Stacy’s husband, Marty, has been contributing to our Adventure Sisters’ literary adventures by helping edit our blogs. Stacy and I are writers, not editors, totally different beast. Marty says he’s no editor, just a hack trying to help out (He added this remark! He’s a funny guy too!) We still appreciate his help very much.
I tell you this because he had mentioned that he noticed my use of the phrase “authentically me”. It is one of my favorites along with “Protect what you love”, which I put on my campaign t-shirts. He said we should make an T-shirt that says “authentically me” and I absolutely love the idea. He even worked up some ideas.
I would like to tell you the back story on how I learned to be “authentically me.” It comes from my mother who used to be a little rough around the edges. My mom raised me by herself. Well mostly, she was a single mom who got help looking after me from her parents, siblings and good friends. Friends, who I still think of as family today. She was kind but tough, with a heart was large as Lake Superior, but a bullshit meter with a hair trigger.
Mom would often say what was on her mind in front of anyone. Especially if they deserved it or just plain needed to hear the truth. She has softened somewhat with age, but still has her opinions, as we all do. My mom was fluent in profanity and handed the linguistic skills of a sailor down to her daughter. I used to be annoyed when people would tell me how much I am like my mom, but now I am very proud to hear it.
My mom is a strong woman, who has not had an easy life. She was the oldest of five siblings and was depended on to help raise them. She was a mother hen very early in life. People thought she was bossy. I have come to find out that ‘bossiness’ means she cares. She taught me the value of a good work ethic and loyalty. She taught me that, even if you don’t want to do something, sometimes you just have to anyway. Sometimes, the hardest and the right thing, are the same.
My mom was the perfect example of someone who knows how to love unconditionally. She taught me it is okay to fight. It is okay to get mad. It is okay to hash it out but in the end… we still are family and you are still loved. My mom taught me the value and grace of unconditional love and let me tell you, I tested those limits plenty. I could be a stinker! I was a good girl, when I was younger. I got good grades but I would do rebellious things, just for the thrill of it. I made her worry a lot. I do feel bad for this now.
Mom is an outgoing person most of the time. She taught me the importance of being social and caring for those around you. When it is time for a party, she’s the first one to show up with food and treats and the last one to leave. That’s because she’s the one helping you clean up. Just like most of us, my mom can be hard to like occasionally. She doesn’t pull any punches and I appreciate her frankness. After all, I would rather know the truth about someone’s feelings and beliefs, than some sugar-coated BS. My mom is a straight shooter and I have tried to be the same because I respect that in her.
There were times that I would be mad at my mom in my younger years, for being over protective. Although I can’t blame her, at times I bet it was like trying to tame a wild horse; raising this free spirit! Yet, looking back now that I have been a mom and concerned for my own daughter, I see what made her act in that way.
A mother’s love is fierce, impenetrable and often unable to be expressed in a way that is easy to understand. As with most mother daughter relationships, we’ve had our ups and downs. I now realize the downs were there to help us learn from one another and appreciate who we were becoming.
It’s tough when your relationship changes, because YOU change.
I am not a free spirited ‘know it all’ teenager anymore. I have learned it is hard to let go of the pieces of your baby that you cherish. Sometimes you just want them to stay the same. Life has a way of helping us mature, even while our relationships lag behind. This causes growing pains, but it is for the best. I find that we get along much better now that we can appreciate each other for who we truly are.
Authentically me. Authentically her. I learned from my mom to accept that I am perfectly imperfect. If by chance someone does not appreciate my authentic self… well… that’s okay. Or like Gena (mom) would say “F’ em.” Because I have learned to love and accept myself and that is what matters. I have to live with myself every day. I know who I am inside and out and that others only see a snapshot.
I have learned its okay to make mistakes because the important people in my life, know that I am human, and they love me anyway. I like to give others the same courtesy. I learned that from my mom also and she learned it from her mom. I have learned my family ‘rocks my face off with awesomeness’ and I need to put more time and appreciation in now. I learned that lesson the hard way with losing my grandparents and having things left unsaid.
She taught me to say what you need to say. Trust in your own voice. As Gena says: “This is the only voice I got!” If you know her… you are laughing right now but you know you love her too. I feel blessed that she taught me by example how to speak up for myself, to know my voice and opinion matter as much as anyone else’s.
I am thankful to have been blessed with a mom who loved and supported me through all the growing pains. Never once was she not there for me. Another life lesson not to take for granted! I am so thankful for my mom, husband, daughter, family and friends who love me. The real me; inside and out. Authentically me. I love you guys!
What helps you stay authentically you?
What keeps you grounded in your purpose? Please share your thoughts! I really would love to hear from you.
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister