Authenticity

Who is at the core of one’s self?

Who am I, really?

I am a mother, a really piss-poor sister, a pretty awesome wife, a decent friend, a professional in training, a biker, a bicyclist, a runner in training, a young woman, a member of AARP, a daughter in law, an orphan, a fangirl, a lazy couch potato, a survivor, a hippy, a Jew, an activist, a scientist, a researcher, a student, a writer, a photographer … in no particular order.  The order changes depending on circumstance, setting, day, mood, necessity.  Does that make me inauthentic?

Today I am more or less in sloth mode.  I may bake cookies later – I’m trying to figure out the chemistry of flour and butter and so far I am failing.

Yesterday, I was in biker garb at a motorcycle rally.  While I am normally a kind and perhaps overly polite person, in my patch covered leather vest I am a Biker Bitch who enjoys it when people cross the road to avoid me.  It’s almost like Halloween.  When I am dressed that way, in boots and leather, I am authentically that person.  I have Sturgis patches that are growing up the back, year after year, I have badges of honor showing where I have ridden, I have proclamations of unforgiving womanhood, and patches proudly announcing my daughter is a US Marine.
Motorcycle August 2014 087 Motorcycle August 2014 088

These are not things I would wear to a company picnic or to Thanksgiving dinner at the home of my sister-in-law.

Likewise, I would not wear a frilly dress to Bike Week.

And I don’t go hiking in evening gowns.

Yet whether I am wearing leathers that make people cross the street, or am in shorts and a tank top weeding my garden, I am always still myself.  I am always the authentic me.  What is on the outside is just a display of a different aspect of that self.  I am still a photographer and a writer and a mother when I am a biker.  I am still a wife and a student and a professional when I am baking cookies or Challah bread.  I may be more extreme in who I am at various times than a lot of people, but we all do this.  Every one of us.  Even you.  Think about it.

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