Tia had the quote above as her status update. I quickly commented, “That’s a word,” and I meant it.

I totally agree with that sentiment. I’m nearly 40, and the best thing about being 39 1/2 is the fact I’ve spent nearly a decade living  authentically. It was as if some magic switch turned on at or around my 30th birthday, and I shed the bullshit and suddenly became myself. The dormant me, always there, sprang forth. And even though it’s fair to say I’m still (and always will be) in a state of becoming, being true to myself and learning to live life on my own terms is freeing. It’s joy.

It’s not a secret to close friends and family that I’m in a romantic relationship. It’s been an amazing experience – one in which I’ve been able to grow as an individual and as a partner. It’s beautiful and yet it’s challenging. Not in a toiling, difficult sort of way, but it takes effort. And part of what takes effort is allowing myself to be me. The normal day-to-day is easy. Yet when inevitable moments of tension come up (growth opportunities in corporate speak), there’s always the option to avoid the situation, to play a role, or to be myself.

Sometimes  “myself” has feelings I wish I wouldn’t have. But these feelings, whether or not they align with reason, are human. Experiencing them is what it means to be human. Exploring them openly is what it means to be intimate.  To the degree that you feel you can be honest with a friend, partner or lover – intentionally transparent – that connection is a healthy one.

It’s not easy, but it’s honest. And worth it.

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